Ravens Win Northern Division, Finalize Playoff Plans

August 28, 2003 - Eastern League (EL1)
New Haven Ravens News Release

For the first time in their ten-year history, the New Haven Ravens have won the Eastern League's Northern Division! They clinched first place in dramatic fashion on August 27, beating the Boston Red Sox affiliate Portland Sea Dogs 10-1 at historic Yale Field. A three-run homerun by Danny Solano in the third broke open a 4-0 game, and lefthander Dave Gassner cruised to his tenth win of the season with six strong innings. Outfielder Alexis Rios solidified his lead in the Eastern League batting race with a 3-for-5 effort as the Ravens finalized their playoff plans -- they will host games one, two and five (if necessary) of the Northern Division Playoffs starting September 3 (see next article for details).

Playoff Schedule Finalized

The Ravens, through a sponsorship with A-1 Toyota New Haven Savings Bank, and WTNH, have announced that any and all 2003 playoff games at Yale Field will feature FREE ADMISSION! Tickets must be picked up in person at the Ravens box office (Yale Field, 252 Derby Avenue, West Haven, CT) and are limited to four tickets per person per game. As of August 28, the Ravens would face the New Britain Rock Cats, Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, in the Northern Division Championship series, a best-of-five according to the following schedule:

Wednesday, September 3 at New Haven, 6:35

Thursday, September 4 at New Haven, 6:35

Friday, September 5 at Second Place Team

Saturday, September 6 at Second Place Team (if necessary)

Sunday, September 7 at New Haven, 4:05 (if necessary)

As the Ravens did not know what place they would finish in when tickets were printed, tickets were available for all five games of the Northern Division Championship Series, even though the Ravens will host no more than three games. Dates are also subject to change due to rainouts, so tickets will be honored based on the SERIES GAME # that is printed on the ticket -- game one tickets for game one, game two tickets for game two, etc.

If the Ravens win the Northern Division Championship Series, they would advance to the best-of-five Eastern League Championship Series. The Eastern League Championship games would be held on Tuesday September 9 (6:35) and Wednesday September 10 (6:35) at historic Yale Field (subject to change due to rainouts). Games three, four and five will be hosted by the Southern Division winner.

Ex-Ravens Switch Places

Former Ravens righthander Mike Crudale was dealt by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Milwaukee Brewers on August 27. Crudale was one of two players to be named later in the deal for another former Raven, righthander Mike DeJean. Crudale, 26, was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. He went 5-5 with six saves and a 5.52 ERA in 32 appearances with Triple-A Mempis this season. He had two stints with the Cardinals this season, posting an 0-1 record with a 1.64 ERA in 12 appearances. He made 49 appearances, including one start, with the Cardinals last season and went 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA. He was 1-0 with a 1.84 ERA in 13 outings with Memphis. The second player to be named later will be announced no later than September 15, and interestingly enough another former Raven righthander -- Josh Pearce -- has been rumored to be that player.

New Haven Register Names All-Time Team

A team ten years in the making ... the New Haven Register unveiled its "All-Time New Haven Ravens Team" last Sunday! The team includes current Ravens catcher Guillermo Quiroz and outfielder Alexis Rios along with legends such as Todd Helton.

Merchandise Clearance Continues

The New Haven Ravens have reduced prices on many merchandise items. Some of the most popular items are now available only in limited quantities. Don't miss out on your chance to grab a piece of Ravens memorabilia! Click on the link below to visit the Ravens' on-line store, or call Director of Merchandise Kristian Velez at 203-782-1666 x.12.

What's Behind the Upswing in Attendance?

With Saturday night's sellout crowd of 6,246 and the long lines all weekend for FREE PLAYOFF tickets, fans have been asking: are people making one last-ditch effort to show how much they've appreciated the Ravens and don't want to see them go? This Thursday's last regular season game is shaping up to be a sell out as well, which will bring this season's sellout total to three -- three more than last year.

GM Adam Schierholz wants to know what you think is behind the big crowds. Tell us by taking part in our survey, where you can choose from five options:

Just a fluke;

Fans are realizing what they had and are showing they don't want the team to go;

The weather has just been nice, and there have been a lot of promotions/value associated with these events, that's why they've been well-attended;

Ravens games are run better than they have been in years and the added features and improvements at the park (roof renovation, All Star Alley baseballs in concourse, closed circuit tv at concession stands) have led to this re-awakening;

Sam Rubin's book Baseball in New Haven is bringing out the fans

Rios Recognized

Folks that follow the Toronto Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate, the Syracuse SkyChiefs, are keeping an eye on some of the prospects developing in New Haven. Outfielder Alexis Rios was recently profiled in the Syracuse Post-Standard, where it was noted that he "could join [Vernon] Wells in the Toronto outfield in 2005 after spending next season with the Triple-A Syracuse SkyChiefs."

Ultimate Yard Sale September 13-15

Everything Must Go at the Ravens' Ultimate Yard Sale -- cash & carry -- Saturday September 13, Sunday September 14 and Monday September 15 (9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at Historic Yale Field). Get your piece of Ravens history or stock up with great deals on merchandise & apparel, office furniture, computer equipment, grounds crew equipment, sound equipment, concessions equipment (limited) and more.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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