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Courtesy: Mike Janes

Four-Game Series at Yale This Weekend

Courtesy: Dartmouth
Release: 04/19/2013
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The Games: Dartmouth (23-6, 8-4) at Yale (8-22, 5-7)
Location: Yale Field (5,000), New Haven, Conn.
First pitches: Saturday, April 20 at noon (DH); Sunday, April 21 at noon (DH)
Series Record vs. Yale: Bulldogs lead 119-88-1
Audio - YaleBulldogs.com
Live Stats
Complete Game Notes


Three-Game Lead in Rolfe Division
Dartmouth comes to Yale with a three-game lead over the host Bulldogs and Harvard in the Rolfe Division standings of the Ivy League with an eye of putting a stranglehold on its sixth straight division title. But the Big Green aren’t looking ahead as the sweep they suffered here two years ago is still fresh in their minds.

A mere split with the Elis would keep Dartmouth in first all alone no matter what Harvard does at Brown. But hosting rights for the Ivy Championship Series are still on the line as well with the Green a game behind Columbia in the overall standings, though they do have the tiebreaker with the Lions should it come down to that.

Last Week in Review
•    Last weekend, Dartmouth swept the Brown Bears in Hanover by a combined score of 27-5 to open up that three-game lead in the division standings.
•    Both senior Cole Sulser and junior Mitch Horacek threw seven-inning shutouts for the Big Green against Brown, the first of their careers. Sulser allowed just three hits and a walk, while Horacek surrendered five hits without issuing a base on balls.
•    Freshman Joe Purritano was the star of the other two games, smashing two home runs in the second game on both days and driving in eight runs in those games, 10 for the weekend. His performance earned him not just Ivy Rookie and Player of the Week honors, but also Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week from Collegiate Baseball.
•    The weekday tune up on Wednesday came against St. Anselm to wrap up a five-game homestand. Dartmouth defeated the Hawks, 12-2, with sophomore Adam Frank earning the win with three scoreless innings. Sophomore Matt Parisi and junior Jeff Keller each had three hits to lead the 12-hit attack, while Keller, Purritano and senior Chad Piersma each had two RBIs.

Last Time Against the Bulldogs
The Big Green won all four games against Yale last year in Hanover, but two were by one run and another by two. The first doubleheader featured two tight ball games with Dartmouth breaking a 3-3 tie in the sixth in game one when Jake Carlson delivered a two-out, RBI single. Mitch Horacek got the win and Thomas Olson the save by retiring the last two batters. The Bulldogs tied the second game at four in the sixth, and the score remained that way until Dustin Selzer hit a single back through the box in the 12th to score Carlson from third for a 5-4 win. Olson earned the victory by hurling 3.2 innings of shutout ball at the end of the game.

The next day, Kyle Hunter twirled a three-hit shutout while Selzer hit a two-run homer to provide all of the runs in the 2-0 win. Dartmouth then finished off the sweep with an 8-4 triumph as Jeff Keller hit a homer and had three RBIs while Chris O’Dowd drove in two more. Michael Johnson pitched seven innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits and two walks for the win, and Mike Dodakian threw two perfect frames for the save.

The Overall Record vs. Yale
•    The two teams have met 208 times on the diamond with the Bulldogs having a decided advantage at 119-88-1.
•    The home team has swept the series each of the last three years. The last time a road team won a game was in 2009 when the Big Green took three of four from Yale in New Haven, scoring 42 runs in the three victories.
•    Dartmouth head coach Bob Whalen enters the series with a 45-41 mark versus Yale.
•    Yale has hosted the Big Green for 89 games since the steel and concrete structure was built in 1928, with Dartmouth going 30-58-1 in that time.
•    The first game in the series took place 132 years ago when the Big Green defeated Yale, 6-3.

Scouting the Bulldogs
•    Since starting the season 1-14, Yale has played much better of late, coinciding with the start of the Ivy League season with six victories in its last 14 contests, including a 15-5 drubbing of UConn.
•    Even with that win over the Huskies, Yale has struggled at the plate with a team batting average of .236 while averaging 3.5 runs a game.
•    Green Campbell was leading the team with a .391 average through the first 23 games but has not played since April 6. Josh Scharff is hitting .336, but generally only faces right-handed pitching. The only current regular above .300 is Jacob Hunter at .301 with five doubles and a home run. David Toups leads the team with 15 RBIs despite a .171 average.
•    The Bulldogs are fifth in the league with a 4.28 ERA, but have also surrendered 49 unearned runs, second most among Ivy schools. In conference play, however, that ERA is a sparkling 2.74, but with the fewest strikeouts.
•    Yale is also fifth in the league in fielding with a .954 percentage (50 errors in 30 games).

Probable Starting Pitchers
•    Dartmouth will continue with its usual rotation, beginning with senior RHP Cole Sulser (3-2, 2.75), coming off a seven-inning shutout of Brown. He is currently tied for second all-time in program history with 18 career victories, and seventh with 184 strikeouts. For the second game, senior LHP Kyle Hunter (3-1, 1.82) will be trying to win his third straight start, having allowed just three runs over 14 innings with 16 strikeouts his last two times on the hill. On Sunday, the Big Green will send junior LHP Mitch Horacek (5-1, 2.25) to the mound for the seven-inning game. He rebounded from his only loss of the season to shut out Brown last week on five hits with six strikeouts. Senior LHP Michael Johnson (5-0, 1.52) will finish off the series and has been the most consistent pitcher for Dartmouth this season. He has provided a quality start in each of his six outings without giving up more than five hits.
•    Yale will open up with LHP Rob Cerfolio (1-4, 2.54) who is 1-2 in league play with both losses being 2-1 scores. In the nightcap on Saturday, RHP Michael Coleman (2-4, 3.76) will take the mound. He is not overpowering (just 10 strikeouts in 38.1 innings), but has had quality starts in all three of his league appearances, winning at Cornell and Harvard. On Sunday, the Big Green will face another left-hander in LHP David Hickey (2-2, 3.42), who recorded a four-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts two weeks ago against Penn on this field. Yale has not announced its fourth starter, so I’ll take a stab at a guess — how about freshman RHP Chris Moates (0-4, 2.97)? He is 0-3 in Ivy play, but has only walked four batters in 30.1 innings.

What’s Up Next
Dartmouth hosts Quinnipiac — a team the Big Green beat to start April, 9-4 — on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. before wrapping up the Ivy season against Harvard. The Crimson come to Hanover for the Saturday doubleheader at 1 p.m., then Dartmouth returns the favor by playing a twinbill in Cambridge on Sunday, also at 1 p.m.

Six Straight and Counting
With the 12-2 victory over St. Anselm on April 17, Dartmouth has won six straight games, its ninth streak of at least six triumphs since the 2008 season. The Big Green began this season with eight straight wins and have had a streak reach at least 10 three times in the past four seasons.

Piersma Produces
Senior Chad Piersma got his third start of the season on April 17 and once again delivered at the plate with a single and a double that each plated a run as well as a walk and a run. In just 15 at-bats this year, Piersma has driven in seven runs thanks to going 5-for-7 (.714) with runners in scoring position.

Purritano National Player of Week
Freshman Joe Purritano had a career within a week’s time in mid-April, hitting .526 (10-for-19) with two doubles, a triple, four home runs and 11 RBIs over five games against Holy Cross and Brown. His performance earned him Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week honors from Collegiate Baseball, not to mention the Ivy League Player and Rookie of the Week awards. Twice he hit two four-baggers in a game, both against the Bears, to become the first Big Green player to have two multi-homer games in one season since Aaron Meyer ’00 in 1999. Meyer was also the last Dartmouth hitter to slam four long balls in one conference weekend, accomplishing the feat against Brown as well in 1998.

Sulser, Horacek Tame Bears
Both senior Cole Sulser and junior Mitch Horacek threw seven-inning, complete-game shutouts against Brown the weekend of April 13-14. Sulser matched a season high with eight strikeouts and needed 93 pitches to subdue the Bears, yielding just three hits and a walk, all in the fourth and fifth innings as he retired the side in order the other five frames. Horacek, on the other hand, threw just 82 pitches but gave up five hits without walking a batter and striking out six. He did get some help from his defense, which caught a runner between home and third to keep Brown off the board.

More On Shutouts
The Dartmouth pitching staff has recorded six shutouts this season, tied for the third most in school history. The first Big Green squad to throw six in a season was the 1924 team, which was duplicated the following year. In 1943, Dartmouth bested that mark with seven, a record which stood for 32 years until the 1975 squad shattered that mark with 10 of its 20 victories coming via the shutout. Since then, only the 1977 team has had as many as six until this season.

National Rankings
•    As a team, Dartmouth is among the top 10 in six statistical categories — strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.26, 5th), fielding percentage (.981, 6th), doubles per game (2.31, 8th), walks issued per nine innings (2.41, 9th), slugging percentage (.463, 10th) and winning percentage (.793, 10th).
•    The Big Green are also 20th in batting average (.308) and 24th in ERA (2.85).
•    Junior Jeff Keller’s name is littered throughout the national rankings, beginning with leading the country in doubles per game (0.64). He is also fourth in total doubles (18), seventh in slugging (.778), 13th in triples per game (0.14), and 21st in both total triples (4) and RBIs per game (1.14).
•    Sophomore Nick Lombardi is even better in RBIs per game with 1.22, good for 12 nationally, as he leads the Ivy League with 33 RBIs.
•    Senior Ennis Coble is the 16th toughest to strike out in Division I, fanning once every 17.8 at-bats.
•    On the mound, only senior Michael Johnson is among the top 25 in any statistical category, ranking ninth in WHIP (walks and hits per inning) at 0.8 and 15th in fewest hits allowed per nine innings at 5.44. His 1.52 ERA puts him 43rd in the country.

Milestones
•    Junior Jeff Keller reached 100 career hits versus Boston College with his fourth-inning double.
•    Senior Ennis Coble scored his 100th career run when he drove himself in with a home run in the final game against Brown. And with one more RBI, he will have 100 for his career.
•    Senior Kyle Hunter recorded his 150th career strikeout when he whiffed the Bears’ Nick Fornaca in the second inning on April 13. He needs 16 more to break into Dartmouth’s top 10.
•    Senior Michael Johnson picked up his 100th career strikeout versus Brown by punching out Daniel Massey in the second inning on April 14.
•    Junior Mitch Horacek is just two strikeouts away from 100.
•    With 16 more strikeouts, senior Cole Sulser would become the fifth Dartmouth pitcher ever to register 200 in a career.

Bats Break Out for 19 Runs
After scoring just 22 runs in its first six games in April, Dartmouth exploded for 19 runs in a win at Holy Cross on Wednesday. The last time the Big Green scored at least that many runs came on March 17, 2011 when they beat Akron, 19-2. Junior Jeff Keller had a perfect day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two doubles, a home run, walk, hit by pitch, four runs and five RBIs. Both junior Dustin Selzer and sophomore Nick Lombardi had a single, homer and four RBIs as well, with Selzer’s long ball being his second career grand slam.

Olson Untouchable
Sophomore Thomas Olson hasn’t been needed as much out of the bullpen this year as last, but he has been even more effective when on the mound. In 11 appearances, the right-hander has not allowed a run over 11.2 innings, giving up just seven hits and two walks while striking out seven. His six saves came in his first seven appearances, but he has pitched in just three games this month, earning the win in the 1-0 game against Cornell on April 7.

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