Streak at Seven with Second Straight Shutout
AUBURNDALE, Fla. — Senior Michael Johnson handcuffed the North Dakota State (8-9) bats for seven innings, striking out a career-high 12 batters to help Dartmouth shut out the Bison on Monday at Lake Myrtle Park in the RussMatt Invitational. The Big Green (7-0) are the only Division I team without a loss, extending their winning streak to seven to start the 2013 season. Only the 1903 Dartmouth squad has had a better stretch to begin a season, winning eight in a row.
Johnson (2-0) surrendered just five singles, one walk and one hit batter while not allowing a runner past second base. The left-hander fanned at least one batter every inning, striking out the side in both the second and seventh innings, and induced two double plays as well, throwing 91 pitches in his second start of the season. The 12 strikeouts are the most by a Dartmouth pitcher since Cole Sulser punched out 13 Cornell hitters on April 9, 2011.
Freshman Duncan Robinson replaced Johnson on the mound to start the eighth and retired six of the seven batters he faced to finish off the second straight Big Green shutout and third of the season. Dartmouth pitchers have not allowed a run over the last 19 innings and have a combined ERA of 1.57.
North Dakota State’s Trevor Jaunich matched Johnson for the first two innings, striking out four Big Green hitters. But he wasn’t as fortunate the second time through the order as Dartmouth roughed him up for six runs in the third. Freshman Trent Goodrich walked out of the nine hole to start the inning, and sophomore Matt Parisi doubled him home for the game’s first run. Freshman Nick Ruppert followed by pulling a ball through the left side for an RBI single and a 2-0 lead.
The hits kept coming as senior Ennis Coble stroke a single to center and junior Dustin Selzer ripped a double to left to plate Ruppert. Junior Jeff Keller then yanked a 2-2 pitch into the left-field corner for a two-run double and freshman Joe Purritano walked to put runners at first and second with a 5-0 lead and still no one out.
Jaunich finally ended the string of seven hitters to reach base by getting a foul pop to first and a fly to center that sent Keller scampering to third. Purritano was able to take second on a pitch in the dirt, and Keller scored the sixth and final run when Jaunich fumbled a comebacker for an error.
Neither team got a base runner to third base except Dartmouth in the seventh when Keller hit a one-out triple to center field. But he was left stranded there as reliever Jay Flaa struck out the next two hitters to retire the side.
Keller had two of the 10 Big Green hits on the day with his two-run double and triple, while Coble and sophomore Nick Lombardi joined him with a pair of safeties each.
For North Dakota State, John Skrbec reached base safely in all three trips to the plate with two singles and a walk. The Bison as a team had just the five singles off of Johnson and eight base runners in the contest.
Jaunich (1-1) took the loss, yielding all six runs, five earned, on seven hits and two walks while fanning four. Four other Bison pitchers shut the Big Green down on three hits and a pair of walks over the final five frames.
Dartmouth returns to the diamond tomorrow afternoon when it takes on Vassar (3-0), which is playing a doubleheader against Oswego State today, at Chain of Lakes Park in Winter Haven at 3 p.m.