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The Dartmouth
April 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Baseball continues to make a push in the Ivy League standings

The Big Green’s offense has been rolling after wins against Albany and Princeton.

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Big Green baseball had a productive week, overtaking the University at Albany on Wednesday and Princeton University during a weekend series in Hanover. Dartmouth came away with some strong performances to beat Albany 12-5 and Princeton 6-2, 11-6 and 16-7 in the three games of this Ivy League series. With these wins against Princeton, the Big Green has moved into the top three in the Ivy League standings with 8 wins and 4 losses in conference play, while improving its overall record to 16-13.

Dartmouth’s win on the road against Albany gave the team momentum heading into the weekend series against Princeton, who currently sits at the bottom of Ivy League standings with a 2-10 record. Tyler Cox ’24 and Justin Murray ’22 each had big days, accumulating a collective seven RBIs off Cox’s four hits and Murray’s three. The pitching crew was constantly rotating, as there were a total of seven different Dartmouth players who took the mound. The win was credited to Devin Milberg ’24, with senior relief pitcher Cole Roland ’22 earning his second save of the season.

“The thing that we did the best [against Albany] and certainly of late was just compete,” head coach Robert Whalen said. “I think the kids played really hard and really competed well [against Albany], we used a lot of guys to give them opportunities to see how they’re progressing, as well as keeping them sharp.”

The first game of the Saturday doubleheader against Princeton proved to be somewhat of a pitching battle, with Dartmouth only leading 3-1 up until the bottom of the sixth, in which the Big Green posted three runs to pull away and secure the victory. Nathan Skinner ’22 led the team through 6.2 innings on the mound and earned his fourth win of the season, as Jack Metzger ’23 was able to take over for Skinner and secure his fourth save this season. 

Cox has been on a rampage this season in the batter’s box. He continues to hold a batting average that is above .400 and remains the top player in the Ivy League in that category. 

“It’s not about chasing accolades or leading the league in anything, I’m just trying to buy into my approach and buy into our job as a team,” Cox said. “We’re coming together nicely at the two-thirds mark of the season and obviously some personal success has been good, but I don’t think of that as much.”

Cox was a major contributor in the games this week, going a combined 9-for-16 between the Albany game and the Saturday doubleheader while also collecting three RBIs in the first game against Princeton. Murray and Connor Bertsch ’23 joined the party as well, each getting an RBI. Kade Kretzschmar ’22 did not manage to rack up an RBI, but he was able to run the bases and score a run for the team, as well as hitting his eighth double of the season.

Kretzschmar is coming off a huge past week of play, becoming an offensive machine with eight hits and two RBIs in just four games. The Big Green is trending up lately in the Ivy League title race, and Kretzschmar said he is confident in the team’s ability to keep up the strong performances.

“We’re confident, we’re rolling right now and we want to keep it going,” Kretzschmar said. “We know we have some tough competition ahead, but if we play our game, we can beat anybody.”

In game two of the doubleheader, the Big Green came out red hot, racking up nine total runs through three innings. The Tigers were able to put up six runs before the rain became a major factor — five of which came in the eighth inning — but it was not enough to overtake Dartmouth’s lead. 

James House ’23 was able to square up a ball for a home run in game two, his third of the season, but home runs have not been a major aspect of Dartmouth’s offense this season. The Big Green has only managed to compile 18 home runs overall this season, ranking seventh in the Ivy League in that statistic — just ahead of Harvard University’s 15 home runs.

Following Saturday’s doubleheader, Dartmouth took on Princeton for the third and final game of the weekend against the Tigers. The Big Green completed the series sweep, winning 16-7. Dartmouth got off to a hot start, scoring six runs through the first four innings while keeping Princeton scoreless. The Big Green maintained this pressure throughout the game and managed to score five runs off of Princeton in the seventh inning.

The Big Green has a month left in its season, each week structured similarly to the previous one: An out-of-conference midweek game followed by an Ivy League weekend series. However, Whalen made it clear that the season can go by quickly and that every game matters. 

“[Every game] counts and if we play to our ability, we have the capability to beat everybody that we play,” Whalen said. “We don't focus on the conference record, you just have to be ready to be at your best at noon on Saturday.”