PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — For the first time in nearly four years, the Dartmouth baseball team lost an Ivy League series as Penn played the rude host by defeating the Big Green on Sunday afternoon at Meiklejohn Stadium, 3-2 and 14-10. Vince Voiro tossed a three-hitter in the opener for the Quakers (12-10, 4-0 Ivy), and Will Davis hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the nightcap.
Dartmouth (12-6, 2-2 Ivy) had its eight-game winning streak come to an end in the first game of the day despite a solid outing by junior Kyle Hendricks (2-2). The right-hander yielded the three runs — only two earned — on five hits without issuing a free pass and striking out six.
The problem was that Voiro (2-3) outdueled Hendricks, taking a shutout into the seventh and final frame. He did walk three batters but struck out nine to keep the Big Green bats in check.
In the first inning, Dan Williams drilled a solo home run out to right-center, his second four-bagger of the year. The following frame, Derek Vigoa hit a lead-off double, moved to third on a bunt and scored with two outs on a bunt single by Brandon Engelhardt for an early 2-0 lead.
Dartmouth put two men on base in each of the first two innings, but could not bring any of them around. Voiro then settled in, retiring 13 of 14 batters with the lone blemish just a harmless single by senior Jeff Onstott in the fourth.
What turned out to be the winning run scored in the fifth as Engelhardt laced a lead-off double. Adrian Lorenzo bunted him over, but was safe at first when the throw was dropped. Hendricks got the first out on strikes, but Williams lifted a sacrifice fly to bring home the insurance run.
In the seventh, Voiro was one out away from his shutout when junior Jake Carlson turned on an inside fastball and sent it out of the park for a two-run homer, his first of the season. Voiro kept his head about him, however, and got the final out on a routine fly to left. In addition, Voiro held sophomore Chris O’Dowd hitless, ending the catcher’s 23-game hitting streak dating back to last year.
In the second game, the Quakers jumped on Dartmouth freshman Mitch Horacek in the first inning for six runs. Trouble began with one out when Horacek hit Williams with a pitch and Jeremy Maas executed a perfect hit-and-run with a single to right, sending Williams to third. Davis followed with an RBI double into the left-field corner, and Mike Mariano singled home Maas. A sacrifice fly by Rick Brebner scored the third run, and after a Vigoa single, Greg Zebrack crushed a three-run bomb to cap the inning.
Onstott jump-started the Big Green offense in the second with a solo shot to center field, his first of the year, but Maas doubled home Williams, who had singled, in the bottom half to maintain Penn’s six-run lead.
Dartmouth exploded for five runs of its own in the third with the help of a couple of Quaker errors. Junior Joe Sclafani drew a walk to lead off the inning, and O’Dowd reached on catcher’s interference with one out. A misplayed grounder allowed Sclafani to score, then Onstott singled home O’Dowd. The big hit of the inning was a two-run double courtesy of sophomore Ennis Coble, and freshman Dustin Selzer followed with another double to bring the Green within a run at 7-6.
Sclafani started another rally in the fourth with a lead-off single, then beat the throw to second on a grounder to first off the bat of senior Sam Bean. A fielder’s choice put runners on the corners with one out before senior Jason Brooks hit a shallow fly to right that was dropped as Sclafani trotted home. With two outs, Coble boomed another two-run double to give Dartmouth the lead at 9-7.
Bean set up the 10th run in the sixth, walking with one out and stealing second and third base. Penn starter Chris McNulty was lifted for reliever Patrick Brennan, but Brooks fouled off four two-strike pitches before ripping an RBI double into the left-field corner.
Horacek was lifted in the bottom of the fourth with two outs and two on, and freshman reliever Mike Dodakian got a pop fly to end the threat. But in the sixth, Dodakian (0-1) could not get out of his own jam as Penn scored four times to retake the lead. With two out, two on and a run in, Davis capped the inning by jerking the first pitch he saw over the fence in right for a three-run homer and an 11-10 lead.
Penn tacked on three insurance runs in the eighth on a two-run homer by Maas, his fifth of the year, and a Brebner single that scored Davis who had doubled.
Brennan (2-0) got credit for the win by getting the final out in the top of the sixth, and Cody Thomson earned his second save by recording the final four outs.
Dartmouth next plays at Quinnipiac on Wednesday, April 6 at 3 p.m.
Notes: The last Ivy League team to win a series from the Big Green was Brown in 2007, which swept four games in doubleheaders on April 14 and 25, 2007. Dartmouth had either won or split 23 straight series since.