The Big Green Weekend Primer

by BLAZE JOEL and HENRY ARNDT | 4/16/15 5:14pm

It’s hard to believe, but spring sports seasons are winding down as teams begin to enter the playoff push. The Big Green puts 15 teams in action this weekend across the country, playing in places as far afield as Clemson, South Carolina, and Walnut, California. Members of the track and field teams travel to the West Coast this weekend in a big preparatory race for the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Relays next weekend and the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships in three weeks’ time. The equestrian team also participates in the Ivy Championships this weekend.

Baseball vs. Brown University (Saturday and Sunday doubleheaders) The baseball team (12-19, 8-4 Ivy) is fresh off its first-ever four-game sweep at Yale University and a two-game sweep of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell for a six-game winning streak. The team has just two Ivy series left and sits three games up on second-place Harvard University, which has lost three straight, for the Red Rolfe Division Crown. Brown (8-22, 4-8 Ivy) is just 2-9 in their last 11 contests, giving up 108 runs over that streak. In contrast, the Big Green has given up just 21 runs in their six-game winning streak. The Big Green offense has put up 45 runs in these six games as well, as the pitching and offense have really begun to click down the home stretch. Duncan Robinson ’16 and Nick Lombardi ’15 starred against the Bulldogs, pitching a shutout and notching five hits on Sunday, respectively. This is a big series for the men. A series win coupled with a Harvard loss would clinch the division before the final series even occurs. A Big Green sweep would only require a Harvard split to clinch. Given what’s at stake and how the Big Green have rounded into form these past few weeks, expect the men to leave Biondi Park as series winners.PREDICTION: Dartmouth wins series 3-1

Softball vs. Brown University (Saturday and Sunday doubleheaders) The softball team (18-13, 11-1 Ivy) continues to tear through the Ancient Eight much like it did last year. The team has won 10 in a row with seven shutouts over that span. The offense has also exploded for 85 runs over that same stretch. Katie McEachern ’16 has been on a tear at the plate this season, belting nine home runs and 23 RBIs. Brown (10-16, 4-8 Ivy) comes in having lost four of its last five games and has failed to put up more than four runs in all but one of these contests. The Bears have surrendered 36 runs over the same span. Kick-starting the offense will be challenging against arguably the league’s most dominant pitcher in Kristen Rumley ’15, and the Brown defense could struggle to right the ship, as Dartmouth’s 160 runs scored rank second in the Ancient Eight — only a five runs behind first-place in runs Harvard University. Just like the baseball team, the softball team owns a three-game lead over Harvard with just eight Ivy games to go. Therefore, a sweep by the Big Green and a split by the Crimson clinches the North Division title for the Big Green.PREDICTION: Dartmouth sweeps 4-0

Men’s Lacrosse at the University of Pennsylvania (Saturday at 12 p.m.) The men’s lacrosse team (4-6, 1-3 Ivy) comes into its final two Ivy games needing to win to be considered for the Ivy playoffs. That quest starts against Penn (5-6, 2-3 Ivy), which has won its last two Ivy games against Harvard and Brown Universities in close fashion. The Big Green comes off of a 7-5 win over the New Jersey Institute of Technology that ended a three-game losing streak, all in Ivy contests. On paper, this shapes up to be a low-scoring contest, as Penn ranks sixth in goals per game with 9.9 and the Big Green place seventh with 7.6 among the seven Ivy teams. Both goalies have played well this season, ranking in the top five in goals against. Dartmouth goalie Blair Friedensohn ’16 also places fourth in total saves with 95. Penn’s offense runs through junior Nick Doktor, who is second in the Ancient Eight with 26 assists. This game will come down to who can exploit the other team’s weak defense more. Penn gives up 10.78 goals per contest while the Big Green surrender 11.85. If the game becomes fast-paced, the advantage goes to Penn. The Big Green will have to control the tempo if it wants to come away with the win.PREDICTION: Penn 9-6