|Notes | Stats | Twitter||Notes | Stats | Twitter|
|March 16 • 4 p.m.
Video: SoCon Network | Live Stats
|RHP Cole O’Connor (0-0, 4.00)||RHP Dylan Spence (0-0, 8.53)|
|March 17 • 5 p.m.
Video: SoCon Network | Live Stats
|RHP Jack Fossand (0-0, 3.00)||LHP J.P. Sears (2-1, 2.05)|
|March 18 • 2 p.m.
Video: SoCon Network | Live Stats
|RHP (0-0, 16.20)||RHP Jordan Buster (0-0, 5.62)|
|March 19 • 1 p.m.
Video: SoCon Network | Live Stats
|RHP (2-0, 0.00)
||LHP Marlin Morris (0-0, 1.54)|
Dartmouth, after a 10-day break for winter exams, is making its third trip to Florida this spring, but making a stop in lovely Charleston, South Carolina, to play a four-game series against The Citadel. This is not simply the first meeting between the two programs, but also the first games for the Big Green within the state of South Carolina.
Two Weeks Ago in Review
• Dartmouth gained some notoriety for itself by winning a three-game series at then-17th-ranked Miami on March 3-5 with both victories coming via a shutout.
• Right-hander Beau Sulser was named the Ivy League Pitcher of the Week after shutting out the Hurricanes on two hits over seven innings, walking just one and striking out 10 in his 1-0 victory.
• The game’s only run was supplied on the first two pitches as Trevor Johnson and Matt Feinstein each clubbed two-baggers to start the contest.
• The Big Green suffered a tough 3-2 defeat in the second game, when two balks were called in the bottom of the ninth, allowing the winning run to score from second with one out.
• The two Dartmouth runs came on back-to-back home runs by Michael Ketchmark and Kyle Holbrook, the first two long balls of the season.
• Michael Danielak matched Sulser in the series finale, twirling seven scoreless stanzas in the 5-0 triumph. The right-hander surrendered just five hits and a walk while punching out six.
• Similar to the first game, the only run the Big Green needed was scored on the very first pitch as Johnson launched his first career collegiate four-bagger.
• Chris Burkholder closed out both wins over Miami, earning his second save with two perfect innings in the opener, and getting the final five outs in the finale without giving up a run.
• The series victory was the first for Dartmouth over a nationally ranked team and the first series defeat for Miami to a team outside of the Power 5 conferences since May of 2009.
• The pitching staff leads the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.22) and fewest walks per nine innings (1.52), not to mention third in ERA (1.86).
Overall Record vs. The Citadel
• As noted previously, these are the first games between Dartmouth and The Citadel.
• Both teams have a College World Series trip in their history — the Big Green made it in 1970 while the Bulldogs advanced to Omaha in 1990. Each team won a game before bowing out.
• Dartmouth has only played four games against current Southern Conference teams (none in the last 85 seasons), going 1-3 in those contests. The Big Green split two games with Mercer in 1924 and lost two at VMI in 1931.
Scouting the Bulldogs
• The Citadel won a series over Delaware State on the second weekend of the season but got swept by crosstown rival College of Charleston, plus fell in single games to ranked opponents Virginia and South Carolina. But on Tuesday, the Bulldogs took out some frustration on Winthrop, setting school records for runs (34) and hits (34).
• The victory on Tuesday certainly boosted the offense’s overall numbers with a slash line of .259/.363/.365 on the season. Jonathan Sabo leads the team with a .343 average and three homers.
• The staff ERA is 5.52 entering the series but ranks 23rd in the country with 10.0 strikeouts per nine.
• Defensively, The Citadel has committed 21 errors — one-third by their double-play combination up the middle — that have led to 20 unearned runs. But less than 60 percent of opposing base stealers have been successful this season.
Probable Starting Pitchers
• For the series opener, the Big Green will send sophomore RHP Cole O’Connor (0-0, 4.00) to the mound in search of his first collegiate win as he has eight no-decisions in 10 career starts. The Citadel will counter with rookie RHP Dylan Spence (0-0, 8.53) who has thrown 6.1 innings in seven relief outings this year.
• On Friday, RHP Jack Fossand (0-0, 3.00) climbs the hill for his first start of the year. His only appearance to date was a three-inning save against St. Bonaventure. He gets the toughest assignment, taking on Bulldog ace LHP J.P. Sears (2-1, 2.05) who has struck out 39 batters in 26.0 innings.
• The third game will feature two pitchers making their first starts in 2017 with Dartmouth RHP Jackson Bubala (0-1, 16.20) squaring off versus RHP Jordan Buster (0-0, 5.62).
• To finish the series, the Big Green will hand the ball to veteran RHP Michael Danielak (2-0, 0.00) who did not allow a run in either of his first two starts. The Citadel will turn to LHP Marlin Morris (0-0, 1.54) for his first start after eight relief appearances spanning 11.2 innings.
What’s Up Next
Dartmouth continues its spring break in Florida with six more games, including a solitary contest at Bethune-Cookman and ending with a three-game series with UCF, a team knocking on the door of the top 25.
Heading to South Carolina
It has been 151 years and 3,805 games since Dartmouth first played a varsity baseball game, but this trip to The Citadel will mark the first time the Big Green will play a game within the state of South Carolina. Dartmouth has been to North Carolina a number of times, most recently the 2009 NCAA Regional hosted by UNC, but never its sister state to the south. After the first game, the Green will have played at least once in just over half of the 50 states (26), plus Washington, D.C.
Series Victory Over No. 17 Miami
Dartmouth went down to Miami to play the No. 17 Hurricanes having won just two of 27 contests against ranked opponents over the previous eight seasons. Yet the Big Green took two of three from Miami for their first series victory ever over a ranked team. Dartmouth also has a 3-4 record all-time against the Hurricanes with a winning percentage (.429) bested by only 14 other teams that have faced Miami at least seven times.
It’s not just that the Big Green beat Miami two of three, but that both victories were by shutout (as many as Dartmouth had all of last season). First Beau Sulser tossed two-hit ball over seven innings with 10 strikeouts before Chris Burkholder closed the door with two perfect frames in a scintillating 1-0 victory. Then in the series finale, Michael Danielak provided seven scoreless stanzas with six whiffs with the final six outs being handled by Marc Bachman and Burkholder in a 5-0 triumph.
Dartmouth got its first three home runs of the season during the series at Miami. Oddly enough the same two players that provided the first two long balls last year did so again as Michael Ketchmark and Kyle Holbrook went back-to-back in the second game against the Hurricanes. Last year, Ketchmark hit the first dinger at Florida, and Holbrook hit the second the following day against the Gators. And just like last year, the third bomb was produced by a rookie with Trevor Johnson having the honor this year by belting the first pitch of the third game over the fence in left.
Ivy Pitcher of the Week
With two terrific starting performances at Miami, Dartmouth had two strong candidates for Ivy League Pitcher of the Week back on March 6. But with Beau Sulser striking out more batters (10-6) and giving up fewer hits (2-5) than Michael Danielak in the same number of innings (7), Sulser got the nod for his first career weekly honor.
Jumping on the Opposition
Dartmouth wasted no time in taking the lead in both of its victories at No. 17 Miami. In the opener, Trevor Johnson jumped on the first pitch and legged out a double to left, then scored on the very next pitch when Matt Feinstein doubled to right. It turned out to be the game’s only run just two pitches in. Then in the finale, Johnson again took a whack at the first pitch, launching his first collegiate home run in an eventual 5-0 victory.
National Statistical Leader
Yes, I know it’s early, the caveats of small sample sizes apply, blah, blah, blah. I have to take advantage of the rankings while I can. The Dartmouth pitching staff finds itself leading the country in a pair of statistics — strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.22) and fewest walks per nine innings (1.52). Those aren’t anomalies, mind you, as the Big Green were among the top 15 in both categories last year as well. In addition, the staff ranks third in ERA (1.86) and fifth in WHIP (0.99). The offense is no slouch, however, ranking 18th in on-base percentage (.414), and the defense checks in at third in double plays turned per game (1.33).
With nine stolen bases in the first six games, Dartmouth fans haven’t seen this kind of daring base running for over a decade. In each of the previous 10 seasons, it took at least 13 games to get to nine swipes. But in 2006, the squad matched this year’s team with nine in the first six contests. While Dartmouth has not had more than 36 stolen bases in a season since 2006 (52), this year’s group is certainly on pace to top 50 once again. But they will be hard pressed to top the school record of 109 set in 1926 (in just 26 games!).
Feinstein a Fast Starter
Sophomore Matt Feinstein has proven himself to be a fast starter in his young career. As a rookie last year, he had five multi-hit games out of his first six in starting the year with a .520 average (13-for-25). This year he had four multi-hit games to start the season, going 11-for-20 (.550) in the process. He currently leads the team with a .414 average and seven RBIs after driving in just two runs in over 100 plate appearances last year.
Speaking of Starters …
The pitching rotation has been extremely effective thus far with two of the three starters not allowing an earned run over a combined 24 innings and the other yielding no more than two in either of his two starts. That gives the trio an ERA of 1.09 entering the series at The Citadel.
Both Matt Feinstein and Dustin Shirley collected four hits in the 13-1 win over St. Bonaventure, a total attained just four times throughout the entire 2016 season by any Big Green hitter. Coincidentally, both Shirley and Feinstein were among the four to do so last year as well with the former even posting a five-hit game.
Big Green Bits
• Michael Danielak needs one more strikeout to reach 100 for his career.
• The 1-0 win over Miami on March 3 marked the 18th time Dartmouth has played a 1-0 game under Coach Whalen. The Big Green are 9-9 in those contests.
• The two hits by the Hurricanes in that 1-0 game were the fewest for a Dartmouth opponent since Cornell had just two in another 1-0 Big Green win back on April 7, 2013.
• When Patrick Peterson balked twice in the ninth at Miami to allow the winning run to cross the plate on March 4, he became the first Dartmouth pitcher to balk twice in a game since Miller Aldrich did at Cincinnati 10 years and one day earlier.
• Thanks to three sacrifice flies and no walks, junior Dustin Shirley has an OBP (.357) 63 points lower than his batting average (.294).