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Dartmouth capped off its eighth consecutive Red Rolfe Division championship-winning season with a four-game sweep of Harvard this weekend, picking up two wins in Hanover on Saturday and two more in Cambridge on Sunday.
The Big Green (20-19, 16-4 Ivy), who finished the regular season on a 14-game winning streak and went undefeated in division play, will take on either Columbia or Penn in next weekend’s Ivy League Championship. Despite finishing below .500, the 2015 campaign was the best in coach Bill Decker’s three seasons at the helm of the Crimson (18-24, 7-13).
“I think this group is a special group for me because it’s [my] first group,” Decker said. “These guys were in the program for three years. I really enjoyed coaching them, working with them, being with them. They’ve set a path for the guys next year to follow.”
DARTMOUTH 7, HARVARD 2
In the final game of the series at O’Donnell Field, the Big Green roughed up Harvard starter Ian Miller, who had dominated his last two outings against Yale and Northeastern, for five runs (three earned) in four and a third innings. Senior pitcher Chris England threw six solid innings for Dartmouth, while classmate infielder Jay Graham led the way for the Big Green with three hits and three RBIs.
Junior Nick Scahill threw three and two-thirds scoreless innings out of the bullpen for the Crimson, while captain Ethan Ferreira and freshman Connor Quinn combined for five of the team’s nine hits.
DARTMOUTH 6, HARVARD 4 (8 INNINGS)
Harvard dropped to 0-4 in extra-inning games after freshman infielder Dustin Shirley’s two-run single in the eighth gave Dartmouth the lead for good. The Crimson tied the game up at four in the bottom of the seventh after senior center fielder Mike Martin singled home fellow fourth-year Jack Colton, but Harvard was unable to get any runs across to extend the game in the eighth.
Senior Tanner Anderson, making his final collegiate start, surrendered three earned runs in six innings of work. Sophomore Nick Gruener made his second consecutive appearance out of the bullpen but was tagged with the loss after surrendering both runs in the Big Green eighth.
In their final weekend of action, seniors Jake McGuiggan, Ferreira, Martin, and Colton combined for eight of the Crimson’s nine hits.
“This class was definitely very talented,” McGuiggan said. “Talent-wise, it was a good class. Personality-wise, it was a good class. I’m confident the younger guys will be able to fill those roles and make for a productive season next year.”
DARTMOUTH 4, HARVARD 3
Harvard plated three runs against Dartmouth ace Duncan Robinson at Biondi Park, but it was not enough as a four-run seventh inning propelled the Big Green to a win. After six spotless innings, senior Matt Timoney surrendered three hits and a walk in the bottom of the seventh before being replaced by junior T.J. Laurisch.
Dartmouth batted around in the inning, one which saw senior infielder Matt Parisi come up with the game-winning single. Sophomore Chris Burkholder picked up a hold, and freshman Patrick Peterson earned the save after stymying the Crimson in the eighth and ninth, respectively. Ferreira hit his fifth home run of the season for Harvard, while McGuiggan and Quinn each drove in a run.
DARTMOUTH 8, HARVARD 1
The Crimson offense struggled to produce clutch hits in Saturday’s opener. After Harvard tied the game at one in the second inning, the Big Green finished the game with seven unanswered runs. For the game, the Crimson left 11 runners on base.
Sophomore Mike Concato was strong on the mound for Dartmouth, allowing just the one run and seven hits in six innings. Dartmouth roughed up junior Sean Poppen for eight earned runs in four and two-thirds innings. Rookie right fielder Kyle Holbrook had three hits on the day, including a three-run home run to pace the Big Green.
Shortstop Drew Reid was the only Harvard player to record multiple hits. The sophomore had three singles in the game.
“We would have liked to have finished with a couple wins this weekend,” McGuiggan said. “It’s tough to finish the career with a losing streak. At the same time, I think this whole team really improved a lot this year.”
—Staff writer Stephen J. Gleason can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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