HANOVER, N.H. — In the first televised game at Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park, the Dartmouth Big Green gave the home crowd a crisp 1-0 victory over Cornell as freshman Trent Goodrich drew a walk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to end the scoreless tie. In the nightcap, the visiting Big Red (17-10, 5-3 Ivy) got a seven-inning shutout from left-hander Zach McCulley to defeat Dartmouth (17-5, 4-4 Ivy), 3-0, and salvage a split.
Fox College Sports aired the first game of the doubleheader and got quite the pitcher’s duel as Big Green left-hander Michael Johnson and Cornell right-hander Brian McAfee put zero after zero on the scoreboard. Johnson issued a two-out walk in the first, then retired the next 11 batters before Tom D’Alessandro stroked a single for the Big Red’s first hit.
Johnson surrendered just one more hit in his eight innings of work, allowing just two singles and two walks — and never more than one base runner in an inning — while striking out five. The Massachusetts native threw 107 pitches on the afternoon with 73 for strikes.
McAfee, meanwhile, had to squirm a bit to keep the Big Green from scoring. Dartmouth led off its half of the first with a single by sophomore Matt Parisi, who made it to third before being stranded. In the third, sophomore Matt MacDowell stroked a leadoff double, yet went no further than second base. A walk to junior Dustin Selzer and a single by junior Jeff Keller gave the Green two base runners with one out in the fourth, but a double-play grounder brought the inning to an end.
Dartmouth even had three singles in the seventh, but McAfee got a soft liner to D’Alessandro at short that allowed him to double off the runner at first.
McAfee finished his day having thrown 90 pitches over seven innings, allowing six hits and one walk with a pair of punchouts.
Left-hander reliever Michael Byrne came on to start the eighth and nearly gave up the go-ahead run with two outs. Sophomore Bo Patterson pushed a bunt for a single, then stole second and tried to score on an infield hit by senior Ennis Coble. But the Big Red defense was alert and gunned him down at the plate, preserving the scoreless tie.
In the ninth, Dartmouth turned to sophomore closer Thomas Olson (1-0), who retired the side in order thanks to some help from Selzer at first who made a diving stop down the line for the third out.
The game appeared to be headed for extra innings when Byrne quickly got the first two outs in the bottom half of the frame, but freshman Joe Purritano worked him for a walk and went to second on an infield hit by sophomore Nick Lombardi. Byrne (1-2) then failed to throw another strike, walking MacDowell on four pitches and Goodrich as well to force in the winning run.
The Big Green had nine hits in the game with eight of the nine starters collecting at least one, while Cornell had just two singles.
In the second game, the Big Red quickly ended their offensive futility by scoring twice in the top of the first against junior southpaw Mitch Horacek. J.D Whetsel singled with one out and came all the way around to score on Matt Hall’s double to right-center. One out later, Ryan Plantier lined a single to center to plate Hall and put Cornell up, 2-0.
The Dartmouth defense kept another run from scoring in the second when Eliot Lowell tried to score from second with two outs on a sinking liner to right. Keller dove in an attempt to catch the ball, but was only able to smother it to keep it in front of him. He quickly recovered and fired a strike to the plate to easily gun down Lowell.
It didn’t matter, however, as McCulley was stifling the Big Green bats. Dartmouth’s best scoring opportunity came in the second when Lombardi and Purritano hit consecutive one-out singles. McCulley managed to get the last two outs on strikes to squelch the uprising.
Patterson bunted for a single in the third and Lombardi had another single in the fourth, but neither got far on the bases. McCulley retired the last 10 batters of the game to hand Dartmouth its first shutout at home in nearly six years. He allowed just four singles and did not walk a batter while fanning five to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Horacek (4-1) suffered his first loss of the year, yielding two runs on seven hits over five frames, walking two and striking out six. Cornell tacked on an insurance run in the sixth off of freshman reliever Michael Danielak on a Kevin Tatum two-out single to score Plantier who had doubled. Danielak surrendered just the one run in two innings but struck out four as well.
Dartmouth returns to action on Tuesday when it hosts Boston College (5-25) at 3 p.m. Cornell returns to Ithaca to square off against Binghamton (14-11) on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Notes: Keller had his 11-game hitting streak snapped in the second game of the twinbill … Johnson lowered his ERA to 1.57 for the season with opponents hitting just .172 against him … the last team to shutout Dartmouth in Hanover was Harvard by a 4-0 score on April 28, 2007, a span of 87 games.