The Yale baseball team saw its NCAA Tournament hopes take a major hit as the Bulldogs (22–20, 15–6 Ivy) suffered a 4–0 loss to Columbia in the Game One of the 2018 Ivy League Championship Series. The Lions (19–27, 13–8), one of two Ancient Eight teams to win a series against the Elis this year, exploded for four runs in the seventh and eighth innings to hand the 2018 Ivy regular-season champions a loss to begin the series.
Offense was hard to come by in the early stages of Tuesday’s first game of the Ivy Championship doubleheader hosted at Yale Field. Pitchers Scott Politz ’19 of Yale and Harrisen Egly of Columbia allowed a combined eight hits and zero runs through the first six innings as the two teams headed into the seventh inning locked in a scoreless tie.
The Lions finally broke the deadlock in the top of the seventh after Ben Porter tripled to right center to score Jack Chernow from first base with two outs. Although outfielder Brian Ronai ’20, who was in for an injured Time DeGraw ’19, made a diving attempt to get the out, Porter’s hit evaded his glove to give the Lions a 1–0 lead. Despite the runner in scoring position, Politz struck out the next batter to limit the damage to just one run.
After Yale failed to answer in the bottom half of the frame, Columbia continued to pile on Politz in the eighth as RBI singles from Julian Bury and Lane Robinette put the Bulldogs in a three-run deficit. The late-game offensive outburst from the Light Blue prompted head coach John Stuper to take out Politz in favor of closer Bobby Cecere ’20. Nevertheless, the Lions tacked on another run on a sacrifice fly from Chernow to head into the bottom of the eighth ahead 4–0.
Egly finally came off the mound in the eighth but Columbia closer Ty Wiest retired the first three batters he faced to preserve his team’s four-run cushion as Yale moved to the ninth down to its final three outs. However, it was more of the same for the home squad as three straight outs at the plate gave the Lions the 4–0 victory in the series opener.
Despite the series deficit, hope is not lost for the Bulldogs. In two of the last three Ivy League Championship Series, the winner of game one has ultimately lost the series.
Game two will be played at Yale Field at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday.