The Games: Dartmouth (26-7) vs. Quinnipiac (10-24)
Location: Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park (2,000), Hanover, N.H.
First pitch: Wednesday, April 24 at 3 p.m.
Series Record vs. Quinnipiac: Big Green lead 9-5
Video ($), Audio - Big Green Insider (Wayne Young play-by-play)
Going for the Season Sweep
Three weeks ago, Dartmouth handed Quinnipiac a 9-4 loss in Hamden, Conn. Now the Big Green have the opportunity to win both games against the Bobcats this season with this tilt at Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park.
Dartmouth can set a new school record for victories in a season with five more wins in the final six games of the regular season. Should the Big Green win merely one game this weekend against Harvard, they would clinch their sixth straight Rolfe Division title and get to play more contests with the Ivy Championship Series (ICS) on May 4-5. The current record of 30 wins in a season was set just two years ago when Dartmouth went 30-12.
Last Week in Review
• Dartmouth won the four-game series at Yale this past weekend, sweeping the doubleheader by 9-1 and 7-3 scores on Saturday, and taking the series finale on Sunday with its seventh shutout of the year, 5-0.
• Junior Jeff Keller was named the Ivy League Co-Player of the Week after hitting .471 (8-for-17) with two doubles (tying the Big Green single-season record of 20), a triple, four runs, four RBIs and four intentional walks.
• Sophomore Matt MacDowell hit .438 (7-for-16) against the Bulldogs, collecting a double, homer and six RBIs in the process.
• The 7-3 victory came in 10 innings with both teams scoring a run in the ninth before the Green piled on four in the 10th. It was their first extra-inning game since the final game of last year’s ICS, and their first win in extras since a 5-4, 12-inning triumph against Yale last year.
Last Time Against the Bobcats
Tied at two in the sixth at Quinnipiac back on April 3, the Big Green took the lead for good with a solitary run in the stanza thanks to one of two doubles on the day and a Ryan Toimil sacrifice fly. Nick Lombardi drove in two more in the seventh, and Keller brought him home with that other two-bagger to break open the game. Another three-spot in the ninth gave the Green an insurmountable 9-2 lead, and the two Bobcat runs in the bottom half proved inconsequential.
The Overall Record vs. Quinnipiac
• This is the 15th meeting between the two teams, all coming since 2001 after the Bobcats moved up to the Division I level, with Dartmouth holding the 9-5 advantage.
• The Big Green have won each of the last six games, averaging 8.5 runs per game.
• Dartmouth head coach Bob Whalen has been the head coach for each of those 14 games, giving him a 9-5 record against Quinnipiac.
• While there have been 14 games thus far in the series, only four have been played in Hanover with the Big Green 3-1 in those showdowns.
Scouting the Bobcats
• Quinnipiac enters this game having lost its last 12 games in a row, including three this past weekend at Notre Dame.
• The offense has produced 3.24 runs per game with a team batting average of .239. Scott Donaghue (.308) is the only player on the roster that tops .300, plus he leads the team with eight doubles, two homers and 20 RBIs.
• The pitching staff has a 5.09 ERA with Derek Lamacchia the ace at 2.30 with a 3-5 record. Gary Binkiewicz is the top arm out of the bullpen with four saves and a 2.89 ERA.
• Defensively, the Bobcats have a .964 fielding percentage with 43 errors in 34 games. Opposing teams have stolen 50 bases at a success rate of over 80 percent, and there have been 28 unearned runs scored against Quinnipiac.
Probable Starting Pitchers
• Dartmouth will likely send sophomore LHP Adam Frank (2-0, 6.43) to the mound for the non-conference contest. Last week Frank tossed the first three innings against St. Anselm to earn the victory in the scheduled shortened start. He is trying to harness his control (14 walks in 14 IP) and get back to his freshman form that got him All-Ivy honorable mention.
• Quinnipiac will probably counter with RHP Kevin Sustad (0-1, 8.71), who started the first metting this season. He has proven difficult to hit with just five hits allowed in 10.1 innings, but his lack of control has led to 17 walks, including five in three frames the first time against the Big Green.
What’s Up Next
Dartmouth will play Harvard in a four-game series this weekend to close out the Ivy schedule. The doubleheader on Saturday will take place in Hanover as the Big Green will have Senior Day to honor the five seniors on the team before the game, while the two games the following day will be played in Cambridge. One win over the Crimson would clinch the Big Green’s sixth straight Rolfe Division title.
Keller Ivy Player of Week Again
For the second time this season, junior has been honored by the Ivy League as its Player of the Week, this time sharing the honor with Brown catcher Wes Van Boom. The Big Green right fielder hit .471 (8-for-17) with four runs, four RBIs and four intentional walks in the five games. Two of those hits were doubles, giving him 20 for the season to tie the Dartmouth single-season record. He ranks among the nation’s top 40 in nine offensive categories, leading the country with 0.63 doubles per game.
Johnson Continues Mastery on Mound
Senior Michael Johnson has been the Big Green’s most consistent and successful pitcher this year, providing a quality start in each of his seven appearances. Against Yale, he tossed seven shutout innings to lower his ERA to 1.30 (2nd in Ivy League, 19th in the nation) and win his league-leading sixth game without a defeat. Only teammate Cole Sulser has won more games in a season at Dartmouth without a loss, going 8-0 in 2010.
Eight-Game Streak Snapped
For the second time this season, Dartmouth strung together eight straight victories. The Big Green started the season on an eight-game winning streak, then won eight in a row from April 10-20. But Yale did not let the Green make it nine straight by twirling a four-hit shutout on April 21 in a 2-0 Dartmouth defeat. This is the fifth consecutive year in which the Big Green has had eight wins in a row.
ERA Still Dropping
Over the last nine games, Dartmouth pitchers have not allowed more than three runs in any of those contests and lowered the staff ERA by nearly half a run from 3.15 to 2.68. That figure currently has the Big Green sitting 16th in the nation. The 15 teams ahead of Dartmouth average more than 25 unearned runs against them, while Green hurlers have allowed just 12.
Dartmouth needed extra innings to win the second game of the Yale series, scoring four times in the 10th to knock off the Bulldogs, 7-3. The Big Green are 38-33 in extra innings under head coach with at least one coming in each of his 24 seasons except the 2007 campaign.