NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The potent Dartmouth offense, ranked among the top 15 in the nation, was stymied on Saturday afternoon by Yale pitchers Vinny Lally and Brook Hart as the Big Green lost a doubleheader to the Bulldogs, 6-1 and 5-1, on Saturday afternoon at Yale Field. With the victories, Yale (18-12, 6-4 Ivy) moved into a tie atop the Rolfe Division standings with Dartmouth (18-8, 6-4 Ivy), which had its six-game winning streak come to an end.
Lally (3-0) surrendered just three hits and a single run in the seven-inning contest to start the doubleheader, walking three and fanning two. Hart (4-3) managed to work his way out of a bit more trouble, but did not yield a run until the ninth, giving up nine hits in 8.2 innings while walking two and striking out seven. The Bulldogs’ Kevin Fortunato relieved Hart with the bases loaded and the tying run at the plate, but got the final out on strikes to earn his second save of the year.
The first game was a scoreless duel over the first three innings, although each team had an opportunity to score. In the second, Dartmouth left the bases loaded, while Yale left runners on second and third in the third inning. The Bulldogs finally broke through in the fourth against sophomore southpaw Kyle Hunter when Trey Rallis led off with a solo homer to right. Ryan Brenner then beat out an infield hit, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an Andrew Moore double for a 2-0 Yale lead.
In the fifth, the Elis extended their advantage when Rallis boomed a two-out double to center to score Cale Hanson, who had singled with one out. Brenner followed with an RBI single, and Jacob Hunter reached on an error. Moore got the third two-out hit of the inning with a clean single to center, plating Brenner to make it 5-0.
Dartmouth’s lone run came in the sixth when sophomore Chris O’Dowd drew a one-out walk and scored on senior Jason Brooks’ double to center. That was all Lally would allow as he retired the next two hitters to kill the rally. In the bottom half, Cam Squires manufactured the final Bulldog run, beginning with an infield hit, then stealing second and third. When the throw got away on his second stolen base, he was able to sprint across the plate.
The loss for Hunter (3-2) marked the first time in his nine starts against an Ivy League team that Dartmouth had lost, including the third game of last year’s Ivy Championship Series. He yielded six runs, five earned, on 10 hits — all career highs — with a pair of walks and nary a strikeout.
In the nightcap, Yale reached Dartmouth junior Cole Sulser for four runs in the first two innings. Hanson, Andy Megee and Rallis hit consecutive one-out singles in the first to load the bases, and Brenner brought home Hanson with a sacrifice fly. The Big Green avoided further damage when the Bulldogs attempted a double steal, only to have Dartmouth second baseman Jeff Onstott gun Megee down at the plate.
Hunter was plunked to lead off the second stanza, then took second on Moore’s single to left. Josh Scharff beat out a bunt, and each runner took an extra base when the throw to first was wild. Sulser nearly escaped again when he got a strikeout and a safety squeeze bunt that stuck right in front of the plate for the second out. But Hanson got a clutch two-out, two-run single to make it 4-0.
Sulser settled in after those first two frames, retiring 15 straight batters before Gant Elmore singled with two outs in the seventh. He was immediately erased when he was gunned down trying to steal.
Meanwhile, Hart was throwing shutout ball over the first eight innings. Only twice did he retired the side in order, but Dartmouth never had a base runner advance past second until the eighth. Senior Sam Bean singled to start the inning ad took second on a grounder to third. After a walk to Brooks, Onstott hit a fly to right to send Bean to third. But Hart got sophomore Ennis Coble — who had struck out just six times in 23 games — to look at strike three to end the threat.
After Yale scored an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth, Dartmouth finally strung together some hits against Hart. Junior David Turnbull singled with one gone, and one out later junior Joe Sclafani and Bean each singled to score Turnbull. O’Dowd then legged out an infield hit to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate in the clean-up hitter Brooks. Bulldog head coach John Stuper summoned Fortunato from the bullpen, and he got the strikeout to end the game.
Sulser (3-1), despite allowing just four earned runs in his complete-game effort, had his string of 11 straight victories snapped. The right-hander struck out five and walked just one in taking the loss.
Bean stroked a trio of singles to account for three of the Big Green’s nine hits.
Rallis ended the day going 4-for-8 in the two games with a pair of doubles and his third home run.
The two teams will conclude their four-game Ivy series tomorrow with another doubleheader at noon.