|Notes | 2017 Stats | Twitter||Notes | Stats | Twitter|
|February 23 • 4 p.m.
Video: ACC Network Extra
Live Stats: ramblinwreck.com
|RHP Cole O’Connor (4-2, 4.27 in 2017)||RHP Xzavion Curry (1-0, 3.60)|
|February 24 • 2 p.m.
Video: ACC Network Extra
Live Stats: ramblinwreck.com
|LHP Michael Parsons (0-0, 4.30 in 2017)||LHP Brant Hurter (0-0, inf)|
|February 24 • 2 p.m.
Video: ACC Network Extra
Live Stats: ramblinwreck.com
|RHP Clay Chatham (0-0, 8.10 in 2017)||TBA|
• Dartmouth begins its 146th season of varsity baseball with three games at ACC power Georgia Tech.
• Head coach Bob Whalen enters his 29th season with an overall record of 568-538-2, the only coach in Dartmouth history to win 500 games in any sport. In 2010, he surpassed former big league pitcher Jeff Tesreau as the Big Green’s all-time winningest coach. Tesreau coached Dartmouth for 28 seasons (1919-46).
• Dartmouth is 13-15 in the first game of the season under Whalen, having defeated Eastern Michigan last year, 8-4, at the Snowbird Classic.
• Last year, the Big Green enjoyed two big series victories against ranked teams, taking two of three from both Miami (No. 17 at the time) and UCF (No. 26).
• In Ivy League play, Dartmouth finished with an 11-9 to place second in the Rolfe Division behind Yale, which went on to win the Ivy League Championship Series (ILCS) and reach an NCAA Regional final at Oregon State.
• Last year was the first season in 10 years that Dartmouth did not play in the ILCS or a playoff to advance to it.
• Seven of the nine regulars from the lineup return, while the Big Green bring back a total of 73 percent of the 222 runs and 77 percent of the RBIs.
• As for the pitching staff, Dartmouth has a bit more to replace as the four graduating hurlers had 45 percent of the innings, all but eight of the 22 wins and posted a combined 2.81 ERA.
• The Big Green had six players earn All-Ivy recognition in 2017, led by RHP Beau Sulser who was the Ivy League Pitcher of the Year and the lone first-team selection.
• Only two of the six All-Ivy players return for the 2018 season — senior outfielder Kyle Holbrook and sophomore first baseman Michael Calamari.
• Sulser and RHP Michael Danielak were both selected in the MLB Draft with the former taken in the 10th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates and the latter by the Oakland A’s in the 19th round.
• Dartmouth has one player currently playing in the big leagues, that being Kyle Hendricks ’12 who is 38-22 with a 2.94 ERA in 99 career starts, helping the Chicago Cubs win the 2016 World Series and finishing third in the Cy Young voting that year.
Overall Record vs. Georgia Tech
• It has been only 93 years since Dartmouth squared off against the Yellow Jackets on the diamond with the teams splitting six games.
• The first meetings took place in 1923 when Georgia Tech won both games by a single run. The following year the Big Green opened the season with victories by scores of 7-3 and 11-7. In 1925, the two sides split the two games with Dartmouth winning the last game on April 3, 1-0.
• The Big Green are 60-117-1 all-time against current ACC schools with half of those victories coming against Boston College.
Scouting the Yellow Jackets
• Georgia Tech opened the season by dropping two of three at home in the Atlanta Challenge with the lone win a 3-2 decision over Minnesota.
• On Tuesday, the Yellow Jackets evened their record with a 7-1 road victory at Georgia Southern.
• The offense has averaged six runs a game with catcher Joey Bart providing much of the power with three of the team’s four home runs, while left fielder Chase Murray tops the team with a .438 average and .500 OBP.
• The pitching staff has posted a 3.89 ERA through four games with LHP Connor Thomas contributing to both victories with a save in the opener and a seven-inning, one-run start for the win at Georgia Southern. While opponents are hitting .241 in those contests, the staff has issued more than one walk every two innings.
• The defense has been a little suspect with nine errors thus far, leading to six unearned runs. Eight of those nine miscues have come at the four infield positions.
Probable Starting Pitchers
• The honor of the opening-day start this year goes to junior RHP and co-captain Cole O’Connor (4-2, 4.27 in 2017), who has surrendered more than three earned runs just twice in 17 career starts. Georgia Tech will counter with RHP Xzavion Curry (1-0, 3.60), who picked up the win in the opener against the Golden Gophers with his five innings of work.
• Saturday’s game will showcase a scuffle of southpaws making their first career starts with sophomore LHP Michael Parsons (0-0, 4.30) taking the mound for Dartmouth and freshman LHP Brant Hurter, who did not retire either batter he faced in his collegiate debut, for the Yellow Jackets.
• The finale — which could be moved up to Saturday due to a poor weather forecast on Sunday — will feature senior RHP Clay Chatham (0-0, 8.10) on the bump for the Big Green, making his 12th career start while searching for his first career win. Georgia Tech has not announced its starter as of yet, and I won’t even hazard a guess.
What’s Up Next
Dartmouth will head south against next weekend with three games in the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Florida, beginning with a split doubleheader against Villanova (last played two years ago) and Northeastern (16 years ago) on Saturday, March 3, followed by a meeting with Georgetown (51 years ago) on Sunday.
Back in Georgia 31 Years Later
With this series at Georgia Tech, Dartmouth is making its first return to the state of Georgia for a baseball game since it played in the 1987 NCAA Northeast Regional at Chandler Stadium. The Big Green opened the regional by blanking Michigan, 4-0, behind the stellar pitching of future big leaguer Mike Remlinger, who tossed a four-hit shutout while striking out 13, before falling short against Fordham, 4-2, and Rider, 6-3. The starting pitcher in the loss to Fordham (and the first baseman in the other two games) was none other than Mark Johnson, who enjoyed a seven-year MLB career and whose son, Trevor Johnson, will be leading off and playing center field for the Big Green this weekend.
Lefties Can Start?
When sophomore Michael Parsons takes the mound against Georgia Tech on Feb. 24, it will be the first start on the mound by a Big Green left-handed pitcher since March 21, 2015, with a total of 114 contests in between the two games. The pitcher that started the game against 16th-ranked UC Santa Barbara on that date you ask? Why, that would be current senior Marc Bachman, the only start of his career. Dartmouth did have two other games started by a southpaw earlier that season, both courtesy of Adam Frank ’15.
New Look for Ivy League
After 25 seasons of two four-team divisions, the Ivy League has scrapped that to set up three-game weekends against every opponent in conference play. That makes for 21 league games instead of 20, and all games will be nine innings in length instead of doubleheaders of seven and nine innings. The biggest change will be no make ups of games beyond the scheduled weekend, so the standings will be determined strictly by winning percentage with the top two teams advancing to the best-of-three Ivy League Championship Series.
Big Green Are Road Warriors …
As is custom for Dartmouth, it will begin the season on the road for an extended period. The first 16 games (and 19 of the first 20) are scheduled to be played away from Hanover with the home opener slated for March 28 when Quinnipiac comes to town. The first Ivy League games at Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park will take place the weekend of April 7-8 with a three-game series against Columbia.
… But Love the Homestead
Dartmouth enters the 2018 season with a 98-31 record (.760) at its home venue, Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park, since the stadium was constructed and turf was added before the 2009 season. Last year the Big Green went 7-5 in the games they hosted, beating Boston College and going 6-4 in league contests.
For the first time ever, the Ivy League conducted a preseason media poll for the baseball season, and Dartmouth was picked to finish third, though it did receive one of the 16 first-place votes. Over the last decade, the Big Green finished first in the Rolfe Division eight times, tied for first another and second last year, plus had one of the three best records across the league all but once in that span, twice winning the league title (2009, ’10).
Baseball America also has Dartmouth pegged for third, while D1Baseball pegs the Green in second and Perfect Game (which did not get the memo on the new schedule format) has them second in the Rolfe Division.
Preseason Freshman of the Year
Freshman Ubaldo Lopez has garnered some preseason mentions from various publications, getting chosen as the Freshman of the Year by Perfect Game and the top impact freshman by D1Baseball. Lopez played at Archbishop McCarthy, which won a Florida State championship each of the last three years. He was an all-region player as a senior captain and all-county as a junior when he drove in three runs in the title game.
Other Preseason Honors
After earning a spot on the All-Ivy League Second Team as a junior, OF Kyle Holbrook was the lone Big Green player named to the preseason team by Perfect Game. D1Baseball listed top prospects in the league for this year’s MLB Draft with senior Dustin Shirley 10th on that list, while sophomore Trevor Johnson headed up the list for next year’s draft-eligible crop. And Lopez had company on the group of freshman to make an impact this year with catcher Bennett McCaskill fourth and RHP Carson Seymour fifth.
2017 All-Ivy Honors for the Green
Of the six players that received recognition as All-Ivy League players from the conference coaches, only two remain on the roster — senior Kyle Holbrook (second team) and DH Michael Calamari (honorable mention). Gone are Ivy League Pitcher of the Year Beau Sulser (6-1, 1.40), second-team selections Michael Danielak (7-2, 2.64) and reliever Chris Burkholder (0-1, 2.20, 8 saves), as well as honorable mention first baseman Michael Ketchmark (.329/.408/.527).
During head coach Bob Whalen’s first 28 years at the helm, he has coached 74 first-teamers, 21 more than any other program in the Ivy League. And since 2000, he has 53 of them to his credit, at least 15 ahead of the other Ivies.
Two Taken in MLB Draft
Ivy League Pitcher of the Year Beau Sulser and All-Ivy second team pitcher Michael Danielak were both chosen in the MLB Draft as fifth-year seniors at Dartmouth. Sulser was taken in the 10th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates, while Danielak was selected in the 19th round by the Oakland A’s, one year after the Pirates picked him in the 28th round. Sulser is the seventh Big Green player taken in the top 10 rounds during Whalen’s tenure and 14th since the inception of the draft in 1965.
After going through the 2017 season with a single captain, Dartmouth will feature co-captains this spring. Senior second baseman Dustin Shirley and junior right-hander Cole O’Connor will share the duties.
Back from the Scrap Heap
Right-hander Mike Concato has not pitched in a college game since game two of the Ivy League Championship Series on May 9, 2015. In his first two campaigns, he twirled three shutouts and earned all-conference second-team honors as a sophomore. But after two years of rehab from injuries, the fifth-year senior is ready to climb back on the hill. He is expected to pitch out of the bullpen in the season opener, and if that’s the case it will be his first appearance in 1,021 days.
Not Settling for Spares
Well, this isn’t bowling, but if there is one thing the Big Green pitching staff does, it is throw strikes. For the past nine years, the staff has been one of the stingiest in the country in terms of issuing free passes. In both 2009 and 2010, the Big Green hurlers walked fewer batters per nine innings than any other Division I team. In each of the next three years, they ranked among the top 15, placing third in 2011 at 2.24 behind only Florida (1.82) and Dayton (2.18), eighth in 2012 at 2.33, and 13th in 2013 at 2.52. After two years in the top 50 at fewer than three per game, the Big Green were back near the top in 2016 (11th, 2.66) and again last year (9th, 2.63).
Big League Bloodlines
Over the past decade-plus, Dartmouth has had five players that had a father with big league ties. First was first baseman Mike Pagliarulo ’09 whose father of the same name manned the hot corner with the Yankees, Padres, Twins, Orioles and Rangers over 11 seasons (1984-93, ’95), hitting 134 homers in his career. Then came catcher Chris O’Dowd ’13, son of Dan O’Dowd who served as the general manager for the Colorado Rockies for 15 years through 2014. Next up was Adam Charnin-Aker, whose father Jack Aker pitched as a reliever in the big leagues for 11 years (1964-74) with the Kansas City (then Oakland) Athletics, Seattle Pilots, Yankees, Cubs, Braves and Mets, going 47-45 with a 3.28 ERA and 124 saves in 495 appearances.
The current team has two such players. Sophomore Trevor Johnson is the son of former Big Green first baseman/pitcher/quarterback Mark Johnson ’90, who enjoyed a seven-year stay in the bigs with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Anaheim Angels and New York Mets (1995-2002), hitting .232 with 38 homers. This year, Bennett McCaskill joined the roster after playing at Torrey Pines for his father, Kirk, who pitched for 12 seasons in the majors, winning 106 games while posting a 4.12 ERA for the California Angels and Chicago White Sox (1985-96).
In the summer of 2014, Kyle Hendricks ’12 made his MLB debut with the Chicago Cubs and finished his rookie year with a 7-2 record over 13 starts with a 2.46 ERA. Three years later he is an established big leaguer who led both leagues with an ERA of 2.13 in 2016, finishing third in the Cy Young balloting and helping the Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years. In four seasons in Chicago, Hendricks boasts a 38-22 record with an ERA of 2.94 and more strikeouts (507) than hits allowed.
Dartmouth also has six other former players toiling in the minors:
• RHP Cole Sulser ’12 (AAA with the Indians)
• C Chris O’Dowd ’13 (AAA with the White Sox)
• LHP Mitch Horacek ’13 (picked up by the Rockies in the Rule 5 Draft this winter after five years in the Orioles organization)
• LHP Michael Johnson ’14 (AA with the Dodgers)
• RHP Duncan Robinson ’16 (A ball with the Cubs)
• RHP Beau Sulser ’16 (A ball with the Pirates)
• RHP Michael Danielak ’16 (A ball with the A’s)
The Big Green aren’t simply represented at the major league level by Hendricks. Two general managers in the National League East are also Dartmouth alumni — Sandy Alderson ’69 (New York Mets) and Matt Klentak ’02 (Philadelphia Philles). Alderson has had a distinguished career that has taken him to Oakland, the MLB front office, San Diego and now New York. Klentak is in his second year directing things in Philadelphia, and has received positive early reviews on his rebuild of the Phillies.