|May 13 • 11:30 a.m.||May 13 • ~2:30 p.m.||May 14 • 1 p.m.|
|ILN • Live Stats||ILN • Live Stats||ILN • Live Stats|
|Probable Starting Pitchers||Probable Starting Pitchers||Probable Starting Pitchers|
|D: RHP Cole O’Connor (5-4, 4.15)||D: RHP Jack Fossand (4-3, 4.10)||D: RHP Clay Chatham (2-4, 5.03)|
|H: RHP Nick Zavolas (6-1, 2.81)||H: RHP Simon Rosenblum-Larson (3-2, 2.84)||H: TBA|
ILCS Berth on the Line
The top two teams in the Ivy League earn the right to advance to the best-of-three championship series next weekend. While Dartmouth is currently in second place, it has some work to do in the final series of the season at Harvard to hold on to its position. First, the Big Green have to beat the Crimson just once to eliminate them from the race. Additionally, Dartmouth must end the weekend by beating Harvard at least as many times as Columbia wins at Cornell in their three-game series. The cherry on top of all of this would be if the Green swept Harvard and Penn swept first-place Yale; Dartmouth would then host the Ivy League Championship Series on May 19-20.
The Overall Record vs. Harvard
• By the end of this series, Dartmouth will have played the Crimson more than any other opponent. The Big Green have taken 26 of the last 30, but Harvard still holds a 132-126 lead.
• Last year the two teams split the four games with each winning once at the two venues, ending a streak of six straight years in which Dartmouth won the series while boasting a 22-2 mark, including 15 wins in a row at one point.
• The Big Green have not lost the season series against Harvard since 2005, winning eight and splitting five.
• Harvard has been playing at the site of O’Donnell Field since 1898, beating Dartmouth in the inaugural game, 13-7. Since 1923, the Big Green are 47-54 (.465) at the site.
Scouting the Crimson
• Harvard, playing for the first time in two weeks due to final exams, is one of just two teams in the Ivy League with a winning record overall this season (20-19) and has the second-best RPI (156) behind only Yale (144).
• The Crimson are averaging 5.8 runs a game while hitting .262/.361/.369 as a team overall, but have been a little better against the Ivy League at 6.2 runs per game and a line of .278/.377/.385.
• Center fielder Ben Skinner leads Harvard with a .329 average and 15 stolen bases, while Patrick Robinson is close behind in average at .325.
• Five players have at least three home runs, led by Jake Suddleson with five and Robinson with four.
• On the mound, the staff has a 5.74 ERA for the season, sixth in the league, but that figure drops to 4.15 in conference play, only slightly higher than Dartmouth’s 4.06.
• The Crimson rely heavily upon their top two starters, RHP Noah Zavolas and RHP Simon Rosenblum-Larson, both of whom have struck out 72 batters in 64 and 57 innings, respectively.
• The bullpen has been anchored by RHP Hunter Bigge (2-2, 2.81, 3 saves) while RHP Kieran Shaw leads the team with four saves.
• The defense ranks last in fielding percentage in league play at .954 and has contributed to more than one unearned run scoring per game. But the catches have done a good job limiting the running game, throwing out 6-of-19 potential base stealers.
Last Time Against Harvard
All four games were tight contests with Dartmouth winning the first game of each doubleheader, 2-1 at home and 3-0 on the road, while the Crimson took the nightcaps, 7-6 and 8-7. Solo homers by Kyle Holbrook and Michael Calamari in the first game gave the Green a 2-0 lead entering the seventh and final frame, but Harvard loaded the bases with nobody out. But Chris Burkholder got a strikeout, a sacrifice fly and a strikeout to earn his eighth save.
It looked as if Dartmouth would sweep the first twinbill as it took a 6-1 lead into the eighth inning. But the Crimson rallied for six in the eighth, the last two scoring on a dropped fly ball. The Big Green threatened to reclaim the lead after drawing two walks to start the eighth, but the next six batters went down in order to give Harvard the win.
In Cambridge, Beau Sulser made the most of his final collegiate start, twirling a two-hit shutout with eight strikeouts. Nate Ostmo tripled home two runs in the second and scored shortly thereafter to provide all of the offense in the 3-0 victory.
The final game was a back-and-forth affair. Dartmouth led, 5-3, until Harvard scored three in the seventh. But Trevor Johnson’s two-out, two-run homer in the ninth put the Big Green back on top, 7-6. The lead would not last, unfortunately, beginning with a leadoff walk, and Harvard answered with two runs of its own on a single and an error to walk off with the 8-7 triumph.
Probable Starting Pitchers
• Dartmouth will continue with its weekend rotation as it has all year with junior RHP Cole O’Connor (5-4, 4.15) getting the nod for game one. He threw six shutout innings against Princeton — extending his streak to 13 — before tiring in the seventh in a 14-3 rout.
• Harvard will send ace RHP Noah Zavolas (6-1, 2.81) to the mound to square off against O’Connor. The senior has a no-hitter to his credit this season, a 12-strikeout gem against Yale.
• For game two, the Big Green have senior RHP Jack Fossand (4-3, 4.10) lined up. In league action, he is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA with quality starts in five of his six appearances, including 7.2 scoreless stanzas last week against Princeton.
• The Crimson will hand the ball to ace number two, RHP Simon Rosenblum-Larson (3-2, 2.84), in the nightcap of the doubleheader. Opponents are hitting just .219 against him, second-lowest in the league, and he leads the loop with 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings.
• Senior RHP Clay Chatham (2-4, 5.03) will take his turn in the final game, coming off a six-inning start in which he allowed one unearned run on three hits versus the Tigers. His last two starts (both Big Green victories) have yielded just one earned run in 11 innings with 13 strikeouts.
• For Harvard, the final starter will likely hinge on what happens in the first two games. Betting either RHP Hunter Bigge (2-2, 2.81) or RHP Kevin Stone (3-4, 7.46) will be on the mound.
What’s Up Next
Hopefully a trip to the Ivy League Championship Series on May 19-20. How Dartmouth would qualify for the event for the ninth time in the past 11 seasons, but first since 2015, is outlined in the very first note, so why don’t you go back and read that if you don’t remember?
Last Week in Review
• Dartmouth played one last non-conference game on Wednesday and cruised to a 12-1 win over Division III Middlebury. Michael Calamari hit a three-run homer, while Blake Crossing and Bennett McCaskill both singled, doubled and drove in two runs in the blowout.
• The Big Green bats first 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.
• 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.
• Jack Fossand would have been the story in game two with 7.2 shutout innings, but Dartmouth scored a season-high 16 runs as Kyle Holbrook had six RBIs and 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. Clay Chatham got the win on the mound while Nate Ostmo and Steffen Torgersen led the offense with a combined five hits, three runs and three RBIs.
Shirley Academic All-District
Senior Dustin Shirley was named to the Google Cloud Academic All-District I Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) this past week. The psychology major has a 3.75 GPA while hitting .290 with 13 doubles (tied for the Ivy lead), four homers and a team-high 28 RBIs. He is the first Big Green player selectd to the team since 2014 when Jeff Keller earned the distinction shortly before being chosen an Academic All-America First Team member for the second straight year.
Five in a Row
In April, Dartmouth posted a record of 6-8-1, its first losing record in that month since the 2007 campaign. But May has been much kinder as the Big Green have won all five of their games since May Day rolled around, including the 12-1 win over Middlebury on Wednesday. It is the longest winning streak since a 14-gamer late in the 2015 season propelled Dartmouth to its eighth-straight Ivy League Championship Series. By the way, over the previous 10 seasons (2008-17), the Big Green were 152-66-1 in April, a winning percentage of .696.
From 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 (which was a four-game series). And with 12 more runs against Middlebury, the Green had their most runs in any four-game stretch (48) since 2011 when they tallied 54 in late March of that year. By the way, the 16 runs against Princeton were the most for Dartmouth against a D-I opponent in three years.
… To Run Prevention
Apparently Dartmouth has been hogging all of the runs of late, because the pitching staff and defense have really stymied opposing offenses. Over the last nine games, the team ERA is a miniscule 1.93 with the pitchers issuing just eight walks in 84 innings. Five times the other team has scored just one run in this stretch — every other game as a matter of fact — as the Big Green have won seven of the nine games.
Fagler Gets First Win
Sophomore Tyler Fagler has gotten the starting nod in every non-conference game since Ivy play started at the end of March, but he finally got his first collegiate win in a scheduled short start against Middlebury on May 9. The right-hander kept the Panthers off the scoreboard for three innings on two hits as Dartmouth jumped out to a 7-0 lead. Fagler is now 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA in four starts and seven relief appearances spanning 21.1 career innings.
Calamari Takes Team Lead in HR
With his three-run blast against Middlebury on May 9, sophomore Michael Calamari is now the team leader with five home runs on the season. As a team, Dartmouth has clubbed 24 round-trippers, which ranks second to only this weekend’s opponent, Harvard, who has 25 (but in two more games).
Welcome Back Fowler
A hamstring injury sidelined senior third baseman Justin Fowler for 13 games spanning four weeks, but he finally got back in the lineup in the second game against Princeton. But it wasn’t until the Middlebury game that he rapped out his first hits since returning, going 2-for-4 with a double, walk and an RBI in the 12-1 win. During his absence, junior Steffen Torgersen handled the hot corner quite well, fielding 34 chances without an error, plus hit .289 with three doubles in those 13 contests.
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.
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).
Speaking of Bases Loaded
Kyle Holbrook’s grand slam against Princeton is part of a larger trend among Big Green hitters over the past four games — producing with the bases loaded. Over the first 33 games, Dartmouth as a team was a woeful .105 (4-for-38) with all four hits being singles and 24 RBIs when every base was occupied. But in just the past four games, the Green have gone 9-for-16 with two doubles, Holbrook’s home run and 22 RBIs to raise the season average in such situations to .241.