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Early Weekend: Yale in Town for Twinbills Friday and Saturday

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Junior Ennis Coble     By Mark Washburn
The Games: Dartmouth (13-15, 7-5) vs. Yale (9-26-1, 2-10)
Location: Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park (2,000), Hanover, N.H.
First pitch: Noon doubleheader Friday, April 20; noon doubleheader Saturday, April 21
Series Record vs. Yale: Bulldogs lead, 119-84-1
Live Video via Big Green Insider ($)
Live Audio — (Wayne Young ’72 play-by-play)
Live Stats
Complete Game Notes
Division Title Clinch Possible
With Dartmouth sporting a three-game lead in the Rolfe Division entering the four-game series against Yale, it is possible for the Big Green to clinch the division title by the end of the weekend. Should they earn a four-game sweep of the Bulldogs, and Harvard split its series at home against Brown, the Green would lay claim to their fifth straight division crown. Any Dartmouth loss or a series victory for either the Bears or the Crimson would mean the division crown would not be decided until the following weekend.

Last Week in Review
•    In the four-game series at Brown, the Big Green briefly fell back into a tie for first in the Rolfe Division when it lost the first game in eight innings, 4-3. It was their first extra-inning game in over a year and ended a six-game win streak in extras dating back to 2009.
•    Trailing 5-2 in the seventh stanza of game two, the Dartmouth bats awoke to rally for a 9-5 triumph with senior Joe Sclafani and sophomore Dustin Selzer mashing home runs.
•    Sunday saw the Green sweep the Bears, 12-1 behind the pitching of junior Kyle Hunter, and 9-5 thanks to junior Chris O’Dowd’s tie-breaking, three-run bomb in the eighth.
•    Dartmouth finished its five-game road trip with a 14-5 rout at Hartford on Wednesday. Sophomore Jeff Keller and Selzer each had four knocks with the latter driving in five runs as the team pounded out a season-high 20 hits.

Last Time Against the Bulldogs
Yale was one of just two Ivy League squads to beat the Big Green during the regular season, and did so in convincing fashion, sweeping the series in New Haven while allowing a total of three runs in the four games. Dartmouth never held a lead in the series and hit just .205 with three extra-base hits. It was the lowest scoring output over a four-game stretch for the Big Green in 25 years, and the first time Yale enjoyed a four-game sweep of Dartmouth since 1998.

Overall Record vs. Yale
•    The two teams have met 204 times on the diamond with the Bulldogs having a decided advantage at 119-84-1.
•    Yale’s sweep of Dartmouth last year avenged the sweep the Big Green enjoyed the year before. While the Bulldogs outscored Dartmouth last year, 19-3, the Green had a 21-8 advantage on the scoreboard in 2010.
•    Dartmouth head coach Bob Whalen enters the series with an even 41-41 mark versus Yale.
•    The Big Green have swept the Bulldogs in Hanover three times in the last six series, and since 1930 Dartmouth is 44-38 at home against Yale.
•    The first game in the series took place 131 years ago when the Big Green defeated Yale, 6-3.

Scouting the Bulldogs
•    Yale suffered through a 12-game losing streak before winning three of its last five contests, including a series split with Harvard last weekend.
•    Runs have been hard to come by all year for the Bulldog offense. Yale, with a .244 batting aveage, has scored just 3.2 runs per game, which ranks among the three lowest in the nation.
•    Cale Hanson is one of only three Bulldogs hitting above .250 and is fifth in the league at .370. The shortstop has also reached base in 34 consecutive games.
•    The team ERA on the season is 5.26, but in Ivy League play, that number drops to 3.73, nearly identical to Dartmouth’s 3.75 ERA. The difference is that the Bulldogs have given up 16 unearned runs, compared to just five for the Big Green.
•    Those unearned runs of course can be traced back to the defense, which has committed 18 errors in the 12 conference contests to date.

Probable Starting Pitchers
•    Head coach Bob Whalen will stick with his rotation from the last two weekends, starting four left-handers beginning with sophomore LHP Mitch Horacek (2-2, 4.85) on Friday at noon. The southpaw has thrown seven innings in four of his seven starts with three complete games. Freshman LHP Adam Frank (3-1, 5.16) gets the game ball in the nightcap. He has been one of the toughest pitchers to hit in the Ivy League this year, although Brown touched him for 10 hits last weekend. On Saturday, junior LHP Kyle Hunter (1-3, 7.25) climbs the hill looking to build upon his stellar outing against the Bears, a complete-game, 12-1 victory. Closing out the series will be junior LHP Michael Johnson (2-1, 4.86), who fanned 10 in a win over Columbia two weeks ago.
•    Yale will give the Big Green a run for their money when it comes to left-handed starters with three in the rotation. First up for the Bulldogs will be LHP Christopher O’Hare (1-4, 4.43), who tossed a seven-inning shutout against Dartmouth last year. Another portsider, LHP Rob Cerfolio (0-4, 5.35) will toe the slab in the second game. Opponents have hit Cerfolio at a .367 clip on the season. One of the top pitchers in the league — and the one with the worst luck so far — will go in Saturday’s first game, RHP Pat Ludwig (0-4, 2.50). That ERA leads the league, but he doesn’t have a win to show for it. Closing out the series will be LHP Nolan Becker (1-3, 4.42), who has allowed the opposition to hit just .224 but has walked more than five batters per nine innings.

What’s Up Next
The Big Green have two non-conference games during the week, hosting Quinnipiac on Tuesday before traveling to Boston College the following afternoon. Next weekend, Dartmouth wraps up the Ivy League slate with a doubleheader at Harvard on Saturday and another twinbill on Sunday in Hanover on Senior Day. Each of the home games will be streamed live — audio and video — on the official website of Dartmouth athletics,

Very Offensive Output
Dartmouth set season highs in both runs (14) and hits (20) in a 14-5 romp at Hartford on April 18. Sophomore Dustin Selzer had another big game, going 4-for-6 with a homer, two doubles and five RBIs, while classmate Jeff Keller was a perfect 4-for-4. The four hits were a career best for both, and Selzer extended his hitting streak to 10 games, the longest for a Big Green player this year.

Jolly Young England
Freshman Chris England picked up his first collegiate victory by tossing three innings of relief at Hartford while yielding just one run. He retired nine of the 11 batters he faced with the only blemishes back-to-back doubles.

Gab on the Green
•    The 14 runs in the win at Hartford on April 18 were the most for Dartmouth in just over a year. The Green rallied for a 15-10 win over Boston College last year on April 12.
•    Thanks to those 20 hits at Hartford, the Big Green boosted their team batting average to .300 (rounded up, mind you), tops in the league.
•    Sophomore Dustin Selzer has been crushing the ball during his 10-game hitting streak with a .485 average (16-for-33) with four doubles, four homers and a whopping 20 RBIs.
•    Senior Joe Sclafani leads the Ivy League in the triple-slash stats in conference play, batting .429 with a .547 on-base percentage and an .810 slugging percentage in the 12 games thus far.
•    Senior Max Langford must use mind control — 11 of the 16 batters he has struck out this year have watched the third strike go by.
•    Selzer isn’t the only player enjoying the last 10 games. Freshman Thomas Roulis is hitting .361 in that span with three doubles, 10 runs scored and five RBIs.
•    To qualify for the league leaders in batting average, hitters must average three plate appearances per team game. Sophomore Jeff Keller enters the weekend batting .405, but is one PA shy of officially ranking second in the conference.
•    In each of the last 14 games, Dartmouth pitchers have not allowed more than five runs. Princeton is the last team to surpass that total in an 8-0 win in the first Ivy game of the season as the team ERA in those 14 games is 3.14.
•    As a team, the Big Green are hitting between .330 and .350 in the fifth through eighth innings and .338 over the four innings combined. Selzer alone is hitting .447 from the fifth inning through the end of the game.