CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Senior Beau Sulser wrapped up his collegiate career with a dominant performance on the mound for Dartmouth, tossing a two-hit shutout for a 3-0 victory in the first game of a doubleheader against Harvard on Sunday afternoon at O'Donnell Field. The second game was a much wilder affair as the Crimson (19-23, 7-13 Ivy) walked off in the ninth with an 8-7 victory thanks to a single off the bat of pinch hitter Austin Black that scored two runs after freshman Trevor Johnson had given the Big Green (22-17-1, 11-9 Ivy) the lead with a two-run blast in the top half.
Sulser (6-1) needed just 67 pitches to navigate the Crimson lineup over the seven innings, surrendering just a pair of two-out hits — a fourth-inning double by Patrick Robinson and a sixth-inning single by Josh Ellis. Only once did a Harvard hitter get a three-ball count during the game as Sulser struck out eight while lowering his ERA to 1.40, lowest in the Ivy League.
The shutout was the second of Sulser's career, though he nearly lost it in the seventh with one out when Patrick McColl sent a deep drive to left. But left fielder Matt Feinstein was there to make a leaping grab above the fence to rob a home run before Sulser got the final out on strikes.
All the Dartmouth scoring came in the second inning against Crimson right-hander Simon Rosenblum-Larson. Junior Justin Fowler started the rally by yanking the first pitch he saw down the left-field line for a double, and Feinstein dribbled a ball up the middle for an infield hit to put runners on the corners. Sophomore Nate Ostmo then provided the key hit with a fly to right that sailed over John MacLean's head for a two-run triple. After an infield out with the infield drawn in, freshman Trevor Johnson drew a walk, and he and Ostmo pulled off a double steal with the latter sliding across the plate for the third run.
Rosenblum-Larson (3-4) took the loss for giving up the three runs on seven hits and three walks to go with six strikeouts as he went the distance.
Dartmouth held a 5-3 lead in the second game after six innings, but Patrick McColl changed that with one swing of the bat in the seventh, blasting a two-out, three-run shot over the right-field fence to give the Crimson a 6-5 advantage.
The score remained that way into the ninth, and Kieran Shaw strode in from the bullpen to try and nail down his second save of the series. A lead-off walk to senior Ben Socher made his task a bit more difficult, but the lead was still intact with two down when Johnson came to the plate. His first pitch was wild, allowing Socher to take third, but Johnson made that moot as he crushed the next offering over the fence in left-center for his fourth homer of the season and a 7-6 Big Green lead.
Senior Jackson Bubala, who had thrown a scoreless eighth, also issued a lead-off walk, and was replaced by the Ivy League leader in saves, Chris Burkholder. The senior right-handed caught the first batter looking at strike three, but an infield hit by McColl put the winning run on base.
Black then engaged in a battle with Burkholder (0-1), lining a single to right on the ninth pitch of the at-bat, bringing home the tying run. And when the throw back to the infield squirted away, McColl was able to score to end the game.
Harvard had opened up a 3-0 lead through three innings with an unearned run in the second and two more in the third on a double steal of home and a McColl RBI single.
Junior Dustin Shirley got two of those runs back in the fourth with a two-run round-tripper, the first home run of his career in over 400 at-bats.
In the fifth, junior Justin Fowler doubled and scampered home one out later on a wild pitch. Ostmo then tripled for the second time on the day, then raced across the plate on a squeeze bunt by senior Adam Gauthier for a 4-3 Big Green lead.
McColl was the hitting star of the nightcap, going 3-for-5 with three runs and four RBIs for the Crimson. Quinn Hoffman also scored three times while collecting a pair of hits.
For Dartmouth, Ostmo was a homer shy of the cycle in four trips to the plate, while Johnson and Shirley each homered and drove in two.
Shaw (2-1) was credited with the win despite surrendering the go-ahead long ball in the ninth. Harvard starter Kevin Stone hurled six stanzas and gave up five runs, four earned, on six hits while striking out three.
Junior Jack Fossand left after four innings with a 4-3 lead, and freshman Michael Parsons nearly got through his three frames unscathed with five strikeouts, only to be touched by McColl for the three-run blast.
Notes: Dartmouth finishes the season with its first winning record and its most victories (22) since 2013 when the Big Green set the program record with 32 triumphs ... Harvard has not won the season series from Dartmouth since 2005 and earned its first split since 2010.
|The 2017 Dartmouth baseball seniors (l-r): Mike Concato, Beau Sulser, Ben Socher, John Melody, Michael Ketchmark, Adam Gauthier, Jackson Bubala, Chris Burkholder and Michael Danielak. (courtesy Mark Washburn)|