Yale Hopes to Keep Space in Red Rolfe
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale (12-15, 5-3) heads to Hanover, New Hampshire this weekend for two Ivy League doubleheaders against Dartmouth (7-16, 2-6). Yale would give itself significant playoff expectations with a strong weekend.
Both Saturday and Sunday's doubleheaders will begin at noon at Dartmouth.
Yale's most recent games were two losses to Fairfield on Wednesday. But in Ivy League play, the Bulldogs had success. Last weekend Yale swept Princeton and split with Cornell to maintain its division lead. Yale is currently three full games ahead of Dartmouth, four ahead of Dartmouth, and five ahead of Brown.
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Chris Lanham and Chris Moates continue to dominate, earning themselves some attention in the process. Lanham (4-1), who was named Ivy League Co-Pitcher of the Week two weeks ago, put up another strong performance last Sunday in a no decision. Lanham threw 6 1/3 innings, giving up only one run on five hits.
Moates followed Lanham as the second consecutive Yale pitcher to win Ivy League Pitcher of the Week. In two appearances for 4 2/3 innings, he allowed no runs on three hits, striking out six to just one walk. He earned both a win and a save in that period. On the season, his 2.57 ERA in 21 innings is the best in the Bulldog bullpen.
Considering the effects of this weekend's series, it seems likely a split or better with Dartmouth would give Yale a very strong chance of taking the Red Rolfe. With twelve league games remaining, Dartmouth may be the only team capable of making a run at the Elis.
Green Campbell continued to inch closer to Jacob Hunter on the stat sheet, sitting three points behind Hunter with a .325 batting average. Campbell's .433 on-base percentage ranks first in all of the Ivy League. This week, he showed his power potential as well. His home run against Fairfield Wednesday was the Bulldogs' first at home this year.
Captain Cale Hanson has warmed up at the plate. After starting slowly, he has established himself as a key part of the lineup. Amongst qualified players on the team, his .278 average is fourth, 16 runs are second, and five doubles are third.
Unsurprisingly, the Yale pitching staff has carried the team so far. Across Ivy teams, Yale is tied for second in walks plus hits per inning (WHIP) with 1.20. Runners simply aren't reaching base very often.
Lanham (4-1) still holds a tie for the lead in wins across Ivy League pitchers. His conference ERA of 0.67 also tops the Ivy League.
Dartmouth's Jeff Keller is undoubtedly one of the league's most dangerous hitters. This past August, Keller was named Louisville Slugger/CollegeBaseballInsider.com Honorable Mention All-American. In addition, he was named Preseason Ivy League Player of the Year by both Baseball America and College Sports Madness. Keller has played to his expectations so far, leading his team in average (.310), on-base percentage (.398), and slugging percentage (.494).
As a team, Dartmouth has moderate power potential. Its .364 slugging percentage and 10 home runs are each good for third in the Ivy League. Nick Ruppert's four home runs lead the Big Green this season.
Dartmouth's weakness is its pitching staff. In Ivy League play, the team's 1.32 WHIP is second-to-last in the league. This has translated to more runs allowed, naturally. The team has allowed 3.75 earned runs per conference game, also second-to-last amongst its Ivy counterparts.
Duncan Robinson (4-1) shares the conference lead in wins with Lanham, but interestingly, his numbers have not looked particularly strong. Robinson, who relieved in seven of his nine appearances, has struck out 18 and walked 14, with a 5.40 ERA. Beau Sulser (1-3) leads the team in strikeouts, with 22, to just six walks.
Yale won one of its four games against Dartmouth last season. The Bulldogs couldn't get the bats going, scoring just four runs across the series and getting shut out twice. However, the pitching staff was able to keep things close, shutting Dartmouth out in a 2-0 victory for David Hickey and pushing one of the eventual losses to extra innings.
Jacob Hunter was huge in the series, going 6-for-7 in the Sunday doubleheader.
Last year, Yale found itself outside the playoff picture after the end of the Dartmouth set. This year, the Bulldogs look for redemption.
Report by Skylar Shibayama '16, Yale Sports Publicity