Princeton, New Jersey – What has been a remarkable season for the Yale baseball team came to a close on Sunday.
Despite a slow start to the year and a roster filled with youth, the Bulldogs battled and reached their first Ivy League Championship Series since 1995. Yale fell 2-1 to Princeton on Sunday at Clarke Field in a decisive Game 3 of the series.
Highlighted by a brilliant pitching performance by right-hander Eric Brodkowitz, Yale (19-28-1) held a 1-0 entering the bottom of the ninth against the Tigers. But Princeton scored two runs against the Bulldogs’ bullpen to stun Yale in the final frame.
Brodkowitz made his first start of the season on Sunday. He had been rehabbing an injury for most of the year. He rose to the occasion, tossing 6 2/3 scoreless innings with four hits, six strikeouts and one walk. The sophomore struck out the first three Princeton batters and retired eight straight during one stretch. The defense made play after play behind him.
Nate Adams led off the decisive Game 3 with a double down the right field line for Yale. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Simon Whiteman and then scored on Richard Slenker’s double to right field to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
Adams went 3-for-4 with a double and a triple. Slenker went 2-for-4 with an RBI and finished with nine hits in his final 15 at-bats of the season.
The Bulldogs won a dramatic Game 1 on Saturday to open the series. Slenker came through with a two-run single in the ninth, lifting Yale to an 8-7 victory. Brodkowitz earned the save in his season debut.
Facing one of the league’s top pitchers in Chad Powers, Yale fell 6-2 in Game 2 on Sunday. Tom O’Neill broke up a shutout in the third for Yale. The senior blasted a home run to left field, cutting the Bulldogs deficit to 5-1. The Bulldogs tacked on their final run in the sixth. With two outs, Whiteman ripped a double to the gap in left-center field and then scored on Slenker’s single to make it a 6-2 Yale deficit.
Whiteman had two hits in Sunday’s opener for the Bulldogs. Alec Hoeschel and Alex Herrera, who caught all three games of the series, each added hits for Yale. Griffin Dey was strong in relief and kept the Bulldogs within striking distance, allowing no runs and just three hits over four innings.
The Bulldogs won their first Red Rolfe Division title since 1995 to advance to the Ivy League Championship Series.
With a ton of underclassmen returning, including five freshmen who saw significant playing time this season, the future bodes well for Yale baseball.
Filed by Chris Hunn, Yale Sports Publicity.