HANOVER, N.H. — Sophomore Michael Parsons twirled 5.2 scoreless innings of relief in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday, earning the win for Dartmouth over visiting Columbia, 10-4. The Lions rebounded in the nightcap thanks to a pair of three-run homers by Chandler Bengtson in a 12-3 triumph for Columbia (9-20, 5-4 Ivy), but the Big Green (7-14-1, 3-2-1 Ivy) claimed the series with their win in yesterday’s showdown.
With Dartmouth trailing by four runs in the third inning of today’s opener — due in part to solo home runs by Liam McGill and Bengtson — head coach Bob Whalen summoned Parsons from the bullpen to stem the tide. The left-hander stranded a runner at second by getting a routine fly ball to left, and the Big Green bats immediately came to life in the bottom half to cut into the 4-0 deficit.
Freshman Bennett McCaskill got hold of a 2-1 pitch and sent it into the netting above the left-field fence for a leadoff home run, the first of his career. That run was just the tip of the iceberg for Dartmouth, as junior Matt Feinstein and senior Kyle Holbrook walked with one gone before senior Dustin Shirley dropped a hit just inside the foul line down the line in right for an RBI double.
Lion starter Ben Wereski then fielded a slow chopper between third and the mound, and attempted to gun down Holbrook sprinting home from third. But his throw went wide, allowing both runners to score, tying the game at four. Senior Justin Fowler followed by sending a pitch over the right fielder’s head for an RBI double, and sophomore Michael Calamari capped the inning with a two-run blast to right-center, his second home run of the year, for a sudden 7-4 Big Green advantage.
That was all the help Parsons (1-2) needed to earn his first collegiate victory as he navigated his way through the Lions lineup for nearly six innings, scattering five hits — but never more than one in any inning — without walking a batter and striking out just one.
Dartmouth tacked on a run in the sixth on a Holbrook sacrifice fly, and two more in the eighth on a balk with runners on the corners and an RBI single by Holbrook.
After Parsons surrendered a one-out single in the ninth, senior Patrick Peterson came on to finish off Columbia, getting the final two outs on a pair of fly balls to right.
The Big Green had 10 hits in the game with sophomore Blake Crossing rapping out two and the other eight starters each having one.
Wereski (1-3) suffered the loss for allowing seven runs in three innings of work, though he struck out six. McGill led the 11-hit Lion attack by going 3-for-5 with two RBIs, falling a triple shy of the cycle.
Taking the lead turned out to be a bad omen today as Dartmouth scored twice in the second inning of the series finale. Holbrook walked to start the stanza, Calamari doubled and freshman Ubaldo Lopez sent a long fly to right to allow Holbrook to score. Junior Steffen Torgersen, starting at third in place of Fowler who left the first game with an injury, then found a hole on the right side for his first hit of the season, an RBI single.
Columbia answered immediately with back-to-back doubles in the third by McGill and Matt Cerfolio. Senior Jack Fossand preserved the one-run lead by stranding two runners on a fly to center and a nice catch in foul territory near the Big Green dugout by Torgersen.
In the fourth, the Lions knotted the score when Randell Kanemaru singled home A.J. DiFillipo, who had led off the inning with a double. Columbia took the lead the following frame after two were out as Fossand hit a batter Julian Bury singled him to second (one of his four hits in the game) and DiFillipo doubled again for a 3-2 advantage.
Bengtson launched his first three-run bomb off the Leverone Field House roof in the sixth to make it a 6-2 game. Although Dartmouth threatened to get back in the game by tallying a run in the seventh on another two-out balk with runners on the corners, Columbia put the game out of reach in the eighth on another Bengtson three-run round-tripper, which got the scoring started in the six-run stanza, completing the scoring.
Harrison Egly (1-3) earned his first victory of the season for the Lions, yielding two runs on four hits and a walk over 5.1 innings with four strikeouts. Three relievers held Dartmouth to a lone unearned run the rest of the way.
Bengtson finished the game with six RBIs and walked three times as well as Columbia collected 18 hits in the contest.
Dartmouth was led by Feinstein and Calamari, each of whom went 2-for-4 for half of the Big Green hits, while Holbrook reached base three times with a single and two walks.
The Big Green are back in action on Tuesday afternoon when they host UMass Lowell at Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park at 3 p.m. The game will be streamed live on the Ivy League Network, now available on Apple TV, Roku and the ILN app for Android and Apple devices, with Wayne Young ’72 calling the action.
Notes: Dartmouth had won six straight games against the Lions … since Biondi Park was built before the 2009 season, the Big Green have played 37 Ivy League series at home, winning 20, splitting 15 and losing only two … Parsons’ lone career win and save have come against Columbia having earned a four-inning save last year in New York, giving him 9.2 scoreless innings against the Lions … Crossing and Calamari extended their hitting streaks to eight games apiece.