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With Pitching Depleted, Postseason Eludes Big Green

  • Dartmouth's Matt Feinstein walks disconsolately back to the dugout after recording the final out in Monday's Ivy League regular season finale at Harvard. The Big Green's 18-17 loss denied it a berth in the league's championship series this weekend. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • Dartmouth College second basemen Sean Sullivan, right, flips the ball to shortstop Nate Ostmo to start a double play Monday at Harvard. The Big Green's 18-17 loss in the Ivy League's regular season finale denied it a berth in the league championship series this weekend. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • Dartmouth pitcher Michael Parsons delivers Monday at Harvard. The Crimson rallied for an 18-17 victory and eliminated the Big Green from contention for next weekend's Ivy League championship series. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • Dartmouth College's Nate Ostmo, right, knocks batting helmets with teammate Bennett McCaskill after scoring Monday. The Big Green couldn't hold an eight-run lead in the sixth inning and lost to host Harvard, 18-17, missing out on a berth in this weekend's Ivy League championship series. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • Dartmouth College's Justin Fowler takes a moment to himself in the on-deck circle Monday at Harvard before pinch hitting. The at-bat, which resulted in a strike out, proved to be the final of the senior's collegiate career. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »



Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Allston, Mass. — Monday’s Dartmouth College baseball game featured 36 hits, five lead changes, six home runs and, by its end, one demoralized group of Big Green players.

The visitors’ 18-17 loss at Harvard on the last day of the Ivy League regular season denied them a berth in the circuit’s championship series, leaving that privilege to Yale and Columbia, which will meet in Connecticut this weekend.

“It was just a crazy day,” said Dartmouth coach Bob Whalen. “I never at any point felt like we had a handle on the game. When you have an eight-run lead, you typically expect to win.”

The Big Green led, 17-9, after scoring six runs during the sixth inning. Harvard responded with seven runs of its own during the bottom of that frame, pulling within a run. The Crimson then scored the game’s final two runs in the eighth on a Matt Rothenburg home run into the greenery behind right field.

Harvard’s Hunter Bigge, who began the afternoon at third base before pitching the final four innings, induced a ninth-inning line drive out and two strikeouts. Dartmouth stranded 12 runners during the game, two of them during its final at-bat.

“I’ve been doing this a long time and we’ve won and lost all different type of games, but I’m not sure how to describe this,” Whalen said. “All I can say with 100 percent certainty is that this is not how I scripted it in my hotel room last night.”

Dartmouth jumped to a 3-0 lead after an inning, but Big Green starting pitcher Clay Chatham faltered during the second and allowed three hits and four earned runs while recording only one out. Whalen relieved him with Michael Parsons and their team led, 6-4, after two innings. However, Harvard climbed into a 6-6 tie through three frames.

“When you have to go get your starter in the second inning, it makes the entire rest of the day a different game from a management standpoint,” Whalen said. “Particularly in the last game of the  weekend, when you have so many guys who have already pitched.”

Parsons got the hook with one out in the fourth inning, having given up five hits and five runs, all earned, while walking two batters. Dartmouth’s offense, however, continued to crank on all cylinders, scoring once during the fourth and five times during the fifth, before exploding for six runs during the sixth.

“The Big Green creeps closer and closer to a date with the Yale Bulldogs in New Haven this weekend,” intoned the Ivy League Network play-by-play man.

Tyler Fagler threw an inning after Parsons, and Whalen signaled for ace reliever Michel Austen two runs into Harvard’s sixth-inning outburst and with no outs. The sophomore threw two innings, allowing five hits and five runs, all earned. He issued one walk and had no strikeouts. Patrick Peterson threw a scoreless ninth for the visitors.

Each team committed two errors but the pitchers for either side simply couldn’t record efficient outs. Harvard used five pitchers, starter Kevin Stone allowing seven hits and six runs, all earned.

The Crimson entered Saturday’s doubleheader between the teams with an outside shot at the championship series, but was eliminated when Dartmouth won the opener.

“It was entertaining at many levels,” Whalen said. “I thought both teams played really hard, and there were a lot of long counts and a lot of guys on base. We went ahead and they could have thrown away some at-bats, but they didn’t. They have some length in their lineup; it’s not like they only have two or three guys who are good hitters.”

Dartmouth received three hits, including a home run, and three RBIs from Steffen Torgersen. Dustin Shirley had four hits and three RBIs, and Nate Ostmo and Kyle Holbrook each had three hits and three RBIs. Sean Sullivan had three hits and two RBIs.

Notes: Dartmouth finished 17-22-1 overall and 12-8-1 in Ivy play while Harvard was 22-10 and 12-9. It was the Crimson’s best overall and Ivy records in more than a decade, and it won a series with the Big Green for the first time since 2005. … The 35 runs were the most combined in a game between the teams since Harvard won their first contest, 38-0, in 1869. … Attendance was announced at a dubious 484. … The Big Green’s 19 hits and 17 runs were season highs. … Trevor Johnson, who starred for Dartmouth as a freshman outfielder, missed all but three games this season with an injury. However, he’s hoping to play in the prestigious Cape Cod summer league starting next month and return to action with the Big Green next season.

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