WEST HAVEN, Conn – The Yale University baseball team opens its season Friday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana against top-ranked Louisiana State University (7-1). The teams meet for a three-game series that spans the weekend. The game schedule is as follows:
-at LSU (Alex Box Stadium) Friday, 7:00 PM EST
-at LSU (Alex Box Stadium) Saturday, 2:00 PM EST
-at LSU (Alex Box Stadium) Sunday, 12:00 PM EST
Off the Top
Entering the week, LSU was undefeated and ranked as high at #1 nationally by Collegiate Baseball (2nd by USA Today Coaches' Poll, 3rd by NCBWA, 7th by Baseball America). Tuesday, their record was tarnished in a rain-shortened loss to #10-ranked UL-Lafayette. ULL won 4-1 in six innings, scoring three runs off junior starting pitcher Cody Glenn (1-1), who is slated to start in the third and final game on Sunday.
Yale and LSU have only met once in history – over a century ago in 1908. The Bulldogs triumphed at home in a 7-1 victory, and have not played since.
The Yale team looks for a fresh start from mostly familiar faces. The Bulldogs are relieved to have senior captain Cale Hanson return from a 2013 injury that kept him off the field for most the season. He will start at shortstop and occasionally relief pitch. Other notable additions include freshmen Chasen Ford and Richard Slenker. Ford, a 6-3 right-hander from Lake Forest, California, is slated to start the second game Saturday for his first innings as a college athlete. Slenker, an infielder from Pound Ridge, New York, will likely get time in the lineup as a live bat. A full season outlook for the Bulldogs can be found here.
The LSU pitching staff is led by junior Aaron Nola, a 6-1 right-handed starter that will pitch in the opening game Friday. Nola (2-0) was a 2013 First Team All-American, National Pitcher of the Year Finalist, and SEC Pitcher of the Year. This year he has allowed 4 hits and 0 runs in 13 innings, including a 7-inning no-hit appearance over Virginia Tech. Junior Kyle Bouman (2-0), the Saturday-listed starter, has a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings of work. Glenn, penciled in to start Sunday, allowed all 4 earned runs in the Tuesday loss to ULL. His ERA through 10 innings is 3.60.
At the plate, LSU is led by junior second baseman Conner Hale, who is batting .417 over seven games. His three multi-hit games lead the Tigers in that category. Alex Bregman, a sophomore shortstop, has put up a .375/.515/.500 slash line in his first 8 games.
LSU – Junior RHP Aaron Nola (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 13.0 IP, 14 K, 0 BB)
YALE – Senior LHP David Hickey (4-2, 2.15 ERA, 37.2 IP, 35 K, 9 BB in 2013 season)
LSU – Junior LHP Kyle Bouman (2-0, 1.64 ERA, 11.0 IP, 4 K, 0 BB)
YALE – Freshman RHP Chasen Ford (no collegiate experience)
LSU – Junior LHP Cody Glenn (1-1, 3.60 ERA, 10.0 IP, 4 K, 2 BB)
YALE – Senior RHP Michael Coleman (3-4, 3.13 ERA, 54.2 IP, 18 K, 13 BB in 2013 season)
Report by Skylar Shibayama '16, Yale Sports Publicity