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Offense Rallies Late to Salvage Doubleheader Split at Brown

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Freshman Nick Lombardi     By Tim Mueller
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Freshman Nick Lombardi singled home the game-winning run during a five-run eighth inning to help lift Dartmouth (10-15, 5-5 Ivy) to a 9-5 victory in the second game of a doubleheader at Brown (7-22, 4-6 Ivy) on Saturday afternoon at Murray Stadium, salvaging a split of the twinbill. The host Bears won the seven-inning opener, 4-3, when Nick Fornaca walked with the bases loaded to force home the winning run in the bottom of the eighth.

In the nightcap, the Big Green were trailing by three runs in the seventh, when senior Jake Carlson poked a single through the right side of the infield and scored on senior Joe Sclafani’s two-run blast to make it a one-run deficit at 5-4.

Dartmouth quickly tied the score in the eighth thanks to sophomore Dustin Selzer’s third home run of the season leading off the frame. After sophomore Jeff Keller walked and freshman Matt Robinson bunted him over to second, Brown pulled starter Anthony Galan (1-4) in favor of Kevin Carlow. But the first pitch he threw was pulled into the hole between short and third by Lombardi for a single, allowing Keller to score the go-ahead run.

Lombardi took second on the throw to the plate, then advanced to third on a grounder to second. With two down, Carlson beat out an infield hit to bring home Lombardi. Sclafani followed with a single, then freshman Thomas Roulis stroked a two-run double for a 9-5 lead.

Freshman Thomas Olson came on to pitch the eighth and ninth innings for the Big Green and retired all six batters he faced to close out the win. Earning the victory was senior Max Langford (2-1), who pitched two scoreless innings in relief of freshman Adam Frank. The southpaw starter gave up the five Bear runs, four earned on 10 hits without walking a batter while striking out two.

The two sides traded runs in the third before Brown got back-to-back doubles by J.J. Franco and Cody Slaughter leading off the fifth. Slaughter took third on a Wes Van Boom single and came home on a double-play grounder for a 3-1 Bear lead.

Dartmouth got one back in the sixth on consecutive singles by Selzer, Keller and Robinson, but the Bears tacked on two more runs in the bottom half, only one of which was earned due to an error by Frank before departing the mound.

Both Selzer and Carlson had three hits for the 14-hit Dartmouth attack, while Carlson, Sclafani and Roulis each drove in a pair of runs.

Brown jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first game of the day with two runs on four singles in the second and one in the third on Slaughter’s third home run of the year.

In the fourth, the Big Green battled back as Selzer was hit by a pitch leading off, Keller singled him to second and Robinson brought him home with a single. Junior Chris O’Dowd sacrificed the two runners to second and third, and Lombardi hit a fly deep enough to score Keller to bring Dartmouth within a run, 3-2.

After wasting a lead-off double in the fifth, the Green were able to tie the game in the sixth on a Robinson single, another O’Dowd bunt and a Lombardi RBI single.

Both the Bears and Dartmouth stranded two runners in the seventh, sending the game into extra innings. Senior David Turnbull lined a lead-off single for the Big Green but was left there as reliever Taylor Wright retired the next three hitters. In the bottom half, Van Boom stroked a one-out single, and with two gone, the inning was extended due to an error. Mike DiBiase was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Fornaca took a full-count pitch out of the strike zone to force in the winning run and end the game.

Wright (2-3) earned the victory with two shutout innings. Bear starter Heath Mayo lasted five frames, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts.

Sophomore reliever Mike Dodakian (0-3) was stuck with the loss, yielding the one unearned run in the eighth. Sophomore southpaw Mitch Horacek tossed the first seven stanzas, surrendering three runs on eight hits and a walk while fanning five.

Lombardi went 2-for-3, driving in two of the three Big Green runs in the game. For Brown, Daniel Massey was a perfect 3-for-3, Van Boom scored twice and Fornaca had two RBIs including the game-winner.

Dartmouth and Brown will conclude their four-game series on Sunday afternoon with a noon doubleheader at Murray Stadium.