Lombardi, Sulser Earn Ivy Weekly Baseball Awards
HANOVER, N.H. — The accolades for Dartmouth sophomore Nick Lombardi kept rolling in on Tuesday as he was selected as the Ivy League Player of the Week for his performance at the Dairy Queen Classic hosted by the University of Minnesota. Joining him with a weekly honor was senior Cole Sulser as the league’s Pitcher of the Week.
Lombardi, who was also named the Ivy Player of the Week by CollegeSportsMadness.com, was the recipient of the Silver Stick as the Most Outstanding Player at the tournament that took place at the former home of the Minnesota Twins, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The third baseman hit an even .500 over the three games, (6-for-12) with two doubles, a home run and five RBIs. He belted the first pitch he saw this season over the fence to give Dartmouth a 1-0 lead against host Minnesota, then later socked the two doubles in the game, finishing a 10-3 victory with four RBIs. After singling in three trips to the plate in a 1-0 triumph over Northern Illinois, the native of Saugus, Calif., went 2-for-4 against Utah, including a two-out RBI single that tied the game in the sixth. The Big Green went on to win the game, 5-2, to claim the tournament title.
Sulser started the season opener for Dartmouth against the Golden Gophers, his first time on the mound in nearly two years after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2011. The right-hander, a first-team All-Ivy selection in that 2011 campaign, picked up where he left off by hurling six shutout innings, surrendering just three hits and a walk while striking out four. Minnesota did not get a hit off of Sulser until there was one out in the fifth, and the only scoring threat off of him came in the sixth when the Gophers put runners at second and third with one out. Sulser calmly induced a pop to short and a routine grounder to first to end the threat. With a 16-3 career record, the native of Santa Ysabel, Calif., currently has the second-best winning percentage (.842) at Dartmouth for any pitcher with at least 10 decisions.
Two players also earned a spot on the league’s honor roll in junior Kyle Hunter and freshman Nick Ruppert. Hunter, a southpaw from Palm City, Fla., matched a career high with 10 strikeouts in five innings of one-hit ball in the 1-0 win over NIU. Ruppert, an outfielder from La Mesa, Calif., hit .455 (5-for-11) in the tournament with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and an RBI.
Dartmouth was also named the Northeast Regional Team of the Week by CollegeBaseballInsider.com for winning the Dairy Queen Classic. Although still very early in the season, the Big Green are the only team at the Division I level that has not committed an error yet, plus rank second in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (5.33), third in doubles per game (3.0) and fifth in ERA (1.67).
Dartmouth (3-0) has a 12-day break between games for winter exams. The team will travel to Florida to play 10 games over eight days in the RussMatt Invitational, beginning with Army on March 16 at 6 p.m.