NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Sunday at noon, Yale has the chance to top Dartmouth for the Red Rolfe title for the first time in nearly 20 years. The squads each finished with 11-9 Ivy League records, prompting the one-game playoff.
The game will make Yale history regardless of the outcome. Until now, Yale has never played in a divisional tiebreak game.
On the Lou Gehrig side of the conference, Penn and Columbia (each 15-5 in Ivy) also faced off in a one-game playoff. It is the first time that the Ivy League regular season finished with tiebreaks in both divisions.
Columbia took the game 4-0 to advance to the Ivy League Championship against either Yale or Dartmouth.
Yale's Chris Lanham will face off against Dartmouth's Beau Sulser. Given that the Ivy Championship won't be until the following weekend, all pitchers will likely be on the table for each team.
It's no surprise either pitcher got the nod for the most important game of the season. Lanham leads the Ivy League in wins, with a 7-1 record. His conference ERA of 1.05 also is the best in the Ancient Eight.
Sulser has started the most games for the Big Green with 8, but his numbers are far behind Lanham's. He is 3-4 on the year, with a 5.32 ERA. However, his strikeout to walk ratio is superb, with 32 and 8, respectively.
But the true top pitcher for Dartmouth has been Duncan Robinson, who has mostly come out of relief. His 1.29 conference ERA is third-best in the Ivy League, and his 4-1 conference record is also tied for first among Ivy pitchers. Robinson will likely enter the game first after Sulser.
Dartmouth has gotten hot just at the right time, winning the past seven games. Its last four, against Harvard, were crucial. Without that sweep, Yale would have taken the Red Rolfe Division outright.
Yale has won five of its last seven games – most of them by small margins. Three of those five were one-run games, and two were extra-innings.
The most important update for Yale is the return of Jacob Hunter. Hunter, who was injured at Columbia earlier in the year, is hitting .338 on the season, with a team-high slugging percentage of .500.
Report by Skylar Shibayama '16, Yale Sports Publicity