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Bulldogs Win Ivy League Championship

The Bulldogs won the Ivy League Championship on May 16, 2017.
The Bulldogs won the Ivy League Championship on May 16, 2017.

Yale captain Richard Slenker on winning the Ivy League title.


WEST HAVEN, Conn. --  The Yale baseball team compiled a 16-4 conference mark and led in the Ivy standings from start to finish, and on Tuesday, completed its mission of capturing the program's sixth conference title.

The Bulldogs, who won their second straight Red Rolfe Division title last month, swept Penn today to take the best-of-three Ivy League Championship series at Yale Field.  

Yale took the two games in fitting fashion, similar to many of their 30 wins in 2017.  Game one featured a dominant starting pitching performance, while the clincher showcased a barrage of hits and homers.    

As the Ivy League champion, the Bulldogs punched a ticket the NCAA Tournament. Their opponent and location will be announced by the NCAA on May 29 on ESPNU at noon.

Game One 

Yale's No. 1 starting pitcher Scott Politz delivered a stellar, complete-game-shutout performance to lead the Bulldogs to a 5-0 victory in the opener. 

After allowing a leadoff single and a walk to the next batter, Politz retired the next 15 batters.  In his nine innings, Politz allowed struck out five, allowed five hits and surrendered two walks.  

While Politz did his work on the mound, the offense did its part.  In the fourth, the Bulldogs broke through.

Harrison White led off the bottom of the fourth with a walk and Griffin Dey followed with a double to put two runners in scoring position.  Alex Stiegler came up next and lifted a ball to right to score White for the game's first run.

In the next inning, Yale pushed two more across the plate.  Tim DeGraw was hit by a pitch and Simon Whiteman drew a walk to start the inning.  

Richard Slenker, who went 4 for 8 on the day, singled to left to plate DeGraw.  After Wanger reached on a fielder's choice, White scored Slenker on a double to right center.  

Yale kept the pressure on Penn in the sixth with Steigler and Andrew Herrera with singles to begin the frame.  Dai Dai Otaka laid down a sac bunt to move both runners into scoring position.  Steigler scored on a wild pitch and Herrera scored later on a sac fly from DeGraw.  

Game Two

The Bulldogs exploded for 10 runs in the first three innings and went on to win 11-7. 

The first four batters in the starting lineup -- DeGraw, Whiteman, Slenker and Benny Wanger -- went 9 for 17, produced 10 runs batted in and scored seven runs.  

DeGraw, who now has 49 runs scored in 46 games, led off the game with a double and scored on an RBI single by Slenker.  Benny Wanger, who led the Ivy League in RBI, blasted a two-run homer down the right field line to give Yale a three-run first inning.

In the third inning, the Bulldogs again used the long ball.  DeGraw and Wanger both struck for three-run shots.  DeGraw's went to left field, while Wanger's second of the game went to dead center field, just to the right of the scoreboard in center to give Yale a 10-0.  

The Bulldogs have 37 homers in 46 games -- more than double the 18 total homers they had last year. 

Yale starter Eric Brodkowitz pitched into the sixth to earn his fifth win of the season.   Brodkowitz allowed three runs (two earned), struck out four and walked one.

Penn climbed back into the game with three runs in the fifth, two in the seventh and two more in the eighth.  Tyler Sapsford pitched a scoreless eighth, and Yale's closer Griffin Dey navigated through the ninth striking out the final batter before throwing his glove into the air to begin the team celebration.

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity