HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth junior Matt Parisi ripped the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the ninth into the netting above the left-field fence for a two-run, walk-off homer to give the Big Green a 3-1 victory and complete a doubleheader sweep on Senior Day over the visiting Harvard Crimson on Sunday afternoon. Combined with the 4-2 win in the opener, Dartmouth (15-19, 9-9 Ivy) kept its Rolfe Division title hopes alive and has won a season-high five straight games.

The Big Green kept pace with the division leader, Yale (18-21, 11-9 Ivy), which won both ends of a doubleheader at home against Brown this afternoon. But Dartmouth must win twice at Harvard on Tuesday in a rescheduled twinbill to finish the season in a tie for first with the Bulldogs and force a one-game playoff, which would be played in Hanover this weekend.

From the ninth spot in the order, Parisi went 3-for-4 in the nightcap and came to the plate in the ninth with one out and junior Bo Patterson, who led the inning off by legging out an infield hit, on second base after junior Matt MacDowell laid down a sacrifice bunt. Parisi wasn’t satisfied with just any base hit, however, as he swatted the first offering from reliever Tanner Anderson (1-2) over the fence to win the game with his second walk-off hit of the season.

The two-run homer gave sophomore Michael Danielak (1-5) his first win of the season after he tossed three scoreless innings while striking out three and allowing just one hit in relief of senior Louis Concato. The latter surrendered the only Crimson run over six stanzas on five hits and four walks with four punchouts.

That lone run against Concato came in the fifth to give Harvard a 1-0 lead. Jake McGuiggan drew a leadoff walk, took second on a bunt and held up at third on a solid single to right by Mitch Klug. After another walk loaded the bases, Brandon Kregel sent a fly ball to right, just deep enough to get McGuiggan home from third.

Thomas Roulis
Thomas Roulis played superb defense throughout the doubleheader.
Photo courtesy of Mark Washburn

Crimson starter Danny Moskovits, meanwhile, retired the first 11 batters he faced and yielded just one run over seven innings. Junior Thomas Roulis finally broke the ice with a single up the middle in the fourth, and in the bottom of the fifth, the Big Green stranded two runners. But as Harvard did in the fifth, Dartmouth took advantage of a leadoff walk in the sixth. Roulis bunted sophomore Nick Ruppert to second, and after Moskovits got the second out on a fly to center, sophomore Joe Purritano provided a clutch, two-out double to tie the score at one.

The Crimson defense proved costly in the opener as three errors led to three unearned runs. But before the breakdowns in the field, Harvard jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Consecutive singles by Ethan Ferreira and Jack Colton, followed by a double off the bat of Klug, brought home a run and put runners on second and third with nobody out. Big Green sophomore hurler Beau Sulser then dug in his heels, getting two grounders to second with the infield drawn in — the second one a diving stop by Roulis — and the third out on strikes to keep any more runners from crossing the plate.

In the bottom half, a one-out walk to Purritano and a single by junior Nick Lombardi put runners at first and second. Patterson then chopped a ball to the shortstop McGuiggan, who could not get the ball out of his glove for an error, loading the bases. McGuiggan redeemed himself a bit by making a sliding stop of a MacDowell grounder up the middle, but he could only get a force at second as the tying run scored.

The Big Green bats got things going in the third after two were out as Roulis slapped a ball back through the box for a single. With a full count on clean-up hitter Dustin Selzer, Crimson pitcher Sean Poppen (2-4) whirled and fired to first only to have the throw go down the first-base line as the first baseman was not holding Roulis on. Selzer then lined a shot off Poppen’s foot that trickled toward third, giving the senior an RBI single for a 2-1 Dartmouth lead.

Lombardi led off the fourth with a double to the gap in left-center, advanced to third on a Patterson sacrifice bunt and scored easily when MacDowell hit a fly ball to left.

In the fifth, Mike Martin stroked a two-out RBI double to left-center to bring Harvard back within a run. But again the Crimson could not get a big inning after a walk and a hit batter as Sulser induced a routine grounder to short to leave the bases loaded with the 3-2 lead intact.

Dartmouth got an unearned insurance run in the bottom half of the fifth after senior Jeff Keller walked and Ruppert singled to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Poppen got the first out on a nice catch on a liner to left, but the left fielder attempted to double up Keller at second and instead threw the ball away, allowing both runners to advance. Selzer then drove in his second run of the game with a sacrifice fly.

Sulser pitched into the seventh, but gave way to sophomore Duncan Robinson after Martin reached on an infield single with one out. Robinson plunked the first batter he faced to put the tying run on base, but then induced a double play grounder to end the game for his second save.

Lombardi had half of the Big Green’s six hits and the only extra-base hit, while Selzer and MacDowell each had a pair of RBIs.

Sulser (3-4) allowed all nine Harvard hits in 6.1 innings, but walked just one batter and struck out four to earn the victory.

Notes: The last walk-off home run for the Big Green came nine years ago when John Huelskamp hit a three-run homer to lift Dartmouth to a 12-10 victory over Vermont … Parisi’s other walk-off hit this year came against Holy Cross with a single that hit the left-field fence on the fly on April 9 … it was the third walk-off win for Dartmouth this year … the Big Green have won 15 of the last 16 games against Harvard.

2014 Senior Class
The 2014 Senior Class (l-r): Ryan Toimil, Dustin Selzer, Jeff Keller and Louis Concato.
Photo courtesy of Mark Washburn