HANOVER, N.H. — Senior Cole Sulser celebrated Senior Day at Dartmouth in style by completing a seven-inning, 3-1 victory against visiting Harvard in the first game of a doubleheader to clinch the Big Green’s sixth straight Rolfe Division title on Saturday afternoon at Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park. In the nightcap, Dartmouth (29-7, 13-5 Ivy) relied on three pitchers to throw a six-hit shutout while three players each had three hits to complete the sweep of the Crimson (10-28, 7-11 Ivy), 8-0.

With the victory in the opening game, Sulser (5-2) became the second pitcher in Dartmouth history to win 20 games in a career, joining Mike Remlinger ’88, who had 22 victories and went on to pitch 14 seasons in the big leagues. The right-hander surrendered just the one run on three hits and two walks while matching a season high with eight strikeouts.

The Big Green took a 1-0 lead in the second thanks to an unearned run. Sophomore Nick Lombardi hit a solid single back through the box to start the inning, then freshman Joe Purritano walked to put two on with nobody out. Freshman Trent Goodrich got the sacrifice bunt down, but Harvard hurler Sam Dodge got the second out on a foul pop. It looked as if he would escape the jam when he induced sophomore Bo Patterson to hit a chopper to short, but the shortstop booted the bounder — possibly due to Purritano running just in front of him before the ball arrived — allowing Lombardi to score the game’s first run.

Sulser cruised through the first three innings, setting the side down the first nine batters he faced, six via the strikeout. But in the fourth, Mike Martin worked him for a lead off walk, Mitch Klug bunted Martin to second and Brandon Kregel doubled him home to tie the game at one.

Dartmouth quickly answered in the bottom half as Purritano belted a triple to deep right-center, Goodrich was hit by a pitch and sophomore Matt MacDowell ripped a double to score both runners for a 3-1 lead. The Big Green eventually loaded the bases with one out, but Dodge squirmed free without allowing another run.

Harvard managed one base runner in each of the last three frames, but no more. Sophomore second baseman Matt Parisi turned a soft liner into a double play to end the sixth, and Sulser induced another double play to end the game.

Dodge (2-7) took the loss, yielding the three runs, two earned, on five hits and five walks with six strikeouts.

Purritano reached base all three trips to the plate for the Big Green with a triple and two walks while MacDowell had the team’s only two RBIs.

Kyle Hunter pitching against Harvard
Kyle Hunter baffled the Harvard hitters with seven scoreless innings.
In the second game, Dartmouth senior southpaw Kyle Hunter and Crimson right-hander Sean Poppen engaged in a scoreless duel through three innings. But in the fourth, the Big Green bats broke out, starting with a one-out single by junior Dustin Selzer followed by a walk to Lombardi. Purritano stroked a solid single up the middle to score Selzer, and Goodrich dumped an RBI single into right-center for a 2-0 lead. A sacrifice fly off the bat of MacDowell brought home Purritano, and after an error, Parisi ripped a single between short and third that sent Goodrich galloping home just ahead of the throw to put Dartmouth up by four.

Dartmouth added two to its 4-0 lead in the sixth. Purritano drew a leadoff walk, went to third on Goodrich’s second double and third hit of the game and crossed the plate on MacDowell’s slow bouncer to short. Poppen then unleashed a wild pitch that allowed Goodrich to score.

Meanwhile, Hunter was frustrating the Harvard offense. Only twice in seven innings of work did the left-hander allow two Crimson batters to reach base, but both times it happened with two outs. Matt Timoney and Klug each had flare singles down the right-field line in the third, but Hunter got a routine fly to right to end the threat. Then in the sixth, Hunter walked Kregel with one out before Nick Saathoff lined a two-out single to put runners at first and second. Again Hunter was up to the challenge, inducing a two-hopper to second for the third out.

The final two Big Green runs came when Parisi hit a one-out double in the eighth, senior Ennis Coble was hit by a pitch and Selzer hit a sinking liner to left for a two-run double.

Hunter improved to 4-1 on the season with his seven scoreless stanzas, giving up just five singles and one walk while fanning five to lower his ERA on the season to 1.66. Freshman Michael Danielak was touched for a one-out triple in the eighth by Martin, but got the next two outs on called third strikes to keep the shutout intact. Junior Mike Dodakian finished up with a perfect ninth to complete Dartmouth’s ninth shutout of the season, one shy of the school record set in 1975.

Parisi, Selzer and Goodrich all had three hits as Dartmouth had 10 as a team. Both Selzer and MacDowell drove in a pair of runs, and Purritano and Goodrich each scored twice.

Poppen (1-4) was tagged with the loss after yielding six runs, five earned, on seven hits and three walks in 5.2 innings.

Dartmouth and Harvard will conclude their four-game series with a doubleheader in Cambridge, Mass., on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Notes: With Columbia’s four-game sweep of Penn this weekend, the Lions have clinched the best record in the Ivy League at 16-4 and will host the best-of-three Ivy Championship Series next weekend against the Big Green … the two Dartmouth wins today give the Class of 2013 110 victories in their four seasons, besting the Class of 2011 (109) for the most in the program’s history … the Big Green can set a new program record for victories in a season with another doubleheader sweep of the Crimson tomorrow. The 2011 team had a 30-12 record to set the standard … Harvard batted out of order in the second game, but because an out was recorded, Dartmouth did not protest and the game continued without a fuss … Selzer’s three hits in game two give him 99 in his career … Dartmouth has a staff ERA of 1.96 in 18 conference games and 2.49 for the season.
The senior class for baseball
The five seniors (left to right): Cole Sulser, Chad Piersma, Michael Johnson, Ennis Coble and Kyle Hunter.