WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Sophomore Kyle Hunter surrendered just two unearned runs while striking out a career-high nine batters over seven innings, and freshman Dustin Selzer gave Dartmouth (6-4) some breathing room with a three-run homer in the eighth as the Big Green knocked off UMBC (3-10) on Wednesday afternoon at Chain O’ Lakes Park, 8-2.
Senior Sam Bean and sophomore Ennis Coble each had three hits — two singles and a double — in the 17-hit attack for Dartmouth. While Selzer drove in three runs, all with his first career four-bagger, he also scored twice, as did Bean and junior Joe Sclafani. Sophomore Chris O’Dowd contributed an RBI single to drive in the first run of the day and extend his hitting streak to 17 games.
After leaving two runners on in the second inning, the Big Green broke through in the third. Sclafani was hit by a pitch with one out and scooted to second on a Bean single. O’Dowd followed with a single to right, sending Sclafani around to score, but O’Dowd was gunned down at second when the throw to the plate was cut off. After Selzer was drilled with a pitch, senior Jeff Onstott delivered a two-out, RBI single and Coble stroked a double to score Selzer for a 3-0 Dartmouth lead.
The Green went right back to work in the fourth against Retriever hurler Austin Drewyer (1-3). Senior Jason Brooks led off with a single, and when junior Jake Carlson laid down a bunt, he beat the wild throw, which put the two runners at second and third. A Sclafani grounder to first allowed Brooks to score, then Bean drilled an RBI double to left-center to make it a 5-0 game.
On the mound, Hunter (2-1) allowed just one base runner in each of the first four innings but was never in any serious trouble until the fifth. D.J. Smith singled to start things off, then scampered to third when a pickoff attempt sailed down the right-field line. An infield single off the bat of Bryan Perlmutter scored Smith, and Kevin Kean singled as well to put men on first and second with nobody out. Hunter caught his breath and retired the next two batters on strikes, but a misplayed grounder allowed a second run to score.
After the error, Hunter retired the last seven batters he faced before giving way to the bullpen. The left-hander allowed just the two unearned runs on six hits and a walk while recording his personal-best nine strikeouts.
“Kyle’s stuff was the most effective it has been so far this year, and he located very well,” said head coach Bob Whalen. “He made UMBC look for three pitches, which really put them on their heels at the plate.”
Meanwhile, the Dartmouth bats were threatening to extend the 5-2 lead in both the sixth and seventh innings, but Drewyer was able to escape both frames by leaving two men on in each. The UMBC bullpen was not as fortunate in the eighth when Josh Dick strolled to the mound. Sclafani worked the reliever for a walk, and Bean sent him to second with a single. Dick got the first out on strikes, but Selzer launched a 1-0 fastball well over the fence in left for a three-run bomb and an 8-2 lead.
Freshman Mike Dodakian and senior closer Ryan Smith each tossed a scoreless inning to close out the victory.
Drewyer hurled seven innings, surrendering five runs on 13 hits and three hit batters with just one strikeout. UMBC managed just seven hits in the game, two by third baseman Rich Conlon.
The two teams play their third of four games against each other at Chain O’ Lakes Park on Thursday at 1 p.m.