Baseball closes season with 8-1 romp of Holy Cross
Dartmouth completed a turnaround season; Holy Cross was simply turned around.
Big Green close with 8-1 romp
The Big Green (16-21 overall, 9-11 Ivy League) capped off a 14-11 run to end its season with an 8-1 victory over the Crusaders (14-18) Thursday at Red Rolfe Field.
Pitcher Scott Simon '97 (4-2) dominated the Crusader lineup from the mound. The Big Green right-hander gave up only four hits and no walks while striking out seven in his complete-game effort.
"I wanted to send myself and the team out on a good note," Simon said. "I really felt good the whole way through. My pitch count was really low, so I was able to go the whole nine innings."
Holy Cross starter Craig Johnson took the loss, but it should have been assigned to the Crusader defense. Only two of Johnson's eight allowed runs were earned, as Holy Cross's infield committed five errors.
Defense has also been a problem for Dartmouth this season, but Thursday saw the Big Green turn in a zero error performance.
"We put everything together as far as defense and pitching goes," Jake Isler '96 said.
Dartmouth's always-potent hitting attack produced four-run innings in the first and fifth frames on a total of eight hits.
Brian Eller '94 led the way for the Big Green with a 2-for-5 effort, including an RBI double. The left fielder also scored two runs.
Eller's teammates were ready to help. First baseman Todd Seneker '95 singled in two runs in the first before adding another RBI in the fifth on a sacrifice fly.
Andrew Spencer '97, the center fielder, added two hits, an RBI and a run scored.
Third sacker Isler, coming off Ivy League Player of the Week honors, drew two walks and scored two runs.
Isler said he was pleased with the team's performance as well as his own. "We know when we play that way, we can beat anyone," he said.
Hitting records fall;
The Big Green displayed three major traits this year: they consistently improved. Boy, could they hit. Their pitching and defense still need some work.
To no one's real surprise, Dartmouth's young squad, full of sophomore and freshman starters, began the season 2-10.
To everyone's pleasant surprise, it finished the campaign with 14 wins in its last 25 games.
The slow beginning momentarily threw the young players for a loss, but they never gave up, an attitude which clearly paid off down the stretch.
Dartmouth set several team season hitting marks. Its .318 team batting average shattered the previous record of .300, set in 1987. In five fewer games, its 373 hits and 274 runs surpassed totals set by the 1986 team.
Big Green hitters threatened several Dartmouth individual season records, as well.
Greg Gilmer '96, the right fielder, won the Ivy batting title by hitting .476 in league play, the second highest Dartmouth average ever.
Spencer's 40 runs place him second in Dartmouth history, and his 52 hits are good for fourth on the all-time list.
Isler's 36 RBI put him one behind the Dartmouth high mark, but the third baseman handled the achievement modestly.
"It just seemed like every time I got up, there were guys on base," he said. "It's not hard to drive in runs when you have that situation all the time."
Other Dartmouth sluggers added to the sizeable team totals. Designated hitter Travis Horton '96 hit .339 with 32 RBI.
The Big Green's other designated hitter, Craig Pawling '96 led the team in home runs with three and slugged .529.
In all, eight Dartmouth hitters finished the season over .300.
Coach Bob Whalen would have liked better final results than a .933 fielding percentage and a 6.22 staff ERA.
Several bright spots did emerge on the pitching staff, however. Starter Steve Murphy '94 (4-3), co-Ivy League Pitcher of the Week last week, ended with a 3.61 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of almost 2.5 to one.
In addition to his 4-2 record, Simon only allowed one home run in his 46.7 innings of work.
"We all had our good moments, but we also had our bad ones," Simon said. "Things look positive, though. Every person on the staff pitched a good outing their last time out."
In all, the future appears bright for the Dartmouth baseball program. "There's a lot of potential on this team," Isler said. "The tools are there."
An Ivy League championship next year would make this season's turnaround complete.