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Dartmouth Baseball Tops Princeton To Sweep Weekend Series

  • Dartmouth senior Clay Chatham pitches against Princeton in Hanover, N.H., on May 6, 2018. Dartmouth won, 6-2. (Valley News - Carly Geraci) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Players and spectators watch Dartmouth center fielder Matt Feinstein at bat during the Big Green's sweep of Princeton in the finale of their weekend series in Hanover, N.H., on May 6, 2018. Dartmouth is second in the Ivy League standings, behind Yale. (Valley News - Carly Geraci) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Spectators watch Dartmouth's sweep of Princeton in the finale of their weekend series in Hanover, N.H., on May 6, 2018. Dartmouth won, 6-2. (Valley News - Carly Geraci) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth junior Sean Sullivan fields the ball against Princeton in the final game of their weekend series in Hanover, N.H., on May 6, 2018. The Big Green won, 6-2, to sweep the Tigers. (Valley News - Carly Geraci) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Sunday, May 06, 2018

Hanover — The Dartmouth College baseball team continued to roll Sunday, beating Princeton, 6-2, to complete a three-game sweep on Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park.

The victory leaves the Big Green (11-6-1) second in the Ancient Eight behind first-place Yale (14-4) and just ahead of third-place Columbia (11-7) in its quest to reach the Ivy League championship series for the first time since 2015.

That best-of-three clash will be hosted by the regular season champion on May 20-21. If Dartmouth is to play that series at home, it needs to sweep its three-game series at Harvard (10-8) on May 13-14 and have Pennsylvania (7-10-1) sweep Yale. The Crimson, which would be eliminated from the race if it loses one more league game, long ago requested the weekend-weekday split because of its final exam schedule.

“The team has improved dramatically and I’m very pleased with all the intangibles and the quality and consistency of our effort,” said 29th-year coach Bob Whalen, whose squad has won six of its last eight games and is 15-20 overall. “I said as far back as the fall that this was going to be a team that was going to take some time to come together. We have a lot of guys in new places.”

Among those are first-year starters Michael Calamari, a sophomore, at first base and Sean Sullivan, a junior, at second. Senior Dustin Shirley switched from second to the outfield and all three are having standout seasons.

“It’s a tough call to take a four-year starter and captain and move him to a new position,” Whalen said of the decision on Shirley. “I spent a fair amount of time talking to Dustin about how he has a better chance to play after Dartmouth as an outfielder. He said he’d do whatever we wanted him to do, which didn’t surprise me.”

Pitcher Clay Chatham handcuffed Princeton for six innings and junior shortstop Nate Ostmo matched a career high with three hits, including a home run. Chatham (2-4) surrendered three hits, a walk and an unearned run. The 6-foot-6 senior struck out six Tigers and threw 96 pitches.

Sunday’s result was only the second victory of Chatham’s collegiate career. He didn’t start for his Southern California high school team and has overcome injuries and a type 1 diabetes diagnosis eight years ago. The righthander served notice of his turnaround with a strong season for the 2017 Mohawk Valley (N.Y.) Diamond Dawgs summer collegiate team.

“He’s always put in a lot of work during his four years and it’s paying off right now,” said senior outfielder Kyle Holbrook. “His breaking ball moves a lot; it’s really sharp.”

Ostmo was one of the batting order’s last four hitters Sunday. That quartet produced seven of the Big Green’s nine hits and Ostmo had three hits and an RBI. Junior third baseman Steffen Torgersen had two doubles, extending his hit streak to seven games, and two RBIs.

After outscoring Princeton, 30-4, during a Saturday doubleheader, Dartmouth continued the scoring parade with a pair of runs in the first inning against Princeton starter James Proctor (0-4). Blake Crossing singled home a run with the bases loaded and a wild pitch brought in another tally for a 2-0 lead.

Princeton (10-27, 7-14) halved its deficit with an unearned run during the fourth inning. However, Torgersen doubled home Michael Calamari and Ostmo to put the hosts up, 4-1, in the bottom half of that frame. Torgersen later scored on Holbrook’s slow ground ball to second base. Ostmo homered during the fifth inning for a 6-1 lead.

“We’ve got really good energy right now,” Holbrook said. “Our bats were cold the last couple weekends, but they came alive the last couple of days. We’re taking good swings on balls and not getting as many soft outs. At the end of each season, we settle down and get into a groove.”

Princeton lost its 10th consecutive game, yet again denying the 400th career victory for longtime coach Scott Bradley, a former Major League player. Dartmouth hosts Middlebury on Wednesday. Its four-game winning streak is its longest since April, 2016.

“We gave up very few free bases today, whether on walks or hit batters,” said Whalen, whose team made only one fielding miscue. “We’re leading the league in fewest errors by half a mile and we’re throwing strikes and we’ve started to swing the bats better.”

Notes: Holbrook had a 24-game streak of reaching base snapped. The senior has reached safely in 71 of his last 75 contests and had a 23-game streak last spring. ... Dartmouth had not scored 36 runs in a conference weekend since putting 38 runs on the board against Harvard during a four-game series in 2012. ... Chatham leads the Big Green with 49 strikeouts and has walked just eight batters. ... Tigers centerfielder Jesper Horsted is also a standout receiver on the Princeton football team. ... Dartmouth sports information director Rick Bender, who handles statistics, mans the public-address system and plays musical selections during baseball games, played the 1968 Monkees song Valleri before the top of the fifth inning. “That’s one of their deeper cuts,” said Bender, who in recent years has been gently coaxed to include songs from 2010 and later in his repertoire.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews or 603-727-3227.

Correction

Dartmouth College center fielder Matt Feinstein is shown at bat during Dartmouth's 6-2 win over Princeton in a photo accompanying this story. An earlier caption misidentified the player and misstated the final score.