Dartmouth baseball struggles to recover from a losing streak following spring training trip

The Big Green had one win on its spring break training trip but failed to secure further wins against various competitors.

by Ava Politis | 3/31/23 1:05am

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Source: Mac Burke

The Big Green baseball team started its spring break trip strong as they secured their first win against the University of South Florida. The 6-1 victory was followed by a 4-3 loss to split the series. Dartmouth did not regain momentum for the remainder of the trip, falling to the University of Central Florida, Jacksonville University and Princeton University.

On March 14, the team headed to Tampa, Florida, to face the USF Bulls for their first game. 

Clark Gilmore ’24 pitched five innings, only giving up one run in the first game against the Bulls. Tyler Cox ’24 batted a perfect 4-for-4, and Tyler Robinson ’24 hit a triple in the third inning to bring in three runs, giving the Big Green an early lead.

“The reason we were able to get that win was the great team effort,” Gilmore said. “That was our best team game, and you can’t win a game without good offense.”

Head coach Bob Whalen was impressed with the way the team played the first game, especially since the team faced a difficult journey from Hanover to Florida during winter term finals.

“I was so pleased and very proud of the team coming off exams,” Whalen said. “School comes first.”

In the second game of the series against USF, Cox had another perfect day as he went 3-for-3 and Nico Bañez ’26 hit a solo homerun, the first of his collegiate career. Despite these strong individual performances, the Big Green lost 4-3 to the Bulls.

The team continued on to John Euliano Park at the University of Central Florida, where the Golden Knights had three straight wins against Dartmouth. 

In the first game, UCF scored five home runs, defeating the Big Green 16-1. Pitcher Jack Metzger ’23 started the second game and delivered seven strong innings. The Big Green had a season high of 15 hits, with Ivan Hoyt ’26, Connor Bertsch ’23 and Luke Carroll ’25 hitting solo home runs. Captain Kolton Freeman ’23 went 4-for-4 at the plate, securing a career-high four hits. Metzger came out of the game with the Big Green leading 9-3, but the Golden Knights snatched the lead from the Big Green, winning 12-10. UCF ensured the sweep, winning the last game of the series 5-2.

The Big Green then headed to John Sessions Stadium at Jacksonville University, losing the first game 8-3 while leaving 16 men on base, the most in a nine-inning game in 14 years. The second game ended in the Dolphins' favor as they won 15-4, leaving the Big Green with their fifth straight defeat.

While the team faced tough competition, they enjoyed their time in Orlando on their days off.

“We went to Universal, but we didn’t do the rides –– we did mini golf,” Freeman said. “Some guys played laser tag, which was a hilarious idea … we even got some time on the beach.”

The baseball team bonded over dinners and memorable adventures in Jacksonville. Nathan Skinner ’23, whose family is from Jacksonville, Florida, was able to treat his team to dinner.

“[The Skinner family] hosted us at a barbecue place and fed all of us, which was so sweet,” Freeman said. “It was such a good barbecue, and we were really happy. They are such a nice family.”

As the World Baseball Classic was happening simultaneously, the team also bonded over watching the United States team play.

“We played a game in Jacksonville and then hopped in the car and put on the World Baseball Classic,” Bañez said. “Travel itself is a cool team bonding experience.”

The Big Green then faced the Princeton Tigers for their first Ivy League match-up of the season. With little recovery from the spring trip, Dartmouth faced the Tigers on Clarke Field in Princeton, New Jersey this past Friday. 

The Tigers took the first game of the series as they won 10-6. The Big Green fought back early in the game, but the Tigers had multiple home runs that allowed them to build upon their momentum. Due to the weather, there was a doubleheader on Sunday with Princeton securing a victorious sweep against the Big Green.

“Regardless of what the record is or isn’t, it's the same goal all the time,” Whalen said. “We challenge the team to get better a little bit every day,”

The Big Green will compete against the University of Pennsylvania in a three-game series, playing twice this Sunday and once on Monday for their home opener at Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park in Hanover, New Hampshire. The games will be streamed live on ESPN+.