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Baseball Misses Out On Shot at Red Rolfe Title

By Tanner Skenderian, Contributing Writer

It just took one win over Harvard baseball this past weekend for Dartmouth to secure the Red Rolfe Division and head to the Ivy League Championship Series for the sixth straight year. The Big Green got it done early, taking both games in Saturday’s double-header in Hanover, N.H.

The Crimson (10-30, 7-13 Ivy), which entered the weekend second in its division, lost a close one to Dartmouth (31-7, 15-5) Saturday morning when a late-game double by the home team broke the tie and brought home two runners.

Its fate already sealed for championship play, the Crimson was held scoreless through nine in the second game and lost, 8-0.

DARTMOUTH 8, HARVARD 0

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, when the home team brought in four runs against Harvard freshman starter Sean Poppen.

Dartmouth relied on three RBI singles in the inning from Joe Purritano, Trent Goodrich and Matt Parisi. A sacrifice fly from catcher Matt MacDowell added another tally for the Big Green.

In the bottom of the sixth, a sacrifice single and wild pitch earned two more runs for Dartmouth. The final blow came in the eighth with a two-run double from junior Dustin Selzer.

Offensively, the Crimson could not deliver.

“A lot of people have been struggling with offense, which was huge in game two,” sophomore Brandon Kregel said. “We had six hits, but we need to find out how to string the hits together and actually drive the baseball. We really need to get behind it instead of just relying on poking the ball through.”

On the mound for Dartmouth for most of the game was senior Kyle Hunter, who struck out five Crimson batters. Big Green pitchers totaled eight strikeouts in the game.

“They had a pretty good pitcher,” freshman third baseman Mitch Klug said. “He was doing a good job of getting ahead and putting us in not-so-good hitter’s counts.”

After the decisive first game, the motivation and energy levels were down for the Crimson.

“In the second game, we rolled out of the first loss [and] we could kind of tell that it was affecting us a little,” Klug said. “After the second game we realized that even though [Sunday’s] games won’t decide whether we play next weekend, we can really improve from how we played in the second game.”

DARTMOUTH 3, HARVARD 1

Dartmouth scored first on Saturday on a fielding error by Harvard shortstop Mike Martin in the bottom of the second.

Harvard was able to tie up the score in the fourth with an RBI double to right-center by Kregel.

“I think we came out ready to play in the first game,” Klug said. “I thought in the first couple innings we put a good effort out there.”

Klug produced one of just three hits for the Crimson. Offense was hard to come by for both teams as Dartmouth manage just five hits of its own.

MacDowell put the ball through to centerfield for a two-run RBI double in the fourth to put the Big Green up, 3-1. With three more opportunities on offense, Harvard wasn’t able to respond.

“We didn’t really execute when we needed to come back and answer in key situations,” Kregel said.

On the mound, senior Sam Dodge pitched all seven innings. In the 31 at-bats he faced, 60 percent of his pitches were strikes, including six strikeouts.

“Dodge was pitching well, and I thought we were playing pretty well behind him,” Klug said.

After closing out the Ivy League season against Dartmouth, Harvard’s regular season will finish with a Monday night game at Fenway Park against Boston College.

“We’re coming to the end of the season and we’re really just grinding our bats out, and just grinding plays out, one by one,” Kregel said. “Our team is just exhausted at this point, to the extent that we have to put pitchers in regular positions on the field.”

The Crimson dedicated its final home game to its seniors, but the true memorial was for former coach Joe Walsh, who died over the summer.

“He was such an inspiration to everybody, including myself, when he was here,” Kregel said. “It would be nice for everyone to remember him when we play.”

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