Baseball Returns the Favor, Blanks #30 FIU
MIAMI, Fla. — Sophomore Beau Sulser handcuffed the 30th-ranked FIU Golden Panthers (10-1) for five innings in his first collegiate start, and classmate Michael Danielak completed the shutout with four scoreless frames as the Dartmouth Big Green (1-1) picked up their first victory of the 2014 season, 3-0, and ended FIU’s 10-game winning streak to start the year. Junior Thomas Roulis was a perfect 4-for-4 and drove in the first run of the game to lead the 11-hit Big Green attack.
Sulser (1-0) walked the first batter he faced, but he didn’t do much wrong after that, allowing just three singles over his five innings of work while striking out two. Twice the Golden Panthers put runners on first and second with one out, but Sulser induced a double play in the first inning and got two routine outs in the fourth to quelch the rallies. He retired eight in a row at one point, and threw 47 of his 73 pitches for strikes in shutting down FIU for his first career win.
Danielak was just as effective in relief, scattering three hits and a walk to earn his first save of the year. His only real trouble came in the seventh when the Golden Panthers rapped a pair of singles to put men on first and second with one out. A pair of popups took care of the threat, and Danielak stranded a runner on third in the ninth thanks to a grounder to second to end the game.
At the plate, Dartmouth wasted no time scoring after getting blanked in its season opener last night, touching FIU starter Mike Ellis for a run in the top of the first. Keller dropped a single over the second baseman’s head, sophomore Joe Purritano ripped a single to center and junior Nick Lombardi drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases. Roulis then worked the count full before stroking a shot to center field for an RBI single. Ellis escaped further damage, however, by inducing a double play.
Keller started the rally in the sixth with a leadoff single, and he promptly stole second. Following a Purritano fly to right that sent Keller to third, Lombardi lofted a sacrifice fly to center for a 2-0 Big Green lead. Roulis and sophomore Nick Ruppert followed with consecutive singles to knock Ellis from the game, but Mitchell Davis came on and got a strikeout to end the inning.
The Big Green tacked on an insurance run in the eighth with Lombardi stroking a leadoff single advancing to third on a Roulis double down the left field line. Neither runner could advance on a grounder to third, but senior Dustin Selzer pulled his first hit of the season through the hole between short and third to plate Lombardi.
Ellis (2-1) entered the game having not allowed a run in 10.1 innings, but suffered his first loss by yielding two runs on seven hits and a walk over 5.2 frames while striking out five.
Keller finished the game 2-for-4 with a pair of stolen bases and scored the first two runs to complement Roulis’ four-hit performance.
Edwin Rios collected two of the Golden Panthers’ six hits on the day with a single and a double.
The two teams will play the rubber game on Sunday morning with first pitch at 11 a.m.