DELAND, Fla. – The Yale Baseball team will stay in Florida after the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational for a three-game series with Stetson University. The weekend set will wrap up the Bulldogs' trip to the Sunshine State. The game series is as follows:
-at Stetson (Melching Field), Friday March 14, 7:30 PM EDT
Projected Yale starter: Chris Lanham (1-0, 6.23 ERA, 8.2 IP, 3 K, 2 BB)
Projected Stetson starter: Mitchell Jordan (0-1, 1.33 ERA, 20.1 IP, 19 K, 5 BB)
-at Stetson (Melching Field), Saturday March 15, 3:00 PM EDT
Projected Yale starter: Chasen Ford (1-1, 4.26 ERA, 12.2 IP, 6 K, 3 BB)
Projected Stetson starter: Taylor Cockrell (1-2, 5.09 ERA, 23.0 IP, 25 K, 8 BB)
-at Stetson (Melching Field), Sunday March 16, 1:00 PM EDT
Projected Yale starter: David Hickey (0-1, 18.90 ERA, 6.2 IP, 4 K, 4 BB)
Projected Stetson starter: To Be Announced
The Elis head into the series coming off an even 2-2 record in the RussMatt Invitational. Yale lost to Long Island, beat Bucknell, fell to Bowling Green, and then defeated Ave Maria. A win Friday would give the Bulldogs their first win streak and first time at a .500 winning percentage on the season.
Eric Hsieh and Robert Baldwin come into the series defending hit streaks. Hsieh, who leads the team with a .367 batting average, has notched a hit in all seven of Yale's games this year. He put up three hits in the loss. Expect Hsieh to hit out of the two-hole.
Baldwin has quietly asserted himself as an offensive asset for the Yale team. After winning the starting catcher job outright, he has put up a .308 batting average, starting all seven games. He has gotten a hit in the past five. Baldwin has batted in the ninth position in every game.
Meanwhile, Jacob Hunter continues to be Yale's primary offensive force. His astounding .346/.406/.538 slash line provides a snapshot to the offensive prowess of this three-hole hitter. Hunter leads the team in slugging percentage, total bases, and extra base hits.
A noticeable improvement at the plate since last season has aided the Bulldogs early and helped them win some close games at LSU and Ave Maria. Freshman Chasen Ford has looked very promising on the mound, with a live fastball and good location (6/3 K/BB). Look for senior starter David Hickey to bounce back and put up a good pitching performance. Hickey's numbers have been largely inflated thus far by a rough outing against the potent LSU lineup. Green Campbell has been a freak in center field, tracking down fly balls of every type and distance while batting .273.
Yale will continue to be a team centered around pitching and defense. The fielding has been superb so far, with a team .970 fielding percentage that is keeping the pitching staff pleased.
Stetson enters the series coming off a huge win against No. 22 Miami (Fla.) Wednesday. Stetson, who started off cold, has now won four of its last five games. Their record is 6-12 on the year.
At the plate, the Hatters have been led by sophomore Kevin Fagan and junior Josh Powers. Fagan leads the team in hits (20) and home runs (1) and has played in all 18 games, starting in all but one of them. Josh Powers, who is actually a starting pitcher, has raked in the 14 games he's played in. Powers has batted .367, with an on-base percentage of .426 and slugging a mean .469.
On the mound, freshman starter Mitchell Jordan has been lights out so far. In three starts and four total appearances, Jordan has put up a 1.33 ERA in 20 1/3 innings of work. He has struck out 19 and walked only five. Out of the bullpen, sophomore right-hander Josh Thorne has held opposing hitters to a .222 batting average in his 12 1/3 innings in relief.
Report by Skylar Shibayama '16, Yale Sports Publicity