|Notes | Stats | Twitter||Notes | Stats | Twitter|
|March 3 • 7 p.m.
TV: ACC Network Extra | Live Stats
|RHP (1-0, 0.00)||RHP Jesse Lepore (1-1, 0.75)|
|March 4 • 7 p.m.
TV: ACC Network Extra | Live Stats
|RHP Cole O’Connor (0-0, 3.60)||LHP Jeb Bargfeldt (1-1, 2.31)|
|March 5 • 12 p.m.
TV: ACC Network Extra | Live Stats
|RHP (1-0, 0.00)||LHP Michael Mediavilla (0-2, 7.36)|
Dartmouth heads back to the Sunshine State this weekend for a three-game series against the Hurricanes of Miami. The last time the Big Green set foot in Coral Gables was for the 2010 NCAA Regional, losing to the 11th-ranked hosts, 12-8, before knocking off Florida International, 15-9, then bowing out to No. 20 Texas A&M, 4-3.
Last Week in Review
• At the Snowbird Classic, the Dartmouth bats enjoyed the warm weather, hitting a robust .377 and averaging 9.3 runs in beating Eastern Michigan and splitting two games with St. Bonaventure.
• Sophomore Matt Feinstein led the offense with nine hits, a pair of doubles and six RBIs, while senior Michael Ketchmark also swatted a pair of two-baggers as well as a triple in slugging .769.
• Although the weekly league awards don’t begin until after this weekend, Feinstein earned Ivy League Player of the Week honors from College Sports Madness.
• The last time the Big Green opened the season with at least 28 runs in their first three games was in 2004 (29). That team went on to go 25-17 overall and 15-5 in the Ivy League.
• Last year it took Dartmouth 10 games to score 28 runs, totaling just two in the first four contests.
• The Big Green drew a dozen walks as a team in the opener against Eastern Michigan, its most since taking a free base 13 times versus Hartford on May 1, 2013.
• The three rookies that came to the plate — Trevor Johnson, Blake Crossing and Michael Calamari — all picked up their first collegiate hit over the first weekend of action.
• While the offense got the press, the pitching had its fair share of success with seniors Beau Sulser and Michael Danielak each tossing five innings without an earned run and a total of 14 strikeouts.
• Both senior Chris Burkholder and junior Jack Fossand earned saves — the fifth of the former’s career, first of the latter’s — by closing out the victories with three innings of work.
• The defense was generally solid, but five errors did lead to five unearned runs, two of which came in the 8-7 loss to the Bonnies.
Overall Record vs. Miami
• Dartmouth is 1-3 all-time against the Hurricanes, winning the initial meeting, 6-5, on March 24, 2000, to open a three-game series in Coral Gables.
• The last trip to Miami came in 2010 for the NCAA Regional. The host school jumped out to an 11-0 lead through four innings, then had to fend off the Big Green in a 12-8 final.
• Dartmouth has played current ACC schools a number of times over the years, posting a 57-116-1 record against them. The most frequent opponents have been Boston College (29-39) and N.C. State (11-41-1). The only schools in the conference the Green have not played are Clemson, Louisville and Pittsburgh.
Scouting the Hurricanes
• Miami opened the season ranked as high as 17th in the major polls a year after advancing to the College World Series.
• After opening with two wins over Rutgers, the Hurricanes lost four straight (the last three at second-ranked Florida), but defeated Florida Atlantic on Wednesday, 5-2.
• The slash line for the team is just .181/.295/.273, against thanks to the vaunted Gator staff, but Michael Amditis is hitting .357 and Romy Gonzalez has supplied most of the power with three of Miami’s four home runs.
• The pitching staff has posted a 3.90 ERA that was blown out of proportion in a 17-6 loss to Rutgers. In 60 innings, Hurricane pitchers have struck out 47 but walked 31.
Probable Starting Pitchers
• Dartmouth is set to stick with its rotation from the opening weekend, starting with senior RHP Beau Sulser (1-0, 0.00) who struck out eight in five innings of work against Eastern Michigan. Sophomore RHP Cole O’Connor (0-0, 3.60) will take the mound for game two in search of his first career victory in his 10th start, while senior RHP Michael Danielak (1-0, 0.00) will look to build upon his five shutout innings with six punchouts versus St. Bonaventure in the Sunday matinee.
• Miami will also go with its three-man rotation with RHP Jesse Lepore (1-1, 0.75), who has held opponents to a .190 average while striking out 13 in 12.0 innings. On Saturday, Dartmouth will face its first left-hander of the year in LHP Jeb Bargfeldt (1-1, 2.31). He has allowed just eight hits in 11.2 innings, but three of those are home runs. Wrapping up the weekend will be LHP Michael Mediavilla (0-2, 7.36), who has not pitched past the fourth inning in two starts.
What’s Up Next
The Dartmouth players get a short break from baseball to take final exams for the winter term (Dartmouth is on a quarter system). Following that, the Big Green will play 10 games over their spring break, starting with four against The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.
It is not unusual for Dartmouth to square off against a ranked opponent during a season. These three games with Miami mark the seventh year in the last nine the Big Green have gone up against at least one team in the national rankings. Though Dartmouth is just 2-25 against ranked teams in that span, five of those losses were by one run, including a 12-inning heartbreaker last year at top-ranked Florida. The last ranked team the Green toppled was No. 18 Kansas in 2014.
Offensive Start to the Season
What a difference a season makes. Last year, Dartmouth struggled mightily at the dish to start the year, scoring just two runs in its first four games. This year, the Big Green bats came out blazing with 28 runs in the first three games while hitting .377/.490/.456. Both Matt Feinstein and Michael Ketchmark had multi-hit games in each of the three contests as each reached base 10 times apiece as the Big Green won two of their first three games for just the second time in the last dozen seasons (2013 squad won its first eight).
Dartmouth defeated St. Bonaventure in its final game at the Snowbird Classic, 13-1. Over the last two years the Big Green had scored 10 or more runs in a game just three times, and had not done so at all against a Division I non-conference foe since beating Nebraska Omaha, 10-3, on March 19, 2014.
Both Matt Feinstein and Dustin Shirley collected four hits in the 13-1 win over St. Bonaventure, a total attained just four times throughout the entire 2016 season by any Big Green hitter. Coincidentally, both Shirley and Feinstein were among the four to do so last year as well with the former even posting a five-hit game.
Feinstein a Fast Starter
Sophomore Matt Feinstein has proven himself to be a fast starter in his young career. As a rookie last year, he had five multi-hit games out of his first six in starting the year with a .520 average (13-for-25). This year he has nine hits in his first 16 at-bats (.563) and looking for more this weekend. He also had three RBIs in each of the last two contests last weekend; he had two in over 100 plate appearances as a freshman last year.
Speaking of Starters ...
The pitching staff proved to be ready for the 2017 season out of the gate as well, posting a 2.67 ERA in the first three games. The starting rotation was particularly effective as Beau Sulser, Cole O’Connor and Michael Danielak each threw five innings while recording a combined ERA of 1.20, striking out 16 and walking just two.
Big Green Bits
• Michael Danielak needs to punch out seven batters to reach 100 strikeouts for his career.
• Dartmouth assistant coach Jonathan Anderson, who played collegiately for Duke from 2004-07, is returning to his hometown for this series.
• Jack Fossand earned his first collegiate save in the 13-1 win by hurling the final three frames.
• Chris Burkholder also had a three-inning save, his coming in the 8-4 season-opening win over Eastern Michigan.
• Thanks to three sacrifice flies and no walks, junior Dustin Shirley has an OBP (.357) 63 points lower than his batting average (.294).
The Favorite in Rolfe Division
After losing the divisional playoff game at Yale last year, Dartmouth has been pegged by D1Baseball.com to return to the top of the heap of the Rolfe Division in 2017. The Big Green have won the division 11 times in the last 17 years, including eight in a row from 2008-15.
Big Green Are Road Warriors ...
As is custom for Dartmouth, it will begin the season on the road for an extended period. The first 22 games are scheduled to be played away from Hanover with the home opener slated for April 8 when Princeton comes to town for an Ivy League doubleheader at Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park.
... But Love the Homestead
Dartmouth enters the 2017 season with a 91-26 record (.778) at its home venue, Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park, one of the best home records over the past eight seasons. Last year the Big Green were just 7-7 in the games they hosted. Only once since 2000 has Dartmouth failed to win at least half of its home contests — 1-4 in 2007 when weather forced most of the games to be moved to another site.
For just the sixth time in his 28 years at the helm of the Big Green, head coach Bob Whalen has a solo captain leading the squad. Senior first baseman Michael Ketchmark was pegged for the role after leading Dartmouth with five home runs and 28 RBIs last year.
While it’s not unusual for there to be one fifth-year senior on the team, this year there are no less than three providing extra veteran leadership. Right-handers Michael Danielak and Beau Sulser, as well as catcher Adam Gauthier, are all wrapping up their Big Green careers after playing as freshmen in 2013. Of the three, only Gauthier has actually played in each of the past four seasons, but a medical red-shirt allowed him to take the field for one more season.
Not Settling for Spares
Well, this isn’t bowling, but if there is one thing the Big Green pitching staff does, it throws strikes. For the past eight years, the staff has been one of the stingiest in the country in terms of issuing free passes. In both 2009 and 2010, the Big Green hurlers walked fewer batters per nine innings than any other Division I team. In each of the next three years, they ranked among the top 15, placing third in 2011 at 2.24 behind only Florida (1.82) and Dayton (2.18), eighth in 2012 at 2.33, and 13th in 2013 at 2.52. After a little bit of regression in 2014 and ’15 (still under 3.0 and in the top 50), the Dartmouth pitching staff jumped right back near the top of the heap, ranking 11th at 2.66 last year.