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Dartmouth, Yale Swap Shutouts for Doubleheader Split

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Senior Michael Johnson lowered his ERA to a sparkling 1.30 with seven shutout innings at...     By Mike Janes

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Senior Michael Johnson and freshman Michael Danielak combined on a nine-hit shutout in the second game of a doubleheader, helping Dartmouth (26-7, 11-5 Ivy) salvage a split of a doubleheader at Yale (9-25, 6-10 Ivy) on Sunday. David Hickey twirled a four-hit shutout in a 2-0 game in the opener for the Bulldogs, but the Big Green won the series after sweeping a twinbill yesterday.

Dartmouth earned at least a tie for its sixth consecutive Rolfe Division title, holding a four-game lead in the standings with four to play. Just one victory against Harvard next weekend will clinch the crown.

Johnson (6-0) earned his league-leading sixth victory by hurling the first seven innings, scattering eight hits without allowing a run. The left-hander lowered his ERA to 1.30 on the season, throwing 103 pitches while walking just one and striking out three. Danielak came on to start the eighth with Dartmouth holding a 3-0 lead and retired six of the seven hitters he faced to earn his second save of the season.

The Big Green jumped on Bulldog starter Chris Lanham in the first inning as senior Ennis Coble slapped a double down the left-field line and came home on junior Jeff Keller’s RBI single to right for a 1-0 lead.

In the fourth, Dartmouth stretched its lead to three. Sophomore Matt MacDowell ripped a one-out double into the right-field corner to score freshman Joe Purritano, who led off the inning with a single. After a grounder to second send MacDowell to third, sophomore Matt Parisi sent a pitch right back through the middle for a run-scoring single and a 3-0 lead.

Johnson, meanwhile, was working in and out of trouble as he stranded seven runners in the first four frames. He gave up a leadoff single in the fifth to Jacob Hunter, who went 4-for-4 in the game, but then retired the next two hitters before Hunter was gunned down trying to steal second. Johnson retired the side in order for the only time in the sixth before leaving two more men on base in the seventh, getting the final out on a routine grounder to short.

The Big Green added a couple of insurance runs in the ninth on RBI singles by junior Dustin Selzer and sophomore Nick Lombardi.

Every Dartmouth starter had at least one hit with Coble leading the way by going 3-for-5 with two runs.

Lanham (1-7) was tagged with the loss, allowing three runs on seven hits and three walks in four innings of work with a pair of strikeouts.

In the first game, Dartmouth threatened to score right away in the first frame, loading the bases with nobody out against Hickey. But the left-hander got a comebacker that he turned into a home-to-first double play, then a fly to center to escape the jam.

The Big Green also got a two-out single in the second and two more in the third, but could not get any of those runners home.

On the mound, Dartmouth left-hander Mitch Horacek was matching Hickey’s zeroes on the scoreboard for the first three innings, retiring the first seven batters of the game. But in the fourth, Hunter stroked a leadoff double and came around to score on Brent Lawson’s one-out single to center, beating the throw to the plate.

A leadoff walk in the fifth to Cam Squires led to the other Bulldog run. Consecutive bunts put Squires on third with two outs, and Hunter followed with the single to score him for a 2-0 lead.

After Dartmouth’s two two-out singles in the third, Hickey (3-2) retired the final 13 batters to close out his second shutout of the season. Along with the four hits, he walked a batter and hit another, plus struck out two.

Horacek (5-2) was the hard-luck loser, allowing just two runs in his six innings on the mound. He gave up five hits and two walks while fanning four Bulldogs.

Dartmouth returns to Hanover when it hosts Quinnipiac (10-24) on Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. Yale will take on Brown in an Ivy doubleheader in New Haven on Friday at 1 p.m.

Notes: Dartmouth has thrown seven shutouts this season, tied with the 1943 team for the second-most in school history. The 1975 team twirled 10 ... the Big Green remain one game behind Columbia of the Gehrig Division for the best record in the Ivy League. The team with the best record will host the best-of-three Ivy Championship Series between the two division winners. Should the two teams win their respective divisions, Dartmouth would only need to tie the Lions for the best record to host due to winning both games against Columbia earlier this season.