The Game: Dartmouth (12-15) at Hartford (9-25)
Locations: Fiondella Field (1,000), West Hartford, Conn.
First pitch: 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 18
Series Record vs. Hartford: Big Green lead, 7-4
Live Video via HartfordHawks.com
Complete Game Notes
1,800 Wins And Counting
In the last game at Brown on April 15, Dartmouth won the 1,800th game in the program’s history, 121 coming in the last five years alone, the most ever in any five-year span for the Big Green. Dartmouth will go for 1,801 when it finishes a five-game road trip at Hartford on Wednesday, a team it has beaten in the last three meetings. The game is scheduled to be streamed live on the Hawks website, HartfordHawks.com.
Last Week in Review
• Dartmouth began last week by finishing off a six-game homestand with a 4-2 win over Holy Cross, the 17th straight home victory over a non-conference opponent.
• In the four-game series at Brown, the Big Green briefly fell back into a tie for first in the Rolfe Division when it lost the first game in eight innings, 4-3. It was their first extra-inning game in over a year and ended a six-game win streak in extras dating back to 2009.
• Trailing 5-2 in the seventh stanza of game two, the Dartmouth bats awoke to rally for a 9-5 triumph with senior Joe Sclafani and sophomore Dustin Selzer mashing home runs.
• Sunday saw the Green sweep the Bears, 12-1 behind the pitching of junior Kyle Hunter, and 9-5 thanks to junior Chris O’Dowd’s tie-breaking, three-run bomb in the eighth.
Last Time Against the Hawks
These two teams met twice last year, as they will again in 2012. Dartmouth came out on top in both games, 7-1 in Hanover and 13-1 in West Hartford. Jake Pruner started the first game, his first appearance in three years, and tossed two innings while yielding the one run. With the score tied in the fifth, the Big Green exploded for five runs thanks to a pair of doubles and triples. In the return trip, just days before the Ivy Championship Series, Max Langford got the win on the mound in his only start of the year, allowing just one unearned run in five innings. gave Dartmouth the lead with a two-run double in the second, and Ennis Coble and Brandon Parks each blasted four-baggers in the rout. Coble finished the day with four hits while Parks drove in a career-high four runs.
Overall Record vs. Hartford
• Dartmouth has played the Hawks 11 times, all since 1986, with the Big Green leading the series, 7-4.
• The first five games were played between 1986-88 with Dartmouth taking the first three and Hartford the next two. The only game between 1988 and 2006 was a Hawk victory in 1996.
• Since reviving the series in 2006, the Big Green have won four of five, including the last three by a combined score of 33-7.
Scouting the Hawks
• Under first-year head coach Justin Blood, Hartford has already won 50 percent more games this year than last and is coming off an 11-5 victory over Quinnipiac on Tuesday.
• The Hawks are hitting .260 as a team with just two players above .300. Catcher James Alfonso leads the team at .330 with 10 doubles and 23 runs scored, while third baseman Simon Kudernatsch is hitting .309 with a team-best three homers and 24 RBIs. Kudernatsch has missed the past two games, however.
• The pitching staff sports an ERA of exactly 6.00 with three conference starters all between four and five. The problem has been control as Hartford has nearly as many walks and hit batters as innings pitched for the season.
• Defensively the Hawks aren’t doing themselves any favors with 59 errors. Opposing base stealers have run wild as well, stealing 73 bases in 92 attempts on the year.
Probable Starting Pitchers
• The most likely candidate to start for Dartmouth is sophomore RHP Louis Concato (2-1, 4.62), the only right-hander to start a game for the Green this year. He has pitched well of late, earning victories in two of his last three appearances, one of which was a two-inning relief stint in the final game at Brown.
• Due to a few injuries on the mound, it’s hard to make a guess as to who will start for the Hawks. So I’m going with a complete stab in the dark and anointing freshman LHP Austin Barnes (1-2, 6.98) as the starter. It would be his first collegiate start following 14 relief appearances.
What’s Up Next
The Big Green return home to Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park to host Yale for a four-game Ivy League series. All four games will be streamed live — audio and video — on the official website of Dartmouth athletics, DartmouthSports.com.
O’Dowd Breaks Out
This has been a trying season for junior catcher Chris O’Dowd. Entering the season with a .353 career batting average, the switch-hitter was hitting just .197 entering the Brown series in mid-April. Providence intervened, however, as O’Dowd went 5-for-12 (.417) in the four games, with his last at-bat being the biggest as he belted a three-run blast to break a 5-all deadlock. The round-tripper was his first of the season and 14th of his career, which puts him in a tie for 12th all-time at Dartmouth. In addition, he was named the Ivy Player of the Week by CollegeSportsMadness.com.
Sclafani Breaks Ivy Record
Trailing 4-1 in the fifth inning of the final game at Brown, senior tied the game when he ripped a two-run triple and scored on a throwing error back to the infield. The three-bagger was the 19th of his career, breaking the Ivy League record held by Cornell’s Erik Rico (1999-2002). Sclafani also ranks among the top 12 in the league annals in career runs (153, 3rd), hits (207, 9th), total bases (316, 11th) and walks (89, 12th).
Hunter Back on Track
Since posting a solid start in the season opener at then-13th-ranked LSU, junior had struggled on the mound. But hopefully his complete game, 12-1 win at Brown signals he is dialed in for the stretch run of the season. In his seven innings, the lefty gave up the one run on six hits and one walk while fanning four, lowering his ERA from 8.69 to 7.25 on the year and 4.44 for his career.
Odd Stat Line
In that 12-1 win at Brown on April 15, senior turned in the most intriguing stat lines of the season for Dartmouth — 0-3-0-1. That is, no at-bats, three runs, no hits and one RBI. The shortstop drew a career-high four walks — one with the bases loaded — and was hit by a pitch in his five trips to the plate. The four walks were among the 10 the Big Green were issued in the game, one shy of the season high of 11 from the 11-2 win over Penn the previous weekend.
Late Rallies at Brown
Until the weekend at Brown, Dartmouth had not won a game all season in which it either trailed or was tied after seven innings. That changed when the Big Green, down 5-4 in the eighth, got a solo homer by sophomore to tie the game, then scored four more runs in the inning for a 9-5 victory on April 14, earning a twinbill split that day. The very next day, Dartmouth turned a 5-5 ball game into a 9-5 win thanks to O’Dowd’s three-run bomb.
Another Streak Still Alive
Dartmouth may not have the nation’s longest home winning streak any more after suffering a 4-3 loss to Columbia on April 8, but the Big Green extended its dominance over non-conference opponents at Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park with a 4-2 win over Holy Cross on April 11. Since the team began playing at the renovated park in 2009, Dartmouth has not lost a single game to a team outside of the Ivy League, spanning 17 games.
East Coast Bias
• Since returning from California, the pitching staff has been terrific, posting a 3.36 team ERA over the 15 games with 81 strikeouts in 120.2 innings.
• Freshman Adam Frank is 3-0 in his four starts with a 3.20 ERA, holding the opposition to a feeble .219 batting average.
• Out of the bullpen, the relievers have a 1.57 ERA, and senior has allowed one run in 11.1 innings with 11 strikeouts. He picked up his first career save on April 8, tossing three innings of one-hit ball against Columbia, then earned a wins against Holy Cross on April 11 and Brown three days later.
• At the plate, the Big Green have scored 6.3 runs per game while batting .294 with senior leading the way at a cool .400 (22-of-55).
• Sclafani also boasts the top batting average (.429), on-base percentage (.547) and slugging percentage (.810) in conference games