Toimil's Solo Homer Sends Big Green to 1-0 Win Over NIU
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Junior Ryan Toimil sent a two-out blast over the baggie in right field at the Metrodome in the seventh inning, providing the only run of the game in Dartmouth’s 1-0 triumph over Northern Illinois (1-9) on Saturday afternoon in the second game of the Dairy Queen Classic, hosted by the University of Minnesota.
Senior left-hander Kyle Hunter tossed the first five frames for Dartmouth (2-0), matching a career high with 10 strikeouts while allowing just one hit and one walk. He was relieved by junior southpaw Mitch Horacek (1-0), who completed the three-hit shutout, fanning three in his four innings of work.
Eli Anderson (1-2) was the tough-luck loser for the Huskies. The right-hander finished the game hurling seven-plus innings, surrendering the lone run on four hits and a pair of walks while striking out six.
Hunter was in command from the outset of the game, setting the side down in order, two on strikes. He punched out two more in the second, although Alex Klonowski did reach him for a harmless two-out single. The only walk Hunter issued came with two outs in the third, but he struck out the side to subdue the Huskies. After two more whiffs in the fourth and his 10th in the fifth frame, Hunter was lifted having thrown 74 pitches in his initial start of the 2013 season.
Dartmouth, meanwhile, had a couple of opportunities wasted against Anderson. Senior Ennis Coble and junior Dustin Selzer drew two-out walks in the bottom of the first, but Anderson got the third out on strikes. In the fourth, Coble reached on an error, then stole second with one gone, but the Big Green could not take advantage of the miscue as he was stranded on third.
The Big Green did not miss a beat in the field with Horacek on the mound, yielding just a two-out single in the sixth in his first two innings.
In the bottom half of the seventh, Anderson retired the first two hitters on seven pitches before Toimil worked the count full. Four times the lefty fouled off a 3-2 pitch, one of which was a tip that could not be squeezed by the NIU catcher. Finally, on the 10th pitch of the at-bat, Toimil got a pitch he could handle and crushed it over the famous baggie for his first career home run and a 1-0 lead.
For the only time all afternoon, the Huskies were able to put two runners on base with a one-out single by Nate Ruzich and a two-out walk for Jamison Wells. Horacek was up to the task, however, getting a lazy fly ball to left on his first pitch to Brian Sisler.
In the Big Green’s last at-bat, they briefly had an insurance run that was overruled. Freshman Nick Ruppert led off with his second single of the day, ending Anderson’s night. The rookie was then rudely picked off by left-handed reliever Anthony Andres for the first out. But sophomore Thomas Roulis singled, and one out later Coble dropped a double into left field, putting runners on second and third. The first pitch to Selzer, the clean-up hitter, went down and into the dirt for a wild pitch, allowing Roulis to score. Following an umpire conference, however, the pitch was ruled to have hit Selzer, loading the bases instead. Andrew induced a routine grounder to short to squelch the uprising.
The loss of the run did not matter as Horacek quickly set down the side in order to complete the three-hit shutout. In his four innings, he gave up just two hits and one walk with three strikeouts to record his first win of the season.
Dartmouth will attempt to complete the sweep at the Dairy Queen Classic tomorrow when it takes on the Utah Utes (5-3), which play the host Minnesota this evening. First pitch is slated for 11 a.m. (CST).