Baseball sweeps four-game Yale series for first time in his

by Gayne Kalustian | 4/14/15 5:13pm

Break out the brooms and call in the cleaning crew because last weekend the baseball team completed its first sweep of the season in a four game series against Yale University (10-18, 2-8 Ivy) — the first clean sweep of the Bulldogs at Yale in program history since the back-to-back double header schedule was instituted in 1993. Dartmouth followed up its stellar performance against Yale with a midweek doubleheader sweep of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell (7-18) on the strength of three Joe Purritano ’16 triples.

Before the Big Green (12-19, 8-4 Ivy) left for New Haven, Connecticut, last week, catcher Matt MacDowell ’15 pointed out that an offensive rut like theirs could be broken by a 15-run game which, at the time, might have read as hyperbole. The team had not scored in 19 consecutive innings after its midweek matchup against Boston College (17-18) and had been shut out in three of its previous five games.

When it came, it was not 15 runs that broke the streak. Dartmouth kicked off the weekend by stirring from its slumber with a 3-2, extra-inning nail-biter before erupting from dormancy with a 22-run, nine-frame game, during which the Bulldogs went to their bullpen six times. Yale pulled its starter after just 1.1 innings after the Big Green took a five-run lead in the second inning. The team, third baseman Nick Lombardi ’15 said, was ready for an offensive spark.

“Our pitching and defense has been there all year and we were kind of due for some hits and for some things to kind of come together,” Lombardi said. “It came together for us pretty big.”

Offensively speaking, there is no short way to detail the occurrence of 22 runs. For expediency’s sake, just know that of the 14 players who saw the batter’s box, only four did not get a hit, and two of those four only had one opportunity, which was discounted because they were both walked. Both of those players, Hayden Rappoport ’18 and John Melody ’17, scored a run.

The highs of the game came from designated hitter Purritano, who had five RBIs, and shortstop Matt Parisi ’15, who collected four hits. The overwhelming number of runs — the team averaged more than one per inning across the weekend — MacDowell said, is indicative of the team’s successful execution of its desire to simplify its approach.

Various pitchers took the mound for the Big Green, starting with Jackson Bubala ’17 who went for 4.2 innings and allowed two runs on seven hits. Marc Bachman ’18 took the win and was followed up by Thomas Olson ’15 and Sam Fichthorn ’18. The four pitchers collectively allowed 10 runs, though seven of those runs came in .2 innings from Olson, who has been working to get back into the swing of things on the mound after struggling with a somewhat enigmatic injury last year. Olson has had two one-inning tenures on the mound this season, during both of which he allowed no runs. His only other outing was a three-run, two-inning stint at the University of California at Santa Barbara over spring break.

Earlier in the day, Mike Concato ’17 went for a full eight innings on the mound, allowing two runs against eight hits in the extra-frame game. Down one run in the fourth, first baseman Michael Ketchmark ’17 crushed a two-run home run, his second home run of the season, out of the park to take the lead. After Yale tied the game and the Big Green took the lead again in the top of the eighth, Concato retired the final three batters on just six pitches, forcing two ground outs and one fly out to end the game.

Sunday’s matchups took the shape of another blowout and a pitcher’s duel, thrown by Duncan Robinson ’16 and captain Louis Concato ’14, respectively. Robinson shut out the Bulldogs in a 7-0 victory, throwing 79 pitches and allowing three hits in seven innings of work.

Dartmouth scored across four of the seven innings, still reeling, perhaps, from the landslide the afternoon before. Louis Concato turned up with a little less offensive backing than his two predecessors like his brother, but didn’t break under the pressure. He threw his longest outing yet this season — seven innings — and allowed just one run.

When he left the game, the team had a two-run lead, which was cut down to one in the ninth inning. Patrick Peterson ’18 pitched the ninth inning, and his first two opponents in the inning hit a double and single. The Bulldogs pushed one across on a fielder’s choice before a fly out allowed Peterson to strike his final batter out looking. The final stretch, Louis Concato pointed out, is familiar to Peterson.

“[Peterson] has been doing a good job,” Concato said. “Coach has been putting him in some tough spots and he’s been able to get the job done every time he goes out there.”

Patrick Peterson’s 3.50 ERA is not exactly what you’re looking for in a closer or relief pitcher, but, if it is calculated without his admittedly poor performance against Texas A&M, his ERA drops to 1.80. While every pitcher’s ERA might drop if it were calculated without his worst outing, Peterson’s case in particular deserves a little latitude. He threw those innings in his first-ever collegiate outing, against one of the best teams in the country.

Head coach Bob Whalen does, after all, have enough confidence in the freshman to allow him to work himself out of tough situations in the final frames of the game. The pitcher is now 2-0 with two saves. He hasn’t been perfect, but he definitely is a freshman to watch.