On Wednesday, the Yale baseball team (12–6, 3–0 Ivy) showcased its talents at the George H.W. Bush ’48 Field, dominating Sacred Heart University (2–21, 1–2 NEC) in a 5–1 victory. Having also achieved a resounding blowout win against Quinnipiac and a strong Ivy League opening series sweep against Princeton last week, the Bulldogs are now riding a five-game winning streak.

The success against Sacred Heart not only allowed Yale to maintain its undefeated home record but also to get revenge. Prior to this week, the Blue and White had not won against the Pioneers in more than four years and had lost their past three matchups against them. This season, the Elis changed the narrative.

The Bulldogs aim to continue their dominance on the diamond this weekend as they travel to New York, where they will be playing a three-game series against Cornell (3–11, 0–3 Ivy). This will be the first time these two squads have faced each other in more than two years.

“We’ve been playing really good baseball,” pitcher Michael Walsh ’23 said. “We’ve been in high spirits, bringing a lot of energy to the field every day, [to] practice and in games. [The team is] a great group of guys and we all have tons of confidence in each other; every time we go out on the field, you can really see that. … As a whole, we’re really proud of the way we’ve been performing lately and we’re looking to keep that up this weekend.”

Yale’s performance against Sacred Heart looked promising from the start. Jimmy Chatfield ’24 struck out three batters in the first inning and went on to strike out two more in his two scoreless innings of work. The two-way player from San Diego, who was both the starter and designated hitter on Wednesday, earned his second win of the season and also got on base three times.

Clark Klitenic ’24, Mick Kelley ’25, Ben Gibbs ’22, Carter Kessinger ’23 and Reid Easterly ’24 took to the mound after Chatfield. Yale pitching was a highlight of the game on Wednesday, as the Eli hurlers struck out a total of 11 batters and limited the Pioneers to just two hits through the first eight innings. 

“[The pitching staff] is definitely as deep as I’ve ever seen it,” catcher Jake Gehri ’22 said. “Many underclassmen have just come out and done some very impressive things. Upperclassmen like [Kipp] and [Walsh], who have been our game one and game two starters, have also done exceptionally well this year. I’m excited to see them go into Ivy play.”

The Yale offense also began to work early against Sacred Heart, striking first against the Pioneers. The bottom of the lineup was especially outstanding at the plate. The game’s catcher and eight-hole, Max Imhoff ’25, had an RBI single in the second inning that put the Bulldogs on the board. Another run was scored in the third inning, while seven-hole Colton Shaw ’25 went yard in the fourth inning with his first moonshot of the season, a solo blast to left field. 

Gehri had an impressive day against the Pioneers, staying hot at the plate after a historic performance last Sunday, where he set the all-time conference record for most RBIs in a single game. The Yale catcher went 2–4 against Sacred Heart, hitting a double in his first at-bat and sending one out of the park yet again in the eighth inning. Gehri’s two-run bomb extended Yale’s comfortable lead to five and was his fifth home run in two games.

The Bulldogs came close to shutting out the Pioneers, but closer Easterly struggled to finish things cleanly. The sophomore southpaw from Texas gave up a double and three consecutive singles in the ninth inning, allowing Sacred Heart to score its first and only run. Yale managed to put a stop to the damage with its stellar defense, getting out of the final bases-loaded jam with a 4–6–3 double-play. 

The Elis now turn their attention to preparing for their upcoming matchup against Cornell. The series will consist of a Saturday doubleheader and a third game on Sunday. The two teams last faced off in New Haven in early April 2019 for another three-game match-up, which resulted in a split Saturday doubleheader and a series victory for the Elis as they won the rubber match 7–2 the following day.

This year, Cornell had a slow start to conference play. Though they put up a fight, the Big Red were swept in their three-game Ivy opening series against Harvard (11–8, 3–0 Ivy), a squad which looks to be a strong contender for the conference title. The Crimson are currently tied with the Bulldogs in first place in the Ancient Eight rankings, while Cornell sits in last position. 

Prior to their loss against Harvard at home, the Big Red were also swept in their regular season opening series against the University of Virginia and have only won three games since. 

However, Yale should be wary of Cornell’s offense, which has often proven to be explosive. The Big Red have averaged seven runs in their past four games. The team from Ithaca also has many talented players in its roster, such as the infielder duo of freshman Max Jensen and junior Joe Hollerbach.

However, with its strong line-up and deep pitching staff, Yale is eager to challenge Cornell this weekend. Having swept both Princeton and the Ivy League awards last weekend, the Bulldogs will also look to further extend their streak and maintain their momentum as they face off against their second conference opponent of the season. 

“It’ll be my first trip out to Cornell, along with that of every guy on our team except for Teddy Hague,” star shortstop and captain Mason LaPlante ’22 said. “So, it’ll be a new place to experience Ivy League baseball. We are looking forward to getting back on the field. During the week you’re always just itching to get back out there to play again, so I can’t wait for Saturday.”

The first pitch of the series against the Big Red will be thrown on Saturday, April 2 at 11:30 a.m. on Hoy Field. 

Wei-Ting Shih covers baseball, volleyball and women's basketball as a staff reporter. Originally from Taiwan and Nicaragua, she is a sophomore in Grace Hopper College double-majoring in Ethics, Politics & Economics and History.