HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth senior Beau Sulser was sharp in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday at Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park, defeating Brown by a final of 3-1, but the Bears (10-17, 4-8 Ivy) held off every Big Green (18-12, 8-4 Ivy) rally in the second game and eventually pulled out a 9-8, 10-inning triumph to end Dartmouth’s 15-game home winning streak against Brown that dated back to 2009.
Sulser (4-1) was on his game in the opener, despite surrendering a first-inning run, albeit unearned. The right-hander struck out eight Bears and surrendered just the one run on five hits and one walk in throwing his second seven-inning complete game of the year, this time on just 88 pitches. The outing lowered his ERA on the season to 1.45, the lowest in the Ivy League.
The Brown run in the first came on an errant pickoff throw by catcher Adam Gauthier with runners on the corners as Marc Sredojevic got a little too far off first base. That allowed Sam Grigo, who had tripled with one out, to trot home for a 1-0 Bears lead.
Dartmouth had just two base runners over the first three innings against Brown hurler Max Ritchie, but broke through in the fourth when senior Michael Ketchmark blasted a two-run homer to left, scoring junior Dustin Shirley who had led off with an infield hit.
The Bears had just two base runners of their own between the second and sixth stanzas, never advancing past second base against Sulser. And the Big Green tacked on an insurance run in their half of the sixth on back-to-back singles by sophomore Matt Feinstein and Shirley, followed by a Ketchmark sacrifice fly.
Brown threatened in the final frame as Cameron Deere and Willy Homza each singled to start the inning. But Garrett Delano popped up his bunt attempt, on which Sulser made a spectacular diving catch before doubling off Homza at first and nearly starting a triple play. The third out came soon enough, however, as Sulser induced a grounder to third to finish off the victory.
Ketchmark provided all three RBIs in the win and Shirley led the offense with two of its six hits.
Ritchie (1-5) was the hard-luck loser for allowing all three runs on six hits in six innings with no walks and two strikeouts while tossing a mere 68 pitches.
The nightcap turned into a wild affair late after Brown quickly took command with four runs in the first, three coming on Deere’s first collegiate home run. The Bears built its lead to 5-0 in the fifth on a Homza RBI double, scoring Josh Huntley who had walked with one out.
The Big Green got on the comeback trail in the fifth after being handcuffed for four innings by Will Tomlinson, making his first start of the season after 10 relief appearances. Sophomore Nate Ostmo and Gauthier hit consecutive singles, but Dartmouth still had two on with two down when Shirley pulled a liner between short and third for an RBI single. Ketchmark poked a single through the hole on the other side of the infield before junior Kyle Holbrook ripped a three-run double over the right fielder’s head. Junior Justin Fowler made a bid to tie the game with a hard line drive, only to have it go directly to the right fielder for the third out.
The score remained 5-4 into the eighth when Ketchmark made a bid to tie it with one swing of the bat. But his high fly did not catch enough wind and was caught at the fence. The close call was harbinger as Holbrook and Fowler both singled, and freshman Michael Calamari greeted reliever J.J. Sliepka with an RBI single, knotting the score at five. Sliepka left the two runners on, though, by getting a called third strike and fly to right.
In the ninth, Sredojevic led off with a double into the gap that was bobbled, allowing him to take third as well. Three pitches later he sprinted across the plate on a passed ball. It turned out not to matter as Deere singled and Homza hit his first collegiate home run for an 8-5 lead.
Sliepka quickly retired the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth, leaving Dartmouth’s hopes of a comeback on life support. Yet Shirley worked his way for a walk, Ketchmark hit a hard one-hopper that the second baseman could not handle for an error, and sophomore Mike Brown, who had entered in the top of the ninth as a defensive replacement, yanked a high drive down the left-field line that staying fair by about 10 feet and sailed over the fence onto Park Street for a two-out, game-tying, three-run bomb, the first of his college career.
The next two runners also reached base as the Green threatened to walk off with the win, but the Bears summoned Delano — who had popped up the bunt for a double play in the opener — in from left field to the mound, and he got escaped the jam.
Brown pushed an unearned run across in the 10th. Rich Ciufo dropped a single into right field, took second on a bunt and went to third as reliever Patrick Peterson (2-3) dropped a throw from Ketchmark at first for an error. Brown then made a diving catch in right on a line drive and nearly doubled Grigo off first, though Ciufo inexplicably did not tag up on the play. But Huntley made that fact moot by lining the first pitch he saw into center for an RBI single.
Gauthier was plunked by a pitch to start the Dartmouth half, but he did not go past second base as Delano (2-0) closed out the first Brown victory in Hanover in eight years.
Sredojevic, Huntley and Deere were all 3-for-5 with Huntley driving in two and Deere three, while Homza had a double, homer and three RBIs.
Holbrook led the 13-hit Dartmouth attack by going 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and Brown also drove in three with his clutch home run.
Dartmouth will wrap up a 10-game homestand on Tuesday afternoon when Boston College (12-21) come to town. First pitch will be thrown at 3:30 p.m., and the game will be streamed live on the Ivy League Digital Network with Wayne Young ’72 calling the action.
Notes: Dartmouth remained two games behind Yale in the Rolfe Division standings in the Ivy League as the Bulldogs split a doubleheader at Harvard. The Big Green play a four-game series at Yale next weekend ... Holbrook hit safely in both games today, extending his streak of reaching base to 22 games, the longest by a Dartmouth player (Dustin Selzer ’14) in five years ... the Big Green are now 18-2 against the Bears at Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park ... Dartmouth is 0-3 in extra-inning games this year ... the first game lasted just one hour and 24 minutes, the shortest Big Green game by time since a 3-1 win over Princeton two years ago last just 1:23.