WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Junior left-hander Mitch Horacek did not allow an earned run over five innings while striking out a career-high eight hitters, and eight of the nine Dartmouth starters scored at least one run as the Big Green defeated Babson, 10-3, on Friday afternoon at Chain of Lakes Stadium in the RussMatt Invitational. Dartmouth improved to 10-1 on the season, while the Division III Beavers fell to 4-3.
Senior Chad Piersma, junior Dustin Selzer and sophomore Jay Graham each had two hits and two RBIs for the Big Green, which matched their best 11-game start to a season. Dartmouth started the 1958 and 1998 campaigns with identical 10-1 records.
Babson got on the board with an unearned run in the top of the first when Chris Kucher singled home Dillon Gonzalez, who had reached on an error.
The score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the third with sophomore Bo Patterson starting the inning with a single up the middle. Two outs later, Patterson was on second when junior Jeff Keller hit a grounder to short that was overthrown, allowing Patterson to come home and tie the score. Another error put runners at first and second, and Graham delivered an RBI single to give the Green a 2-1 lead.
Dartmouth blew the game open with seven runs in the fourth. Piersma led off with a single, took second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Patterson’s second single of the day. Following a fielder’s choice, Beaver starter Brody Loughlin walked the next two hitters to load the bases and Selzer poked a two-run single through the right side. Graham then ended Loughlin’s day with an RBI single, making it a 6-1 game.
The Beavers brought Bennett Deady in to pitch, and he induced a grounder but it was bobbled for an error to load the bases again. A passed ball allowed a run to score before Piersma ripped a two-run double to cap the outburst.
In the fifth, Keller stroked a single to score Patterson, who had been hit by a pitch, giving Dartmouth a 10-1 lead.
Horacek (3-0), meanwhile, was keeping the Babson hitters in check, although he allowed at least one base runner in each of his five innings on the hill. But none of the runners advanced past second base. The southpaw yielded just the one unearned run on three hits and three walks while fanning a season-high eight batters.
Loughlin (0-2) took the defeat having allowed eight runs, but only four earned, on seven hits and three walks in 3.2 innings. The four Beaver pitches issued eight walks and hit a batter, but did not get a single out on strikes.
Kucher was a perfect 5-for-5 for Babson, while the rest of the lineup managed just three hits.
Dartmouth was scheduled to play Bradley (9-10) later in the day, but were rained out in the bottom of the first. The game will not be made up, and the two teams will play once more on Saturday at 3 p.m. to conclude Dartmouth’s trip to Florida.