Yale Faces Harvard in Pivotal Series
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale (14-18, 6-6 Ivy) defends its lead atop the Red Rolfe Division this weekend, taking on Harvard (9-21, 4-8) at home. Yale is one game ahead of Dartmouth, and two in front of Harvard.
Saturday's doubleheader will begin at 1:00 P.M. EDT, and Sunday's will begin at 12:00 P.M. EDT.
Yale comes into the weekend hot off a mid-week win over Sacred Heart. Derek Brown and Cale Hanson had three hits apiece, as Green Campbell earned the win on the mound. Last weekend, Yale saw its three-game division lead drop to one, as Dartmouth took three of four games.
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Yale's pattern this season has been winning the close games. Within the Ivy League, Yale's has won games by an average of 3.0 runs, and lost by an average of 4.33 runs. More often than not, relief pitchers Hanson and Chris Moates have helped Yale win those close games. Hanson's four saves are tied for the Ivy League lead, while Moates has earned two of his own. Each has also won a game this season.
Chris Lanham continues to dominate the Ivy League, tied for the lead in wins (5-1), and leading in conference ERA (0.44). Last week Lanham was the first Yale player to become the College Sports Madness Ivy League Player of the Week. He was also named Ivy League Co-Pitcher of the Week.
After a breakout performance last Saturday at Dartmouth, Robert Baldwin finds himself among the Bulldogs' most accomplished hitters this season. Baldwin leads qualified hitters in batting average (.326), slugging percentage (.478), and home runs (2).
Freshman Richard Slenker has solidified his role, starting in 26 of the Bulldogs' 32 games. He is second on the team in batting average (.319) and slugging percentage (.389), and third on the team in on-base percentage (.402).
This week, Harvard made up its postponed series with Princeton, splitting the series on Wednesday. Over the weekend, the Crimson also split with Brown in a four-game set. Harvard has not won an Ivy League series this year. A Yale sweep this weekend would put the Crimson out of playoff contention.
At the plate, Harvard is led by senior Carlton Bailey. Bailey leads the team in batting average (.317) and on-base percentage (.385), and is second on the team in slugging percentage (.378). Mike Martin has been a common denominator in the Crimson scoring this season. He gets on base frequently (.359 OBP - third on the team), is a solid baserunner (12 stolen bases - first on the team), and scores often (20 runs - first on the team).
Harvard's two season home runs are last in the Ivy League behind Yale's four. This weekend, expect a lot of small-ball. Harvard's 32 steals and Yale's 29 rank third and fourth in the Ivy League, respectively.
Even with Red Rolfe contenders Yale and Dartmouth left on its schedule, Harvard still has allowed the most Ivy League runs, with 6.08 per game. Crimson pitchers have been wild - 40 conference walks is tied for last in the conference.
Sam Dodge has gotten the most work for Harvard, starting a team-high nine games, including four complete games. He has posted a 4.89 ERA, with a 2-7 record. His 7.25 strikeouts per game leads the team. Senior Jordan Haviland has come out of the bullpen for Harvard's only two saves this year, and has a 7.25 ERA in a team-high 15 appearances.
Yale split with Harvard last year, winning two games of the four-game series.
Harvard was strikes away from a Saturday sweep, but David Toups came up clutch with a game-tying RBI double in the ninth inning. Yale went on to win that game 7-3.
In the Sunday series, Yale Head Coach John Stuper earned his 400th career win. Ben Joseph earned the win on the mound coming out of relief, and Hanson saved the game to win 5-2.
Report by Skylar Shibayama '16, Yale Sports Publicity