Dairy Queen Classic Champions
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Sophomore Thomas Roulis went 3-for-5 and broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh with an RBI triple to help Dartmouth (3-0) defeat Utah (5-5) on Sunday afternoon, 5-2, and win the Dairy Queen Classic hosted by the University of Minnesota. The three victories at the tournament give the Big Green their best start to a season since the 2005 campaign.
With the score knotted at two in the top of the seventh, Utah reliever Chase Rezac (0-1) plunked freshman Nick Ruppert to start the inning. A sacrifice bunt attempt was popped up for the first out, but Roulis made that moot by lacing a 1-0 pitch into the left-center gap for a triple, plating Ruppert. Senior Ennis Coble followed with an RBI single, and after junior Dustin Selzer pulled a single through the left side, the Utes summoned Mitch Watrous to the mound. Junior Jeff Keller worked Watrous for a walk to load the bases, then Coble scored on an error by the second baseman to make it 5-2.
Junior Louis Concato took over in the bottom half for senior starter Michael Johnson and tossed two perfect frames before giving way to sophomore closer Thomas Olson. The right-hander surrendered a leadoff single then retired the next three hitters on fly balls to each outfielder in earning his second save of the young season.
Dartmouth got on the board first, touching Utah starter Joe Pond for a run in the second. Sophomores Nick Lombardi and Matt MacDowell hit one-out singles, and Ruppert grounded a two-out single between first and second to bring Lombardi home from second before MacDowell was gunned down trying to take third.
The Utes got that run back and tacked on another in their half of the second with the aid of just one hit. Tyler Relf singled with one down and Konnor Armijo drew a walk to put runners at first and second. Johnson then uncorked a wild pitch that allowed both runners to advance two bases, tying the score. Designated hitter Tyler Yagi then laid down a squeeze bunt to put Utah on top, 2-1.
In the third and fifth innings, the Big Green could not capitalize on opportunities to tie the score. Roulis doubled leading off the third, but was doubled up on Coble’s liner to short. Then in the fifth, MacDowell reached on an error and Sophomore Matt Parisi singled with one gone to put runners on the corners. But Pond escaped again when Roulis hit a line drive right to the shortstop and Coble grounded to second.
Pond was not as fortunate in the sixth after setting down the first two hitters in the inning. Freshman Joe Purritano boomed a double to deep left-center and Lombardi dropped a single in front of a diving center fielder to send Purritano scampering plateward, tying the game at two.
Other than the second inning, Johnson (1-0) cruised through the Utah lineup, allowing just four hits and two runs over his six innings of work. He walked just the one batter in the second inning and struck out five in throwing 75 pitches in his first outing of the season.
The Big Green banged out 12 hits, led by Roulis with his single, double and triple, and Parisi, Coble and Lombardi each had a pair of singles.
Dartmouth does not play again until after winter exams, traveling to Florida to play 10 games in eight days in the Russ-Matt Invitational, beginning with Army at Winter Haven on March 16 at 6 p.m.
The all-tournament team will be announced after the final game between Minnesota and Northern Illinois this evening. Check back to find out which Big Green players are honored.