HANOVER, N.H. — The Penn Quakers were able to do what no team had ever done against the Dartmouth baseball team — sweep a doubleheader at Biondi Park. In winning the two games, 4-0 and 7-4, Penn (15-10, 8-0 Ivy) extended its winning streak to 11 games and remained perfect in league play. The Big Green, meanwhile, fell to 5-16 overall this season and 2-6 in the Ivy League.
Connor Cuff lived up to his name in the opening game, handcuffing the Dartmouth offense by hurling a seven-inning shutout. The Quaker right-hander allowed five hits and a solitary walk while fanning five to improve to 3-1 on the season. Twice he was able to escape runners on first and second with one out without a run crossing the plate as the Big Green threatened in the first and fourth frames.
Junior Thomas Roulis ripped a double and senior Jeff Keller was plunked on a full-count pitch with one out in the first. Yet Cuff was able to induce a soft flare to short and a routine fly to right to deny Dartmouth. Then in the fourth, he issued a four-pitch walk to junior Matt Parisi with one down before junior Matt MacDowell laced a single into left-center. Again Cuff was up to the task, getting the final two outs on strikes to help negate a double steal that put runners on second and third with two down.
Dartmouth sophomore right-hander Michael Danielak matched Cuff for the first four innings, retiring the side in order three times and only once running into trouble. Penn led off the second stanza with consecutive singles, but senior first baseman Dustin Selzer pounced on a sacrifice bunt attempt and got the lead runner at third for the first out. Danielak then induced an inning-ending double play.
In the fifth, Michael Vilardo wasted no time in putting the Quakers on top by belting Danielak’s first pitch of the frame over the fence in left for his first home run of the season and a 1-0 lead. Penn added another run in the sixth after loading the bases with nobody out on three straight singles. Danielak nearly pulled a Houdini act, getting the first out on a force at the plate thanks to a comebacker. But Brandon Engelhardt lined a shot off of the back of Danielak’s right knee for an infield single to tally a run.
While Danielak was able to finish the inning, he was pulled before the seventh for precautionary purposes. The Quakers then tacked on two insurance runs against the Big Green bullpen as Connor Betbeze led off with a triple and scored on a single by Rick Brebner. Three batters later, Vilardo lofted a fly ball down the right field line that allowed Brebner to score from third.
Five Penn hitters had two hits, led by Vilardo with a pair of RBIs, as the Quakers peppered 13 hits in the game. Junior Nick Lombardi collected two of Dartmouth’s five hits off of Cuff, both of them doubles.
Danielak (0-4) suffered the loss despite yielding just two runs over six innings while scattering 10 hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out five.
Dartmouth jumped out to a 3-0 lead through three innings in the nightcap, sending Penn starter Jack Hartman to an early shower. Sophomore Nick Ruppert led off the first with a solid single to left and scored after two-out singles by Selzer and sophomore Joe Purritano. In the third inning, Ruppert began things up with a solo homer to left, his fourth of the season (and fourth in last five games), and one out later Keller sent one high and deep over the netting onto Park Street for his first four-bagger of the year. When Selzer greeted reliever Ronnie Glenn with a double, it appeared the Big Green were on their way to salvaging a split.
But after Glenn stranded Selzer at third, the Penn bats stirred in the fourth with two down and a runner on first. Engelhardt stroked a single to left before Ryan Mincher and Mitch Montaldo hit back-to-back doubles to tie the game at three.
Dartmouth quickly reclaimed the lead in the bottom half when Lombardi led off with a triple and scored on a bunt single by junior Bo Patterson. The lead did not last long, however, as Brebner hit his league-leading seventh home run in the top half of the fifth to knot the score at four.
Glenn then settled in on the mound and allowed just two Big Green hitters to reach base in the final five frames, one of which was erased on a double play.
Austin Bossart gave Penn the lead for good with a one-out solo blast in the seventh, his second of the year, to chase freshman Mike Concato from the mound. The Quakers added to its lead thanks to a two-out, two-run double by Vilardo, and Dartmouth never threatened again.
Glenn (2-2) earned the victory with 6.2 innings of relief, yielding just one run on five hits and a walk while fanning four. Mincher was the star at the plate for the Quakers with three hits, a run scored and two RBIs.
Concato (0-2) was tagged with the defeat, giving up five runs over 6.1 innings on eight hits without walking a batter and striking out three.
Ruppert had two hits and scored two of the four Big Green runs, and Selzer, Purritano and Patterson joined him with two knocks.
Dartmouth plays two mid-week games coming up, first at Boston College on Tuesday, then back at home against Holy Cross on Wednesday, the latter of which will be shown live online via Big Green Insider on the Ivy League Digital Network. Both games will begin at 3 p.m. Penn will attempt to extend its winning streak to an even dozen when it hosts St. Joseph’s on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.
Notes: Biondi Park was added to the site of Red Rolfe Field prior to the 2009 season. Dartmouth had hosted 27 doubleheaders against Ivy opponent prior to today, sweeping 17 of them and splitting the other 10 … the Big Green have hit 10 home runs this season, none of which has come with a runner on base … Penn has won the last four meeting with Dartmouth, but the Big Green still lead the all-time series, 85-82-1.