|April 28 • 11:30 a.m.||April 28 • ~2:30 p.m.||April 29 • 1 p.m.|
|ILN • Live Stats||ILN • Live Stats||ILN • Live Stats|
|Starting Pitchers||Starting Pitchers||Starting Pitchers|
|D: RHP Cole O’Connor (4-4, 4.70)||D: RHP Jack Fossand (3-3, 4.76)||D: RHP Clay Chatham (1-4, 6.12)|
|B: RHP Garett Delano (2-2, 4.04)||B: RHP Collin Garner (1-3, 5.16)||B: RHP Will Tomlinson (3-2, 3.16)|
Brown in Town for Three
With three series left on the Dartmouth schedule, the Big Green are looking to make up some ground in the standings with Columbia and Harvard tied for second at 9-6. Dartmouth would like to see its recent history in Hanover with the Bears continue as the Green have won 15 of the last 16 games at Biondi Park against Brown.
The Overall Record vs. Brown
• Dartmouth has played the Bears 256 times since the first meeting in 1871, with the Big Green having the edge, 147-108-1.
• The Big Green have won the season series eight of the past 10 years (splitting the other two years), winning 18 of 20 games in Hanover since Biondi Park was built in 2009.
• In the divisional era (1993-2017), Dartmouth was 63-38 against the Bears, including a divisional playoff victory in 2001.
• Dartmouth head coach Bob Whalen is 65-44 against the Bears during his tenure with the Green.
• The first game between the two clubs came back in 1871, a 41-17 victory for Brown. No, that is not a football score.
Scouting the Bears
• Before winning its last two games, Brown had struggled mightily with just one victory in its previous 16 games, including being swept by Yale and Columbia.
• The offense has scored seven runs in each of the past three contests, but is averaging just under five per game, and 4.4 in league play.
• Garett Delano has been a bright spot at the plate, hitting .311 with six homers (second in the league) and a .516 slugging percentage (third).
• Sam Grigo is also a long-ball threat with five four-baggers, and he leads the Bears with 28 RBIs.
• Brown isn’t afraid to put things in motion, having stolen 33 bases by 13 different players, led by Delano and Rich Ciufo (five apiece).
• The weekend rotation has been solid with the three Bear starters combining for a 4.24 ERA.
• Brennan Vasquez has served as the team’s closer with two of the four saves and a 3.60 ERA over 15 innings, while J.J. Sliepka (4.18 ERA) and Grant Greeno (9.37) have the most appearances with 17.
• Brown does not have a power staff, ranking last in the league with just 5.94 strikeouts per nine innings.
Last Year Against Brown
Dartmouth got stellar pitching performances in each of the first three games here at Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park last year, yielding just one run in each of the first three games. Michael Danielak set the tone in the opener, allowing six hits and one walk while fanning four in his seven-inning complete game for a 5-1 victory. A Bear error allowed two runs to score before Matt Feinstein delivered a two-run single in the second to give all the runs Danielak would need. In the second game, Cole O’Connor tossed seven frames of one-run ball while Michael Ketchmark had three hits with two doubles and scored three times, and Justin Fowler and Michael Calamari each drove in a pair in the 7-1 triumph.
The following day, Beau Sulser was dominant, surrendering an unearned run in his complete game, striking out eight along the way. Ketchmark drove in all three Big Green runs with a two-run blast and a sacrifice fly in a 3-1 win. The series finale was a wild affair with Brown scoring four times in the first, going up 5-0 before Dartmouth scored four times in the fifth and tied the game in the eighth. Things got crazier in the ninth as the Bears scored three times, the last two on a two-out bomb. But the Green got a two-out, pinch-hit, three-run homer from Mike Brown. The Bears prevailed, however, on a two-out RBI single in the 10th before stranding the tying run at second in the bottom half, salvaging a 9-8 win to end their 15-game skid at Biondi Park.
Probable Starting Pitchers
• Dartmouth has its trio of right-handers lined up for the series, beginning with junior RHP Cole O'Connor (4-4, 4.70), who is coming off his rare bad start having allowed eight earned runs at Yale last weekend. For the second game of the doubleheader, senior RHP Jack Fossand (3-3, 4.76) will attempt to win his third straight start after beating the Bulldogs with six strong innings of one-run ball. Senior RHP Clay Chatham (1-4, 6.12) will try to nail down his first Ivy League win, which has been elusive despite 21 strikeouts and just three walks in 18.2 conference innings this year.
• Like the Big Green, Brown has three right-handers lined up to take the mound, but all are underclassmen. The opener will be handled by sophomore RHP Garett Delano (2-2, 4.04) whose wins have come against a strong Dallas Baptist team (5 IP, 3 ER) and Princeton (6 IP, 0 R). Climbing the hill for game two will be rookie Collin Garner (1-3, 5.16), who won his collegiate debut at Florida A&M but is 0-2 in five Ivy starts. Sophomore RHP Will Tomlinson (3-2, 3.16) will pitch on Sunday. He has been effectively wild, walking 21 while striking out 20 in 31.1 innings, but the opposition has hit just .192 with one extra-base hit against him.
What’s Up Next
Dartmouth has no games scheduled during the week, so the next games will be over the weekend when Princeton comes to town. The Tigers will be wrapping up their season while the Big Green will celebrate Senior Day on Sunday for the final game of the series.
Last Week in Review
• Dartmouth suffered its first conference series loss of the season, dropping two of three at Yale. The last team to best the Big Green in a league series was … Yale last year.
• The Bulldogs took control of the first game quickly with a four-run first, then cruised to a 10-3 victory over the Big Green, though Michael Calamari doubled and homered for Dartmouth.
• The second game of the twinbill belonged to the Big Green pitching staff, specifically Jack Fossand and Austen Michel. Fossand allowed just one run over six-plus innings before Michel shut the door with three scoreless stanzas for his league-leading sixth save in a 3-1 triumph.
• In the finale, Dartmouth jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning, but a four-run Yale fifth put the Bulldogs up, 5-2. Bennett McCaskill and Matt Feinstein had RBI hits in the eighth, and Kyle Holbrook doubled with one out in the ninth. It looked like Nate Ostmo might give the Green a 6-5 lead when he launched a two-out pitch down the left-field line, only to have it curl foul. But it was not to be as Yale held on for a 5-4 win.
• A mid-week game against Siena was supposed to kick off a seven-game homestand, but rain washed the game away on Wednesday with no makeup date in the works.
Bulldogs Bite Big Green Again
Yale has become a bit of a nemesis for Dartmouth ever since the Big Green swept a four-game series in New Haven three years ago. Since then, the Builldogs have not only won three consecutive series against Dartmouth (the only team to do so in the last 15 years), but also the 2016 Rolfe Division playoff game to advance to the Ivy League Championship Series.
Junior Sean Sullivan continues to top the Ivy league in batting with his .364 average, while sophomore Blake Crossing ranks second at .351. The duo is also 1-2 in on-base percentage, Sullivan (.469) a mere point ahead of Crossing (.468). The only other offensive category in which a Big Green hitter leads is sacrifice flies as senior Kyle Holbrook has five, which ranks 35th nationally. In the pitching department, sophomore Austen Michel has six saves to lead Ivy pitchers. It is difficult for Dartmouth to have any individual leaders in conference games only having played three fewer games than all but one other team, but Michel has five saves in Ivy play to lead the loop, while his 1.88 ERA is second, just behind Harvard’s Noah Zavolas (1.85).
Hitting Via Ostmo-sis
The only two Big Green players to hit safely in all three games at Yale were junior Nate Ostmo and freshman Bennett McCaskill, who just happen to sport the two best OPS averages in league play for Dartmouth (.834 and .832, respectively). Ostmo has a modest five-game hitting streak going during which he has hit .467 (7-for-15) with three walks, four runs and a pair of RBIs. And since wrapping up the Penn series at the beginning of April, McCaskill has hit .345 (10-for-29), raising his average 70 points to .254 on the season.
Fagler Makes His Case
Having started three non-conference games this season with mixed success, sophomore Tyler Fagler was thrown into the fire on April 22 at Yale. The right-hander entered with two out and two on in the fifth with Dartmouth already trailing, 5-2. But Fagler calmly got the third out, then got eight more outs for three scoreless innings of relief as the Big Green nearly battled all the way back. Performances like that will likely get him more action on the weekends, especially when the bullpen has a cumulative 8.17 ERA this year.
Fossand Feeling It
Coming off a 5-3 win at Cornell, senior RHP Jack Fossand won his second straight start thanks to six innings of one-run ball at Yale in the 3-1 victory. The righty allowed just one runner past second base, that being his only blemish on a long ball, as he gave up just four other hits and a single walk to go with a pair of punchouts. Fossand now has more wins this year (3) than his first three years combined (2).
Sophomore Austen Michel is not your one-inning closer with the Big Green. In fact, in each of his last seven relief appearances, he has thrown at least two innings and as many as three, as he did last week at Yale to nail down a 3-1 victory for his sixth save, tops in the Ivy League. And in his last four outings, the right-hander has thrown a total of 10 scoreless innings, allowing just five hits without a walk and striking out nine while earning a save in each appearance.
Where are the Big Game Hunters?
No Dartmouth hitter has had more than three RBIs in a game this season. As a matter of fact, no current Big Green batter has had more than three RBIs in any game in their career. And no one other than Michael Ketchmark (one in 2017, two in 2016) has had one since the start of the 2016 season. The last player before Ketchmark with at least four RBIs in a game? That would be Mongo, Nick Lombardi who had four in an 8-7 win over Brown on April 19, 2015.
After some sloppy play early in the season, Dartmouth has been a much better defensive team in Ivy play, leading the league with a .989 fielding percentage. The Big Green have committed an error in just three of the 12 conference contests, with a total of just five.
Tough to Strikeout
As a team, Dartmouth has struck out 80 times in 413 at-bats against Ivy League pitching, the second-lowest rate in the league behind Columbia. But it has been two hitters, juniors Sean Sullivan and Matt Feinstein, that have been the most adept at putting the ball in play. Sullivan has struck out just twice in 39 at-bats (once every 19.5 ABs) and Feinstein three times in 52 at-bats. (once every 17.3). Overall, Sullivan has fanned eight times in 107 at-bats, a rate that puts him among the top 25 toughest to whiff in Division I.
Series Dominance at Biondi
Dartmouth has played a total of 38 series against Ivy League teams (including the 2009 Ivy League Championship Series) at Biondi Park since it was added before the 2009 season. Of those 38 series, the Big Green have won 21, split 15 (all in doubleheaders against teams from the now defunct Gehrig Division) and lost just two. Dartmouth has also won 10 of the 11 home series in that span that were scheduled to be at least three games in length, the most recent victim being Columbia this past weekend.
O’Connor Déjà Vu with Yale
Last year, junior Cole O'Connor won his first three Ivy starts only to be beaten by Yale as he allowed the most earned runs of his career. Fast forward one year, and the same pattern emerged as the right-hander won his first three league starts before the Bulldogs bit him for the most earned runs of his career in a 10-3 loss. Yale is the only team to rough him up for more than four earned runs in his 25 career starts, and they have done it twice now. The good news is that he bounced back and allowed just one run in 5.1 innings in his next start last year.