|May 9 • 4 p.m.|
|Ivy League Network • Live Stats|
Final Game Outside Ivy League
Dartmouth added this game against Middlebury to the schedule last week having lost three games to weather this year. Having won four straight games for the first time in two years, the Big Green would like to continue streaking like they did the last time they took five straight late in the 2015 campaign with 14 in a row. Twelve of the wins came against the other Rolfe teams to win the division and advance to the Ivy League Championship Series.
The Overall Record vs. Middlebury
• In the dozen games played between these two teams over the year, Dartmouth has won 11
• The last meeting came 19 years ago in the penultimate game of the 1999 campaign, won by the Big Green by a final of 7-5.
• Dartmouth head coach Bob Whalen has a 2-0 record against the Panthers, winning the games in 1998 (5-0) and 1999.
• The lone Middlebury win in the series came in 1950 here in Hanover, 9-5.
Scouting the Panthers
• This is the final game of the year for Middlebury having been eliminated from advancing to the NESCAC Tournament in its final conference game of the year, an 8-5 loss to Amherst.
• Before its series with Amherst, the Panthers had won nine straight, then made it 10 in a row by winning the first of three against the Lord Jeffs.
• Justin Han (.370/.529/.460) and Hayden Smith (.364/.440/.444) are the team’s top two hitters, while the former has also walked 30 times and stolen 22 bases.
• Middlebury has a Dartmouth connection in sophomore Brooks Carroll, whose father, Rob ’82, led the Big Green in homers in each of four seasons with the club, belting 19 in his career. Brooks is hitting .310 while scoring 29 runs and stealing 17 bases in 20 attempts.
• Another Panther, Andrew Hennings, attended my high school — Oak Park and River Forest — in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park. You may not care, but I think it’s cool.
• Anyway, the pitching staff has produced an ERA of 4.76 with staff ace Colby Morris going 5-4 with a 1.71 ERA, striking out 52 in 63.1 innings.
• The bullpen has been anchored by George Goldstein with a 1.74 ERA in 11 appearances (nine out of the pen) with 25 strikeouts in 20.2 innings.
• The defense averages about 1.5 errors per game with a .958 fielding percentage.
Last Time Against Middlebury
To the wayback machine we go with a chance to party like it’s 1999. Well, because it was 1999. It was raining that day on May 4, enough that the two teams were only able to play five innings. Dartmouth jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first with Joe Rockers providing a three-run double. With a 6-1 lead in the fifth, the Panthers rallied for four runs of their own to close the gap to one. But Dartmouth tacked on a run in the bottom half thanks to three walks, a sacrifice and a wild pitch, and the game was halted at that point. Bernard Mauricia got the win by getting the final two outs of the fifth in relief of Michael Brown.
Probable Starting Pitchers
• The logical guess would be that Dartmouth will start sophomore RHP Tyler Fagler (0-1, 5.27), the only Big Green pitcher to start a mid-week game since conference play began.
• Who Middlebury will pitch is anybody’s guess, but I bet Dartmouth will see Colby Morris (5-4, 1.71) at some point, but maybe only out of the bullpen.
What’s Up Next
Dartmouth’s season comes down to the final three-game series of the regular season at Harvard, beginning on Sunday with a doubleheader and the final game on Monday. The Big Green are currently second in the standings and have to do two things to remain there: 1) beat Harvard at least once, and 2) win at least as many games against the Crimson as Columbia does at Cornell on Saturday and Sunday. One last thing to know — should Dartmouth sweep Harvard and Yale get swept by Penn, the Big Green would host the Ivy League Championship Series.
Last Week in Review
• Great pitching was on display in the final game against Brown, which was delayed until Tuesday, with the teams both scoring just a single run in the sixth, Dartmouth’s coming on a solo shot by Nate Ostmo. Austen Michel came in to preserve the tie in the seventh and proceeded to twirl seven shutout innings to allow the Big Green to pull out another 2-1 win, this time in 13 innings, on a walk-off, RBI single by Sean Sullivan.
• The Big Green bats awoke over the weekend, pounding Princeton by a combined score of 36-6 in a three-game sweep of the Tigers, the first sweep for Dartmouth in the new league format this year.
• Senior co-captain Dustin Shirley drove in five runs in the opener to lead the Green to a 14-3 victory while Cole O’Connor picked up the win and Mike Concato tossed 2.2 shutout innings of relief to finish it out.
• Senior Jack Fossand would have been the story in game two with 7.2 shutout innings, but Dartmouth scored a season-high 16 runs as senior Kyle Holbrook had six RBIs and sophomore Michael Calamari had four in a 16-1 rout.
• The final game was a bit more normal with the Big Green coming away 6-2 winners. Senior Clay Chatham got the win on the mound while junior Nate Ostmo and Steffen Torgersen led the offense with five hits, three runs and three RBIs.
Ivy Player, Pitcher of the Week
Junior shortstop Nate Ostmo and sophomore reliever Austen Michel were chosen as the Ivy League Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, after helping Dartmouth win all four games last week. Ostmo hit .353 with two homers, one of which was the only Big Green run until a walk-off hit in the 13th to beat Brown last Tuesday, 2-1. Michel was instrumental in that victory as well, hurling seven scoreless innings while allowing just one hit and retiring the final 17 batters of the game to earn the victory. He also finished the final win with two innings in a 6-2 triumph over Princeton, completing a three-game sweep of the Tigers.
Runs, Runs, Runs
Before playing Princeton, Dartmouth had scored 29 runs in its previous nine contests. The Big Green surpassed that total in the doubleheader, winning by scores of 14-3 and 16-1. Tack on the 6-2 victory in the finale and Dartmouth amassed 36 runs in the three games, its most in an Ivy League weekend since scoring 38 against Harvard in 2012. Granted, Ivy weekends consisted of four games instead of just three until this season … and the 16 runs were the most against a D-I opponent in three years.
Before the series against Princeton on May 5-6, there wasn’t a single active player on the Dartmouth roster that had driven in more than three runs in any game for the Big Green. That all changed in the doubleheader on Saturday as senior Dustin Shirley had five RBIs on a two-run homer and a three-run double in the 14-3 win. But he wasn’t the only one to gorge on RBIs that day as sophomore Michael Calamari drove in four of the first six runs in the nightcap with a two-run double and a two-run blast, and senior Kyle Holbrook trumped them all with six RBIs, all in his final three at-bats. The first two came on run-scoring singles, while the last four came on a grand slam to cap the 16-1 rout. It was the first grand slam by a Big Green hitter in four years (Jeff Keller vs. Harvard, April 29, 2014).
The bats got most of the attention against the Tigers, but the arms got it done as well. Junior Cole O'Connor began the weekend with six shutout stanzas before tiring in the seventh, picking up his fifth win of the year, and senior Jack Fossand followed with 7.2 scoreless innings of work on four hits and eight strikeouts in the nightcap to collect his fourth victory. It was senior Clay Chatham’s turn on Sunday, yielding just one unearned run on three hits with six strikeouts in six innings on the mound for his second win of the season. The pitching has been superb for longer than just last weekend, for over the last eight games, the entire Dartmouth staff sports a combined 2.04 ERA with 51 strikeouts and a measly seven walks in 75.0 innings.