BASEBALL: Bulldogs gearing up for three-game home series against Dartmouth
The Bulldogs look to build on their undefeated home record this season as Dartmouth comes to New Haven for a three-game series.
After Wednesday’s rainstorms forced the Yale baseball team (13–8, 4–2 Ivy) to cancel its Wednesday matchup against Fairfield, the Bulldogs will return to the field this Saturday for a three-game home series against Dartmouth (10–12, 3–3). That still gives fans some time to bet on their teams on sites such as https://slot27.id/.
The Bulldogs will look to continue this season’s undefeated streak at George H.W. Bush ’48 Field. The Blue and White have outscored opponents 37–17 in their four home games this season. Dartmouth, meanwhile, is just 4–7 in road games this season. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday and then face off one more time on Sunday.
Last weekend, the Bulldogs dropped the first two games of their series against conference foe Cornell before winning the series finale in dominant fashion, outscoring the Big Red 18–5. The losses to Cornell are just the motivation the team needs to fuel a winning weekend against Dartmouth.
“This weekend against Dartmouth, we’re going to replicate the fire and sense of urgency that we felt in the third of the series against Cornell,” relief pitcher Clark Klitenic ’24 said. “[There was] a sense of urgency that maybe we lacked in those two losses.”
While the Bulldogs may have struggled as a team against Cornell, catcher Jake Gehri ’22 and right-fielder Jimmy Chatfield ’24 continued their dominant seasons at the plate. The duo, who bat third and fourth respectively, combined for seven runs scored, nine RBIs and two home runs in their last two games.
This offensive prowess is nothing new for the duo. Chatfield leads the team with 27 RBIs, and Gehri ranks second with 22. Each player has also hit six balls out of the park, tied for a team high this season.
“Seeing [Chatfield] be so dominant at the plate this year has been awesome, for both himself and the overall success of the team,” Gehri said. “I think confidence and simplicity are some of the key factors behind our offense this year.”
Offense has come easily for the Elis this season, as their 6.8 runs per game and 0.378 on-base percentage rank second in the league, just barely trailing Penn in both categories. Yale’s defense and pitching has also gotten off to a strong statistical start, ranking near the top of the league in runs allowed per game and opponents’ batting average.
While the Blue and White seem to enter the series against Dartmouth with a comparative advantage, they are not overlooking their opponents.
“We try to not read too much into records going into a series,” captain Mason LaPlante ’22 explained. “That’s an easy way for us to take an opponent lightly. We’re trying to just have a solid week of practices, taking each day as its own, and not think too much about the bigger picture — only what is in front of us.”
Dartmouth will be looking to get their season back on track after dropping three of their last four games. Coming off a 14–2 loss against University of Massachusetts Lowell (9–16, 3–6 American East) on Tuesday, the Big Green are sure to be focused.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, saw their Wednesday game against Fairfield canceled due to inclement weather. While the longer layoff likely means more rest for the Elis, the team also was looking forward to another opportunity to round into form with a nonconference matchup.
“Obviously getting the midweek against Fairfield canceled is tough as those are great for preparation,” Gehri said. “But with that being said we had a really good Tuesday practice and look forward to carrying that into [our next practice] and this weekend.”
Chatfield has managed to get on-base — either via walk, hit-by-pitch or a hit — in all 21 games the Bulldogs have played this season.