Baseball Begins Nine-Game Trip at #27 TCU
The Games: Dartmouth (1-2) at #27 TCU (9-7)
Location: Lupton Stadium & Williams-Reilly Field (4,500), Fort Worth, Texas
First pitches: Friday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 15 at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 16 at 2 p.m. (all times Eastern)
Series Record vs. TCU: First meeting
Video (Fri. & Sat.), Audio (Sun.) - FrogVision ($)
Television (Sun.) - Fox Sports Southwest Plus
Live Stats - Friday | Saturday | Sunday
Complete Game Notes
Another Ranked Team on Tap
Dartmouth opened the season against FIU, a team ranked 30th in the nation by Collegiate Baseball at the time (now 19th), and won the second of the three games. That victory and series have put the Big Green at the top of the RPI. True, this early in the season, the rankings are mostly meaningless. But it’s not going to keep me from mentioning it.
Now Dartmouth gets to try its hand with another ranked opponent in TCU. The Horned Frogs are listed in two of the four major polls, topping out at No. 27 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), despite opening the week with a 9-6 record.
Two Weeks Ago in Review
• The Big Green won the middle of three games against FIU for their first victory over a ranked team since 2006. Dartmouth had lost 13 straight contests against ranked teams.
• In the season opener, the Golden Panthers shut out Dartmouth, 11-0, the first time the Green had been blanked to start a season since 1992.
• That 11-0 loss is also the largest margin of defeat on opening day since 1981.
• In the 3-0 victory, sophomores Beau Sulser and Michael Danielak combined on the six-hit shutout. Last year, Dartmouth twirled nine shutouts, the most since the 1975 squad had 10.
• Senior Jeff Keller led the nation in doubles per game in 2013, and showed no signs of slowing up. The co-captain ripped four two-baggers in the three-game series.
• Junior Matt Parisi extended his hitting streak to 15 games dating back to last year before it was snapped in the third game. But he still has reached base for 19 straight contests.
• All 15 position players on the roster came to the plate at least once in the three games, but the only freshman to pick up his first collegiate hit was Michael Ketchmark, who stroked a pinch-single in the final inning.
• Head coach Bob Whalen won his 490th career game, leaving him 10 victories shy of becoming the first Dartmouth coach in any sport to win 500.
The Overall Record vs. TCU
• This is the first time Dartmouth and the Horned Frogs will meet on the diamond.
• This is the first of two series against Big 12 schools as the Big Green will play three games at Kansas next week.
• Dartmouth is 1-5 against current Big 12 teams with the only victory a 7-6 triumph over Iowa State at the 1970 College World Series.
Scouting the Horned Frogs
• Since starting the season by winning six of its first seven games, TCU has gone just 3-6. Last weekend the Horned Frogs lost 2-of-3 to Michigan State, and on Tuesday were shut out by Rice, 5-0.
• The offense averages about four runs a game, but is slugging just .319. Boomer White has a slash line of .359/.425/.469, and leadoff man Cody Jones has wreaked havoc with a .440 on-base average and 12 stolen bases in 13 attempts.
• The pitching staff has been terrific with a stellar 2.37 ERA and averages a strikeout every inning.
• The defense has a .967 fielding percentage and turned 14 double plays, but allowed the opposition to steal successfully on 80 percent of attempts.
Probable Starting Pitchers
• Game 1 will feature Big Green senior RHP Louis Concato (0-0, 0.00) making his first start of the season after a four-inning relief stint in the season opener in which he surrendered five runs, all unearned. TCU will counter with LHP Brandon Finnegan (2-2, 2.12), who has struck out 45 batters and walked just six in 29.2 innings.
• In the second game, Dartmouth will send another sophomore right-hander in (0-0, 0.00) to the mound for his first collegiate start. He too threw four innings of relief at FIU, but did not allow a run and picked up a save. The Horned Frogs’ ERA leader, RHP Preston Morrison (1-2, 1.67), will match up against Danielak.
• The Big Green have sophomore RHP (1-0, 0.00) on tap for the finale after his terrific starting debut at FIU in which he tossed five scoreless frames. Southpaw Tyler Alexander (2-1, 2.11) will get the starting nod for TCU.
What’s Up Next
Dartmouth travels north to Lawrenceville, Kan., to play three games against Nebraska Omaha at Kansas before taking on the Jayhawks three times.
Win Over Ranked Team
It had been almost eight years since Dartmouth defeated a team in one of the national rankings when the Big Green blanked #30 FIU on March 1, 3-0. It ended a 13-game skid against ranked squads, dating back to a 3-2 win at #21 Pepperdine back on St. Patrick’s Day in 2006.
Keller Continues to Double Up
Senior led the nation in doubles per game in 2013 (0.53), and picked up right where he left off by starting this season with four two-baggers in the three-game series at FIU. He now has 42 doubles in his career and needs 10 more to break the school record of 51 set by Scott Shirrell ’04.
Like Brother, Like Brother
Cole Sulser finished his Big Green baseball career last year having amassed a 20-6 record in over 200 innings before signing with the Cleveland Indians. His younger brother, sophomore , made his first collegiate start at #30 FIU and earned the first victory of his career by tossing five scoreless innings in the 3-0 triumph.
Parisi Still Streaking
Junior ended the 2013 season on a 13-game hitting streak, then added to it by collecting knocks in each of the first two games at FIU. Although that hit streak came to an end at 15 with an 0-for-3 on March 2, he did walk twice to extend his streak of reaching base to 19 games.
Too Many Runs
While Dartmouth did shut out #30 FIU in the second of three games, it did allow 11 runs in each of the other two contests. That matches the number of games in which the opposition scored 10 or more runs against the Big Green in the previous 71 contests.
First Look at Freshmen
A number of rookies got to see their first collegiate action in the season-opening series at FIU. Chris Burkholder threw a scoreless inning in the first game and recorded his first strikeout. The three positional players saw time in the series finale with Ben Socher getting the starting nod in left field. singled in his first at-bat and came around to score, and John Melody walked and scored in his only plate appearance. Finally, Michael Concato tossed the final four frames on the mound, yielding two runs while fanning three.
In 2013, Dartmouth had just one instance of a pinch hitter actually getting a hit. Granted, it was the most opportune time as Ryan Toimil delivered a pinch single with two outs in the ninth of the first game in the Ivy Championship Series, tying the score to send the game into extra innings. In the third game at FIU, the Big Green had consecutive pinch hitters poke singles in Toimil and .
Whalen Approaching 500 Wins
Now in his 25th season, Bob Whalen is just 10 victories shy of 500 for his collegiate head coaching career, served exclusively at Dartmouth. No other Big Green baseball coach is within 100 wins of his total, and his 490 triumphs are more than any other coach in any sport in the school’s history.
The Big Green feature a two-sport athlete in junior Bo Patterson, one of just 19 football/baseball players in Division I. A starting wide receiver, Patterson worked his way into the starting lineup on the gridiron as a freshman and finished his rookie campaign leading the team in receiving yards (301) and second in receptions (24) with a pair of touchdowns. This past season, he led the Green with 25 catches, 395 receiving yards and six TD receptions.