Baseball drops two at Princeton and home opener to Quinnipiac

by Gayne Kalustian | 4/2/14 4:14pm

by Josh Renaud / The Dartmouth

Despite posting 12 hits, the baseball team fell to visiting Quinnipiac University 11-5 in its home opener Wednesday, the first day the Big Green has been able to play on its field all season. The loss came after dropping a weather-delayed doubleheader against Princeton University on Tuesday, 3-0 and 4-3.In the Quinnipiac game, Dartmouth came looking to jump-start its lineup but was ultimately unable to capitalize, leaving 10 runners on base across the nine frames.Dartmouth’s first run of the game came in the bottom of the first with two outs after a single from co-captain Jeff Keller ’14 that found the hole between short and third. Keller stole second and scored on a double down the third base line from the next hitter Dustin Selzer ’14.The run tied the game one-all after the first, but a Bobcat home run to start the second put Quinnipiac back in the lead, where it would remain for the duration of the game.Quinnipiac’s fielders, however, were not particularly consistent in the early going. In the second, Nick Lombardi ’15 popped a ball high over short that was dropped by third baseman Nic Civale. The error put Lombardi on first, but he was left stranded when Matt MacDowell ’15 and Ben Socher ’17 could not bring him in.“We’re getting guys on base,” MacDowell said. “Our offensive potential is definitely there, we’re just missing those one or two big hits. We know that those big hits will come in time.”A disappointing three-run fourth inning for Quinnipiac put Dartmouth back 5-1. However, in the top of the fifth the Bobcats grew overconfident, trying to steal second with a runner on the corners and two outs, but the Dartmouth fielders caught both in a rundown, weaving position players to artfully trap the runner off third for the third out of the inning.“We work on those a lot in practice,” Selzer said. “Usually we try to do it in one throw, so it took a few more than we’d like but we’re glad that we got it.”The team sought to close the gap in the fifth when Nick Ruppert ’16 smacked a solo home run over the left-field wall to start a three-run inning. After the next batter, Matt Parisi ’15, singled, Keller slammed a double deep into left but couldn’t secure enough time for Parisi, who was caught at home.On an almost identical hit by Selzer that followed, Keller scored, beating the throw. Thomas Roulis ’15 then brought in Selzer from first after hitting a triple down the right-field line.“We had some guys swing the bat a little bit better today,” Keller said. “Hopefully that can carry over.”Quinnipiac doubled Dartmouth’s score in the seventh on a home run by junior Vincent Guglietti that was just out of centerfielder Ruppert’s reach. The score would remain 8-4 until a home run by junior Scott Donaghue off of Chris England ’15 brought in two additional runs, bringing the game to 11-4.But in the bottom of the ninth, pinch-hitter Joe Purritano ’16 drove in Keller, who had walked, on a fielder’s choice. The Big Green rally ended there, at 11-5.The team, Whalen said, continues to wait with high hopes for success at the plate.“You roll up your sleeves and keep working,” he said. “Hitting can be very contagious, so when you get a couple of guys going it can rub off. Our season is very condensed, so if you’re doing well that can be a really good thing.”Before the game started, the team and Whalen recognized retiring Quinnipiac coach Dan Gooley who, Whalen said, is a “universally respected” fixture in New England baseball.In the first game against Princeton, starting pitcher Michael Danielak ’16 allowed just one run on one hit in the first five innings before giving up four hits in the sixth. The Big Green batters were kept off the board for the third time this season.In the second game, Dartmouth’s pitchers again kept the Tigers at bay for most of the first six innings. Dartmouth held a slim 3-2 lead heading into the seventh thanks to a pair of doubles from Ruppert and Lombardi in the sixth inning.The Tigers then grabbed two runs in the bottom of the seventh, forcing Mike Concato ’17 from the game and securing the victory. Duncan Robinson ’16 was effective in his relief stint on the mound, allowing no hits over the final one and one third inning.The team will host Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania this weekend at Red Rolfe Field on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.