Yale Looks to Pull Ahead in the Red Rolfe
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale returns home this weekend for two Ivy League doubleheaders against Cornell and Princeton. Yale (9-12, 2-2) hopes to maintain its lead in the Red Rolfe division against the two Lou Gehrig teams.
Both Saturday and Sunday's doubleheaders will begin at noon at Historic Yale Field.
Yale comes into the weekend after a rough loss to UConn during the week. However, Yale's last league games were a sweep of Columbia Tuesday (originally scheduled for Sunday, but moved for weather). After playing five games in three days from Monday through Wednesday, Yale has some much needed off-days between the Saturday contests.
The Live Stats game-tracker can be found at http://livestats.prestosports.com/yale/.
Chris Lanham and David Hickey were both electric in their previous starts. Lanham (4-1), who was named Ivy League Co-Pitcher of the Week, threw a complete-game shutout on just three hits. Hickey apparently took notes, as he followed with a seven-inning win on three hits and no runs. With Rob Cerfolio out to injury, strong outings from both Lanham and Hickey will continue to be key throughout Ivy League play.
Yale's sweep of reigning Ivy champion Columbia showed great resilience last week. After getting swept by Penn in the previous series, the wins over Columbia brought Yale back to .500 in league play. With a 2-2 record, they share the Red Rolfe lead with Harvard (1-1).
Green Campbell and Eric Hsieh have continued their success as table-setters for the Bulldogs, with team-leading on-base percentages of .421 and .417, respectively. As a result, Campbell has come around to score a team-high 15 times. Meanwhile, Robert Baldwin's three doubles against Columbia bring him to second on the team in doubles (6) and slugging percentage (.453) behind Jacob Hunter.
Freshmen Harrison White and Richard Slenker have each produced well in their limited roles. White's .351 batting average would lead the team if he had logged enough at-bats (37), and Slenker is not far behind, hitting .325 through 40 at-bats.
Much has been talked about the starting pitching for Yale, but Chris Moates continues to be a quiet force out of the bullpen. He is clearly the Bulldogs' go-to reliever in tight games, with a 3.31 ERA.
Cornell (10-10, 2-2) has split each of its last three series, against Dartmouth, Harvard, and George Mason. Each of those six games have been notably close and low-scoring, with four of them being decided by one run.
At the plate, Cornell is powered by Ryan Carl. He appears to be their only true power hitter, leading the team in home runs (5) and slugging percentage (.636). Leading the team in on-base percentage (.419) and average (.329) is JD Whetsel. His 10 stolen bases also are tied for Cornell's lead.
Michael Byrne (2-1) appears to be Cornell's best starter, with a team-best 1.98 ERA, although it begs mentioning that Cornell has spread its starts evenly. Nine different players have started a game for them this year, and Byrne is one of just three with more than two starts. Brent Jones is another, and his 23 strikeouts in as many innings leads the team in that category.
Freshman Tiger Smith has been light-out in his three appearances for 9 2/3 innings. He has allowed just one run in that time, good for a 0.93 ERA.
Princeton (7-12, 2-0), like Yale, comes into the weekend off a mid-week loss and an Ivy League sweep (over Dartmouth). Princeton's opening series against Harvard was postponed due to weather conditions.
Danny Hoy has dominated for Princeton so far at the plate, leading the team in batting average (.365), on-base percentage (.420), and slugging percentage (.514). First-team Ivy League player Alec Keller has also started strong in this season, sitting directly behind Hoy in average (.316) and slugging percentage (.447). Like Yale, Princeton has hit just two home runs on the year thus far.
Michael Fagan (2-1) has been Princeton's best starter this season, with a team-high 2.45 ERA and impressive 11.05 strikeouts per game that leads the team. Chad Powers' 3.72 ERA is second behind Fagan, but he has been significantly wilder, striking out 4 with 10 walks.
Yale split with both Princeton and Cornell last year on the weekend of March 30. Against Princeton, Chris Lanham threw well in game one but couldn't get run support, losing 4-0. In the second game, Brent Lawson smashed the ball with a 5-6, 2 RBI performance in Yale's 9-1 victory.
Against Cornell, Lawson went 2-for-4 with an RBI, but it wasn't enough as the Bulldogs lost in game one by a score of 8-5. In the second, Michael Coleman was lights-out, allowing just two runs to give Yale the 4-2 lead.
Report by Skylar Shibayama '16, Yale Sports Publicity