HANOVER, N.H. – Yale took an early lead, but couldn't weather a seven-run rally from Dartmouth in the third inning to lose 11-4 in the one-game divisional tiebreak. David Toups went 2-4 with two RBIs and a run in the loss. With the win, Dartmouth is the Red Rolfe Champion and will play Columbia next weekend for the Ivy League Championship.
In the first inning, the bats came out hot but couldn't crack the scoreboard. Nate Adams had the first hit of the game, with a sharp ground ball down the left field line for a double. A fly ball from Richard Slenker moved Adams to third, but he was stranded there as Dartmouth starter Beau Sulser ended Yale's at-bats without a score.
In the bottom half of the first, Yale starter Chris Lanham got some help from his defense. After Nick Ruppert reached base on a hit by pitch, Thomas Roulis blasted a deep fly ball to left field that had extra bases written all over it. But left fielder Eric Hsieh had other plans, slamming into the wall and making an incredible catch. Lanham ended the inning to keep the game scoreless.
In the second inning, Jacob Hunter led off with a single through the left side hole. With one out, Sulser hit Cale Hanson in the helmet to put two runners on. (Hanson appeared to be fine and remained in the game.) David Toups followed with a well-placed single through the right side, loading the bases for Tom O'Neill. O'Neill did his job, grounding into an RBI fielder's choice that put Toups out at second. In a scary play with two outs and a 2-2 count on Green Campbell, Sulser threw a wild pitch that scored Hanson. He injured himself on the pitch and was relieved by Duncan Robinson. Robinson ended the inning without any more damage, leaving Yale with a 2-0 lead.
Lanham shut down Dartmouth in the bottom of the second, inducing three consecutive groundouts to retire the Big Green in order and hold the score at 2-0.
After Robinson held Yale scoreless in the top of the third, Dartmouth exploded for a seven-run spot in the bottom of three. Lanham surrendered four consecutive singles, then lost his control briefly as the rain picked up. He threw a wild pitch, then walked a batter to tie the game at 2 with the bases loaded and none out. After striking out Dartmouth's Dustin Selzer, Lanham gave up a 2-RBI single to Joe Purritano to give Dartmouth a 4-2 lead. Chris Moates relieved Lanham, but gave up a 2-RBI triple and RBI single before ending the inning. Moates settled down, striking out Matt MacDowell and picking off Bo Patterson at second base. After all was said and done, Dartmouth led 7-2.
Yale and Dartmouth's top relievers, Moates and Robinson, respectively, kept hitters quiet for the middle portion of the game.
After a scoreless top of the fourth, Moates surrendered a single to Jeff Keller in the bottom half of the inning. Catcher Robert Baldwin threw out a stealing Keller at second on a perfect throw to end the inning.
In the top of the fifth inning, Campbell singled to left field and stole second, but couldn't find a way to score.
In the bottom of the fifth, Moates struck out two hitters to keep the game at 7-2.
In the sixth inning, more zeroes ensued. Hunter hit his second single on the day, but Hsieh was thrown out stealing to end the inning. In the bottom of the sixth, Moates got himself in and out of trouble. He gave up a single and a walk to start the inning, and, after a Dartmouth sacrifice bunt, intentionally walked the bases loaded. In a tight spot, Moates struck out Ruppert and induced a fly ball to end the inning without damage.
In the top of the seventh, Yale clawed back into the game. Hanson walked to lead off the inning, putting a runner on for Toups. On the first pitch he saw, Toups hit a no-doubt home run to right field – his first of the year. The two-run blast brought the score to 7-4.
As the rain reappeared in the bottom of the seventh, Moates hit Selzer with none out. After a fly ball and strikeout, Moates surrendered a single through the left side of the infield to Patterson. It would be his final batter of the day, as David Hickey entered the game to pitch for Yale. With two outs and two runners on, Hickey walked MacDowell to load the bases, but grounded Matt Parisi out to end the inning with no runs.
Dartmouth's Louis Concato relieved Robinson for the eighth inning, and retired the Bulldogs in order.
In the bottom of the eighth, Hanson relieved Hickey with a runner on first and one out. Roulis tripled to the right-center gap, scoring Keller. Then, Selzer hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Roulis and extending the lead to 9-4. After an error, Dartmouth's Nick Lombardi hit a two-run home run to add on, making the score 11-4.
In the top of the ninth, Kevin Fortunato pinch hit for Hsieh and walked to lead off the inning. Cale Hanson grounded into a fielder's choice, taking Fortunato's place at first base. Tom O'Neill reached base on an error, but Yale couldn't extend the inning any further, ending the game at 11-4.
Yale's season ended just short of a Red Rolfe Championship. Darmouth took the division for the seventh consecutive season. It was Yale's first season above .500 in the Ivy League since 2011.
Report by Skylar Shibayama '16, Yale Sports Publicity
image by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director