Opponents: Army (4-8), LIU Brooklyn (0-11), UAB (8-9), North Dakota State (7-7), Vassar (1-0), Slippery Rock (8-2), Bradley (5-9) and Babson (0-0)
Location: Winter Haven, Fla.
First pitches: Various times (check the schedule)
Series Records: Dartmouth leads Army 46-29, Babson 4-2, Bradley 1-0, LIU Brooklyn 2-0; first meetings with the others
Live Stats available only for UAB, North Dakota State and Vassar games
Complete Game Notes
Packing in the Games in Florida
• Dartmouth is squeezing 10 games into just eight days during its spring break trip to Winter Haven this year, beginning with Army on March 16.
• The Big Green are off to their best start since the 2005 season having won their first three games. If they beat Army, they will have their first 4-0 start to a season since 1986.
• Sophomore Nick Lombardi was given the Silver Stick as the Dairy Queen Classic Most Outstanding Player. The third baseman hit .500 in the three games with two doubles, a homer and five RBIs while playing flawlessly in the field.
• In addition to Lombardi, four others were named to the all-tournament team: senior LHP Kyle Hunter, sophomore SS Matt Parisi, sophomore 2B Thomas Roulis and junior 1B Dustin Selzer.
• The 10-3 victory at Minnesota evened head coach Bob Whalen’s record in season openers at 12-12.
• Entering this week, Dartmouth ranked among the nation’s leaders in several statistical categories, including first in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (5.3), WHIP (0.78) and fielding percentage (1.000 — the only team without an error in the country). In addition, the pitching staff is second in ERA (1.67) and walks per nine innings (1.7), while the offense is second in doubles per game (3.0) and 19th in batting average (.315).
Quick Look at the Opponents
• Army (4-8) won four of its last five after losing the first seven games. The team batting average is just .246 without a homer in those 12 contests, but Patrick Mescher leads the way at .385. The pitching staff has a 4.76 ERA with Alex Robinett as the ace (2-1, 3.90 ERA in five starts).
• LIU Brooklyn (0-11) has yet to win a game, scoring less than three runs per game while sporting a 9.40 ERA. John Ziznewski is the top hitter at .349 with five extra-base hits, but no starting pitcher has an ERA under eight.
• UAB (8-9) has SS John Frost (.369, 13 RBIs) and DH Ryan Prinzing (.358, 4 doubles) to lead an offense scoring about 3.4 runs per game. The top four starters are all solid on a staff with a 4.33 ERA.
• North Dakota State (7-7) have a very good starting rotation with Trevor Jaunich (1-0, 3.06) likely to take the mound against the Big Green. Four regulars are hitting at least .300 with Blake Turbak leading the way at .360.
• Vassar (1-0), coming off a 12-24 season, just started the one in 2013 on Thursday with a 10-0 victory over Cairn University.
• Slippery Rock (8-2) is ranked in three of the national Division II polls thanks to a 2.16 staff ERA, but has lost its last two games. Jake Welbley is the most potent hitter (.316/.381/.526), and Lou Trivino has allowed just four hits in 21 innings in three starts with a seven-inning no-no to his credit.
• Bradley (5-9) has hit well but had trouble stopping other teams from scoring. The team is hitting nearly .300 with Greg Partyka and Mike Tachman hovering around .400. The Big Green will likely see the Braves’ top three starters — RHP Stephen Toma (1-0, 4.15), RHP John Nasshan (0-3, 4.95) and LHP David Koll (1-1, 6.41).
• The final opponent, Babson, opens play on March 15. Last year, the Beavers finished 22-19 and third in the Division III NEWMAC.
Probable Starting Pitchers
• With the compact nature of the schedule in Florida, Dartmouth will need six different pitchers to start at least one game, beginning with senior RHP Cole Sulser (1-0, 0.00). The fifth-year pitcher didn’t miss a beat in his first start since Tommy John surgery nearly two years ago, tossing six shutout innings against Minnesota to improve his career record to 16-3.
• Against LIU Brooklyn, LHP (0-0, 0.00) will likely toe the slab. The senior southpaw mowed through the NIU order at the Metrodome, fanning 10 in five innings of one-hit ball.
• Later on Sunday, one of two left-handers — senior LHP Michael Johnson (1-0, 3.00) or junior LHP Mitch Horacek (1-0, 0.00) will take the mound to face UAB, with the other to hurl against North Dakota State on Monday.
• The final two starters will consist of sophomore LHP Adam Frank (4-1, 4.47 ERA in 2012) and junior RHP Louis Concato (0-0, 0.00 ERA). Frank was All-Ivy honorable mention last year, and Concato tossed two perfect innings against Utah.
What’s Up Next
Dartmouth returns from Florida to play its home opener against Siena on March 27, then begins its quest for a sixth consecutive Rolfe Division title with the start of Ivy League play on the road at Penn and Columbia.
Dartmouth matched its best start to a season under head coach by winning all three games at the Dairy Queen Classic hosted by the University of Minnesota at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The Big Green also started 3-0 in 1997 and 2005, but have not won their first four contests since 1986. The school record, however, is eight set in 1903.
King of Dairy Queen Classic
Sophomore third baseman was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Dairy Queen Classic, hitting at a .500 clip (6-for-12) with two doubles, a homer and five RBIs. All three of those extra-base hits came in the opener against host Minnesota, with his four-bagger plating the first Big Green run of the game. He hit safely in each game with his two-out single in the sixth against Utah tying the game at two en route to a 5-2 Dartmouth triumph to cap the tournament. The Ivy League and CollegeSportsMadness.com also recognized Lombardi as the league’s Player of the Week.
While Lombardi was taking home the Silver Stick award, the rest of the infield as well as one of the pitchers were chosen for the all-tournament team. Senior LHP dominated in his turn on the mound, matching a career high with 10 strikeouts in just five innings of one-hit ball, yet he did not receive a decision in the 1-0 Big Green win. Sophomores (SS) and (2B) both hit .400 to make the team, and junior (1B) reached base at a .429 clip.
Sulser Ivy Pitcher of the Week
Fifth-year senior right-hander made a triumphant return to the mound in the season opener, hurling six three-hit, scoreless innings to help defeat Minnesota, 10-3. He had not thrown in a game in more than 22 months following Tommy John surgery, and he did not allow a hit until the fifth inning, walked just one batter and struck out four in an efficient 72-pitch outing to earn the Ivy League’s Pitcher of the Week award.
Keeping Mistakes to a Minimum
Dartmouth did not commit an error throughout the Dairy Queen Classic, extending its errorless streak to eight games dating back to last year. In 2012, the Big Green led the Ivy League in fielding percentage and ranked 17th nationally at .977, a school record.
Toimil Gets Glad
In the seventh inning of a scoreless duel with Northern Illinois, junior Ryan Toimil knew what to do with the Metrodome’s famous Baggie in right field — send a pitch over it. Not only was it the only run in the 1-0 victory, it was the first home run of the outfielder’s collegiate career.
The Hits Keep Coming in Opener
The Big Green pounded out 17 hits against Minnesota in the team’s season opener to handily defeat the Golden Gophers, 10-3. What was truly surprising about the hit-fest was that Minnesota started its ace, Tom Windle, who is projected as a possible first-round draft pick come June and had not allowed a run in either of his first two starts.
Los Dos Nicks — Lombardi and Ruppert — each had three hits to lead a lineup in which everyone had at least one safety and scored at least one run.
Olson Back to Old Habits
Sophomore Thomas Olson was a Freshman All-American reliever last year for posting a 1.69 ERA with six saves in 37.1 innings. It doesn’t look like he will suffer through a mythical “sophomore slump” as the right-hander delivered two saves in the first three games. First he shut down Minnesota on one hit over 2.2 innings in the opener, then he finished off a 5-2 win over Utah with a scoreless ninth. His eight saves already place him fourth on Dartmouth’s career list.
Welcome to College!
Five freshmen saw their first collegiate action while at the DQ Classic, with the four positional players all getting at least one start and a pitcher coming out of the bullpen. Nick Ruppert had the best showing of the group, going 5-for-11 (.455) in the three games and starting the game-winning rally against Utah in the seventh by getting hit by a pitch. Joe Purritano had his first two hits in eight at-bats while driving in two runs, and Trent Goodrich and Adam Gauthier both started in the 1-0 win over NIU. And Duncan Robinson struck out the first batter he faced against Minnesota.
Undefeated and It Feels So Good
Dartmouth stands as one of the last three undefeated Division I teams in the country, along with Florida State and North Carolina of the ACC. Yes, the Seminoles and Tar Heels are both 16-0 while the Big Green are still just 3-0, but facts are facts. And since both of those teams play again before Dartmouth does, it is very possible that the Green will be the last one standing.