Chris O’Dowd drove in a pair of runs while the Dartmouth pitching staff took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before claiming a 5-2 victory over visiting Amherst on Wednesday afternoon. The triumph extended the Big Green’s home winning streak to 25, the longest among Division I teams, as they improved to 3-10 on the season, ending a six-game slide. The Lord Jeffs fell to 7-4 on the season as both teams tuned up for their first conference games this weekend.
O’Dowd finished the day 2-for-3 with a single and a double, each of which plated a run. Joining O’Dowd with two hits was sophomore Dustin Selzer, who smacked a pair of doubles with an RBI in five trips to the plate. As a team, Dartmouth collected only seven hits on the afternoon, but also drew a season-high seven walks and was hit by a pitch twice.
The Big Green jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first when Amherst starter Hayden Metz (0-4) walked two batters after retiring the lead-off hitter. Selzer yanked a pitch inside the third-base bag, scoring freshman Thomas Roulis from second, and one out later, O’Dowd legged out an infield hit to enable junior Ennis Coble to cross the plate.
In the fourth, Dartmouth tacked on a run without the aid of a hit. Freshman Nick Lombardi was plunked by a pitch, then moved up to second when senior David Turnbull watched ball four go by. After a sacrifice by senior Jake Carlson, senior Joe Sclafani lofted a deep drive to left, allowing Lombardi to trot home for a 3-0 lead.
A Lord Jeff error in the fifth proved to be costly when Selzer scored from first with two out on O’Dowd’s double into the right-field corner. When Lombardi was hit by another pitch, Amherst summoned Adam Medoff from the bullpen. The Lord Jeffs nearly escaped without further damage when shortstop Taiki Kasuga dove for a Turnbull grounder up the middle. But his throw to first was a hair late as Turnbull collected an infield hit, and Carlson walked to force in the fifth Big Green run.
The Dartmouth pitching staff, meanwhile, was mowing down the Amherst hitters. Freshman Adam Frank needed just 10 pitches to retire the side in order in the first, then sophomore Louis Concato pitched two scoreless innings, surrendering just one walk while fanning two. Senior Marco Mariscal and junior Kyle Hunter both set down all three hitters they faced, keeping the Lord Jeffs hitless through five innings.
Quinn Saunders-Kolberg recorded the first Amherst hit leading off the sixth against senior reliever Max Langford, but was wiped out on a double play. Langford tossed two shutout innings, yielding three hits and a walk, but also struck out four to equal a career best.
In the eighth, freshman Chris England made his collegiate debut on the mound, but was replaced by sophomore Mike Dodakian with one out and the bases loaded. Dodakian fanned the first batter he faced, but Mike Samela hit a jam-job just beyond the infielders on the right side for a two-run single. After another single loaded the bases again, sophomore left fielder Ryan Toimil tracked down a long foul fly for the third out.
Although Dodakian got into trouble in the ninth when the first two batters reached base, he settled in an retired the final three batters to earn his first save of the year. Frank (1-1) was credited with the win after pitching his one scheduled inning and departing with a 2-0 lead.
Dartmouth will begin its quest for a fifth straight Rolfe Division title and third Ivy League crown in four years when it begins conference play with a noon doubleheader in a rematch of last year’s Ivy Championship Series at Princeton (6-9). Amherst will host Hamilton in its NESCAC opener with a single game on Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.
Home Win Streak at 25 After 5-2 Win
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Baseball 8- 3-2016
BIG GREEN INSIDER