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Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park • Hanover, N.H. • April 8-9

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April 8 • Game 1 • Noon
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RHP Michael Danielak (5-0, 2.10) RHP Chris Giglio (1-2, 4.68)
April 8 • Game 2 • ~2:30 p.m.
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RHP Cole O'Connor (2-1, 3.86) RHP Chad Powers (1-1, 3.04)
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April 9 • Game 1 • Noon
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RHP Beau Sulser (3-0, 1.59) RHP Tommy Morris (0-1, 7.71)
April 9 • Game 2 • ~2:30 p.m.
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RHP Jack Fossand (0-1, 7.07) RHP Paul Balestrieri (4-1, 1.62)

Home Opener!
After 21 games outside of Hanover, Dartmouth is finally playing its first home games of the season with Ivy League doubleheaders against Princeton and Cornell this weekend. The Big Green have enjoyed great success at Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park since the stadium and turf were installed before the 2009 campaign, going 91-26 (.778) in those seven years overall and 64-20 (.762) against conference teams (including playoffs).

Overall Record vs. Princeton
•    The Tigers have the advantage in the all-time series, going 98-85 against Dartmouth.
•    While the Big Green have won 15 of the last 25 meetings, Princeton has won nine of the last 13.
•    Princeton was the next-to-last Ivy team to win a game at Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park and is 2-6 at the venue. The Tigers are 20-22 on the site since the field was dedicated in Red Rolfe’s honor in 1970.
•    Dartmouth head coach Bob Whalen has a 26-38 record against the Tigers.
•    The two teams first met on the diamond in 1880 with Princeton winning both contests, 2-0 and 9-4. The Tigers won 17 of the first 18 games.

Scouting the Tigers
•    Princeton once again has played a difficult schedule this season, which has certainly contributed to its 6-17 record, including four losses at Duke, three at Maryland and two at Old Dominion.
•    The offense has struggled mightily with a slash line of .224/.300/.305. Only David Harding (.328) is hitting above .300, Nick Hernandez leads the Tigers with 12 RBIs and Zack Belski has three of the team’s nine home runs.
•    The staff ERA entering the weekend is 5.73, though the four weekend starters have combined for an ERA of 3.05. But aside from lefty Ryan Smith (no relation to the former Big Green closer of the same name) who has a 1.99 ERA in 22.2 innings, no other pitcher has posted an ERA better than 4.91.
•    Defensively, Princeton has been solid, averaging about one error per game with a .968 fielding percentage. Opposing teams have run often against the Tigers with Princeton catchers gunning down about a quarter of base stealers (13 of 53).

Last Time Against Princeton
Dartmouth suffered a pair of one-run, walk-off losses in New Jersey last year against the Tigers, losing a pitchers’ duel in the opener, 2-1, before Princeton rallied in the 10th for three runs in a 9-8 defeat. Luke Streiber bested Duncan Robinson in the first game, holding the Green to five hits, one of which was an RBI triple by Rob Emery. The Tigers got an RBI double from Joseph Flynn in the fourth and back-to-back doubles in the seventh to walk off with the win. In the nightcap, Dartmouth was shut out for six innings by Chad Powers, then scored six times in the seventh against the bullpen to tie the game. In the 10th, Michael Ketchmark and Thomas Roulis drove in runs for a two-run advantage, but the Big Green bullpen could not get an out in the bottom half as Nick Hernandez tied the game with a two-run double and Flynn won it with a single.

Probable Starting Pitchers
•    First up for Dartmouth will be RHP Michael Danielak (5-0, 2.10) who has won all five of his starts this season, beating Columbia most recently in a seven-inning complete game, 6-2. Princeton will send RHP Chris Giglio (1-2, 4.68) to the mound after recording his first quality start of the season last week — one earned run over six innings with seven strikeouts.
•    For the second game, Dartmouth has RHP Cole O’Connor (2-1, 3.86) ready to go for his third win in his last four starts. The Tigers have last year’s Ivy Pitcher of the Year, RHP Chad Powers (1-1, 3.04), ready to try and handcuff the Big Green as he did a year ago.

The Overall Record vs. Cornell
•    Dartmouth has squared off against the Big Red 178 times, owning a 95-82-1 record.
•    The Big Green have won 23 of the past 34 meetings dating back to the 2002 season, including both showdowns in the Ivy League Championship Series in 2009 and 2012. Both went three games with Dartmouth winning in 2009 and the Big Red emerging victorious in 2012.
•    Cornell is 3-8 at Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park and 20-25 in Hanover since 1970, but has lost 20 of the last 26 here.
•    Dartmouth head coach Bob Whalen has a 36-24 mark in games against Cornell.
•    The first games in the series took place on April 10-11, 1906, with Cornell winning both games.

Scouting the Big Red
•    Cornell started the season with series wins at Navy and George Mason, plus beat Michigan State in a tournament at Richmond. Last time out, the Big Red bats produced 27 runs in a win at Towson after scoring just 23 over the previous eight contests.
•    Averaging nearly six runs per game after that offensive explosion, Cornell has a team slash line of .285/.378/.402, led by Trey Baur and Dale Wickham, both hitting .383, and Cole Rutherford with four homers and 20 RBIs.
•    The pitching staff has a respectable 4.66 ERA with a front two of Paul Balestrieri (4-1, 1.62) and Tim Willittes (3-1, 4.45), plus a bullpen anchored by Jamie Flynn and Matt Horton who have been nearly unhittable (combined seven hits, no earned runs over 17.1 innings).
•    The defense has 24 errors in 20 games (.966 fielding percentage), while throwing out 10 of 26 would-be base stealers (38.5 percent).

Last Time Against Cornell
Dartmouth took two from the Big Red in Ithaca last year, but it was nearly three weeks after the scheduled date for the doubleheader due to poor weather early in the season. In the opener, Adam Gauthier scored the go-ahead run in the sixth on a passed ball, then the Big Green blew open the game with five more runs in the seventh to win, 9-3. Every spot in the order reached base at least twice as Dartmouth pounded out 13 hits to make a winner out of Chris Burkholder, who retired all eight batters he faced. Four Big Green pitchers combined to hold Cornell to one unearned run in the nightcap, and three triples in the fourth inning allowed Dartmouth to take a two-run lead en route to a 3-1 triumph.

Probable Starting Pitchers
•    Senior RHP Beau Sulser (3-0, 1.59) shook off the rust after not pitching for a month to beat Penn last week, and will try to do the same against Cornell in the opener. The Big Red will counter with RHP Tommy Morris (0-1, 7.71), making his third start of the year
•    The Big Green have RHP Jack Fossand (0-1, 7.07) in the finale looking to rebound after getting touched for five runs in 3,1 innings at Penn. Cornell has staff ace Paul Balestrieri (4-1, 1.62) available. Last week he allowed more than one earned run for the first time this season.

What’s Up Next
Dartmouth continues to make up for its lack of home games with a non-conference tilt against UMass Lowell in Hanover on Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m., then a pair of Ivy League noon doubleheaders at Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park against Brown on Saturday and Sunday as part of this 10-game homestand.

Last Week in Review
•    Dartmouth got the Ivy League slate started in good fashion by winning three of four on the road, starting with a twinbill sweep at Columbia before splitting two at Penn. On Wednesday, the Big Green suffered a 5-2 loss at Holy Cross.
•    Trevor Johnson was named not just Ivy League Rookie of the Week, but co-Player of the Week as well for hitting .400/.526/.800 in the four games, scoring six runs and driving in five while stealing three bases (leads the league with 11 swipes).
•    Michael Danielak went the distance in his first league start, striking out eight in the seven-inning, 6-2 victory over the Lions. Matt Feinstein drove in three of the six runs as Dartmouth collected 11 hits.
•    Justin Fowler had a career-high three hits and Kyle Holbrook drove in three, including a two-run blast, to help make a winner of Cole O’Connor in the 9-2 nightcap. Michael Parsons twirled four shutout stanzas to close out the win and earn his first career save.
•    Johnson and Feinstein led the charge to start the Penn doubleheader as each had three hits, though the former scored three times and belted a two-run homer to lift the Green to a 9-5 win.
•    Beau Sulser got the win in his first start in a month, yielding four runs, three earned, while striking out five in five innings. Chris Burkholder pitched the final two frames to rack up his league-leading sixth save.
•    The Quakers managed to squeak out a 7-6, 10-inning triumph in the final game, despite three RBIs from both Feinstein and Holbrook.
•    In mid-week action, the Dartmouth bats were uncharacteristically silenced by the Crusaders with just five hits, the last one a Holbrook homer in the ninth with two outs to provide both Big Green runs. Holy Cross scored four runs in the first inning and never looked back.

Ivy Rookie, Player of the Week
Freshman Trevor Johnson picked up the Ivy League Rookie of the Week and co-Player of the Week honors on April 4. He hit .400 (6-for-15) during the opening Ivy weekend with a double, triple, homer, six runs, five RBIs and three stolen bases. The outfielder also leads the Ivy League with 11 stolen bases entering play today. The last three Rookies of the Week have been Big Green players, just the fourth time an Ivy team has had three in a row.

Home at Last
By the time Dartmouth throws the first pitch of the doubleheader against Princeton on Saturday, it will be one of the last 10 Division I teams to play a home game. Of those 10, only one has a better record than the Big Green — Binghamton at 10-5.

Ivy Team, Coach of the Mid-Year
Eric Sorenson of this week listed out his top teams and coaches from every conference for the first half of the 2017 season, and Dartmouth got the nod from the Ivy League, as did head coach Bob Whalen. He cited series victories over Miami and UCF (both nationally ranked at the time the games were played), as well as the Big Green’s ranking of 67 in the RPI.

Oh So Fein(stein)
Sophomore Matt Feinstein has had a torrid first half of the season, ranking fifth in the Ivy League with a .375 average while leading the loop with 33 hits. He has at least one hit in 17 of the 21 games thus far and has a team-best 11 multi-hit games. Feinstein even has drive in three runs in four different games after collecting two RBIs total in 85 at-bats as a freshman.

Not Much for Streaking
While Dartmouth is 13-8 this season, it has yet to string together more than three consecutive wins, and it hasn’t lost more than two in a row, including the current two-game skid. Last year the longest win streak was four after having at least one seven-gamer for eight straight years.

Scoring in Bunches
Over the last five games, Dartmouth runs have generally come in bunches. Of the 14 innings in which the Big Green have scored in that span, two featured two runs, five had three and two more brought four players across the plate. The season high for runs in an inning, however, is eight in a 19-11 slugfest against Chicago on March 21.

Homers Come Early
Until Kyle Holbrook hit a two-out, two-run home run in the ninth against Holy Cross on Wednesday, Dartmouth had not hit a four-bagger after the fourth inning all season. Oddly enough, six of the team’s 11 home runs have come in that magical frame with the other four occurring in the first and second stanzas. And the next player to hit a home run with at least two men on base will be the first for the Big Green since Michael Ketchmark hit a three-run shot against Yale on April 24 last year — the lone three-run blast of the season.

Michel Loves Massachusetts
Freshman right-hander Austen Michel apparently enjoyed being back in his home state when the Big Green played Holy Cross in Northborough on Wednesday. The rookie too the mound to start the second and fanned five over 3.2 innings while yielding just one run. He has five strikeouts in his first four career outings that spanned 7.2 innings.

Holbrook Hitting Streak
Junior Kyle Holbrook strung together a 10-game hitting streak that was snapped on Sunday in the first game at Penn, but it was the longest such streak by a Dartmouth player since Nick Ruppert had a 10-gamer during the 2014 season. But he has reached base successfully in the last 13 contests, one shy of the longest this season set by Michael Ketchmark to start the year. And in his first two years with the Big Green, he has had the team’s longest hit streak each season (nine games in 2015 and 2016).

Burkholder Should Be Burksaver
Senior Chris Burkholder spent most of his first three seasons with the Big Green as a key member of the bullpen, generally setting up the team’s closer yet still earning four saves of his own. This year he has been thrust into the closer’s role and has thrived with six saves (double anyone else in the Ivy League) in Dartmouth’s first 13 victories, including two at No. 26 UCF and his last at Penn.

Sulser Shakes Off Rust
After beating then-17th-ranked Miami on March 3 in a 1-0 gem, senior Beau Sulser did not pitch for an entire month. Upon his return April 3 at Penn, the right-hander showed a bit of rust, surrendering four runs, three earned, in five innings with five strikeouts, yet still earned his third win in as many starts. He did not walk a batter, however, and now has whiffed 23 batters and issued just one free pass in 17 innings.

Fowler Hits Them Fair
Junior Justin Fowler has been a pesky hitter in the bottom third of the lineup this year with a .377 on-base percentage in 13 starts at the hot corner. In the 9-2 win at Columbia, he rapped out a career-high three hits including a double, run and RBI. Fowler apparently likes playing the Lions; he has a career .412 average against them, including a walk-off hit and his only career homer last year.

The Parsons Project
After sophomore Cole O’Connor provided five solid innings in the second game at Columbia, freshman lefty Michael Parsons took the mound to start the sixth with a 6-2 lead. He made sure that lead held up, shutting the Lions down on four hits with no walks and a strikeout the rest of the way. Even though the final score was 9-2, the rookie earned his first career save for tossing three or more effective innings without giving up the lead.

Danielak Does It Again
Make it five victories in as many starts for the 28th-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2016. Senior Michael Danielak is making the most of his decision to return to Dartmouth instead of signing a professional contract, beating Columbia on April 2, 6-2, to up his record to 5-0 with a 2.10 ERA. He leads the Ivy League with those five wins (13th nationally) as well as his 7.2 strikeout-to-walk ratio (28th), plus ranks fourth in the league in ERA and WHIP (0.99). In each of his last three straight, he has struck out exactly eight batters, giving him 36 on the season, seven shy of his career high set last year.