Columbia clinches ILCS in 15-inning marathon

Courtesy Steve Musco

For the second straight day, a Yale pitcher threw a gem against the Ivy League’s best offense. But also for the second consecutive game, Yale’s batters struggled to score enough runs to reward its pitchers.

The Elis lost the second game of the best-of-three Ivy League Championship Series against Columbia 2–1 after a 4–0 loss in Tuesday’s series opener. The Lions clinched the ILCS title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament in the 15-inning affair, the longest game that both teams have played all year.

Yale scored its lone run of the game — and of the entire ILCS — in the first inning. The Bulldogs played effective small ball to start the game, with center fielder Teddy Hague ’21 hitting a single to begin the inning. Shortstop Simon Whiteman ’19 advanced Hague to third with a single of his own, and first baseman Benny Wanger ’19 hit a deep ball to center field that allowed Hague to tag up and score.

But the Bulldog bats would go quiet for the remainder of the game, recording just six more hits over the next 14 innings.

Columbia leveled the score in the second frame, when catcher Lane Robinette homered to left field. The deep ball did not rattle Yale pitcher Eric Brodkowitz ’18, who did not give up another run. In the final outing of his collegiate career, the senior went seven innings deep and left the mound with the game tied at one.

Yale’s best chances to score continued to come from its rookies. Hague doubled in the third, but the Bulldogs could not bring him home. In the fifth, left fielder Harry Hegeman ’21 advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Hague, but Yale once again left one of its first years stranded on the bases.

Columbia’s bullpen silenced the already stagnant Yale offense in the late stretches of the game. Ty Weist entered the contest in the eighth, and held Yale to just one hit over the next six innings. Similarly, Yale received five innings of scoreless relief from Wanger, who finished his junior year have pitched 24 innings in the Ivy League without giving up a run.

The game-winning run came in the 15th inning. Lion centerfielder Ben Porter doubled to start the frame. Columbia advanced Porter to third on a groundout and then shortshop Joe Engel flied out to center field to bring Porter home and bring the ILCS title back to Manhattan.