By Joel Alderman
The football season is rolling along, and baseball (except for the major league playoffs and some instructional leagues) is virtually over. But here in New Haven, the collegiate version of the diamond game took a last gasp Sunday at Yale Field. The annual City Series wound up, and the host team, Yale, gained the championship with a 6-0 shutout over Quinnipiac.
Along with the University of New Haven and Southern Connecticut, the four schools have staged the event for over 40 years, even before Ron Darling played in it as a Yale freshman in 1971.
Originally, they played the series in the spring, and the games were part of the official records. But scheduling problems caused it to switch to October, as a culmination of fall practice. However, these games are not scrimmages, but played with all the trappings and intensity of regular season contests.
As usual, at the historic ballpark on Derby Avenue across from the Yale Bowl, the big scoreboard in center field was in operation and the public address system was going. There was even food and beverage service available near the entrance. The attendance was moderate, but no worse than the colleges draw in springtime. Those who were there, however, seemed really into it.
In the first round on Friday, Yale defeated New Haven, 4-3, under the lights, after Quinnipiac won over Southern, 4-2. The Owls were the defending champion.
The third place and championship games were rained out on Saturday, then played under ideal October conditions the next day. It was probably just as well, since they would have been going on at the same time as the Dartmouth-Yale football game across the street.
After the New Haven Chargers defeated Southern for third place in the opener on Sunday, three Yale pitchers, Chasen Ford and two freshmen, Eric Brodkowitz and Drew Scott, pitched the shutout over the Bobcats. Scott struck out the side in the ninth.
Yale’s big inning was the third when the Bulldogs scored five runs, bunting six times off Bobcats’ hard luck pitcher, Joe Scaglione. The Bobcats committed three errors in that inning, and Yale capitalized on them.
David Toups, the Bulldogs’ captain, was named the City Series MVP.
“We played really well today,” said Yale coach John Stuper. “We played some small-ball, tested the defense a little bit, forced the action, and our pitchers were absolutely tremendous.”