Thirty years later, it remains one of the most celebrated college baseball games ever played: Yale vs. St. John’s in an NCAA regional in New Haven.
Yale’s Ron Darling pitched 11 no-hit innings before St. John’s Steve Scafa singled in the 12th then stole second, third and home for the only run. The winning pitcher: Frank Viola.
That would have been enough, but the game further was immortalized when Roger Angell wrote about it in The New Yorker. He was in the stands, sitting beside another celebrated pitcher, Smoky Joe Wood, a Red Sox star in the 1912 World Series.
SNY has produced a feature on the May 21, 1981, game that includes video of key plays and interviews with Darling, Viola and Scafa. It premieres on “SportsNite’’ Wednesday after the Nationals-Mets postgame.
Viola is expected to call in during the game that night to recall that long-ago afternoon when he dueled his future Mets teammate.
Darling, now an SNY analyst, says in the piece, “When you think about what’s your greatest game, my greatest game is a game I lost.’’
Says Viola, now pitching coach for the Brooklyn Cyclones, “To this day, all the baseball I’ve seen in my whole lifetime, that was the single most dominating pitched game I ever have seen in person.''