Dartmouth started it with a homerun and ended it with a homerun.
The third and final homer of the game for the Big Green came off the bat of first baseman Jason Brooks on the first pitch of the day for Tim Giel. Columbia starting pitcher Pat Lowry had just left the game with a 4-3 lead and runners on first and second; but Giel grooved a fastball down the middle on his first release, setting up Brooks to poke one over the right centerfield wall. The three-run homer was all that Dartmouth needed to cap off its 6-4 win in game one of its doubleheader at Columbia on Saturday.
Shortstop Joe Sclafani led off the game for the Big Green with a big fly to center. Only two batters later, Chris O’Dowd hit one out to right centerfield giving the Big Green a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. All three Dartmouth homeruns on the day came on fastballs located in the middle of the plate.
Dartmouth continued to pore it on in the second inning with a Sclafani double, which scored one run and gave the Big Green a 3-0 advantage. But the Lions would not lie down.
Kyle Hunter did not allow a run in the first three innings, but bent a bit in the bottom of the fourth, allowing Alex Godshall to score on an RBI groundout and Alex Ferrera to score on a gutsy two-out bunt single.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, with Dartmouth still clinging to a 3-2 lead, Hunter put runners on first and second with only one out. He had been able to finagle his way out of a few jams prior to the inning, but this time he balked with Alexander Aurrichio at the plate, moving the potential tying run to third base and the potential go-ahead run into scoring position. Aurrichio delivered with a hard-hit liner up the middle on the next pitch, scoring both runs and giving Columbia a 4-3 lead with only one inning to go.
But then there was the Brooks answer to Aurrichio’s heroics. After a walk and a single, Pat Lowry was pulled and Jason Brooks effectively ended it with his three-run, go-ahead homer in the top of the seventh. It was Brooks’ third hit of the day. Hunter retired the side in order to close out the win for the Big Green.
In Hunter’s seven-inning complete game, he allowed four runs, all of them earned, on six hits, one walk, and three strikeouts. He improved to 3-1. Lowry allowed five runs, all of them earned, on eight hits, three walks, and eight strikeouts over 6.1 innings. He fell to 0-4 on the season.
Dartmouth improved to 11-4 (1-0). Columbia falls below .500 to 9-10 (0-1).
Columbia vs. Dartmouth – Game 2
Both starting pitchers wore number 13, but bad luck was only on one of their sides.
Dartmouth’s lineup tore apart Columbia starting pitcher Geoff Whitaker in its 8-1 win in game two of its doubleheader on Saturday. Whitaker allowed seven runs, six of them earned, on eight hits, one walk, and five strikeouts over five innings.
Cole Sulser’s luck, however, was completely on the other end of the spectrum. Sulcer went 7.2 scoreless innings for the Big Green, allowing four hits, one walk, and striking out seven. At one point, six of seven outs he recorded were strikeouts. The out that was not on strikes, was not even put into play. It was a caught stealing.
Dartmouth coach Bob Whalen described the performance as “very impressive”.
“He was able to locate his fastball and get outs,” said Whalen, who has been at coaching at the school for 22 years now.
Dartmouth started to rally early in game two and never looked back. Coming off a momentous win in game one, in which it won on a three run homerun in the top of the seventh and final inning, the Big Green picked up right where it left off. Chris O’Dowd hit a two run homerun to start off the game in the top of the first. Two innings later, a Jeff Onstott single and an Ennis Coble groundout increased Dartmouth’s lead to 4-0.
Dartmouth got back on the scoreboard once again an inning later, scoring two more on a Joe Sclafani single and a Sam Bean RBI groundout. The Sclafani single helped the shortstop to a 4-9 day total with three RBI. Four Dartmouth players had multi-hit games in game two, including Sclafani, Bean, O’Dowd, and Coble.
A Dustin Selzer RBI double in the fifth increased Dartmouth’s lead to 7-0. Later, a Bean sacrifice fly gave Dartmouth an 8-0 lead.
Columbia finally got on the board with two outs in the ninth inning on an Alex Ferrera RBI single, but it was too late for the Lions, who fell to 9-11 (0-2). Dartmouth improved to 12-4 (2-0).