Lions Sweep Green

Dartmouth’s Season Comes To Sudden End

New York— Columbia scored six runs in the seventh inning of the second game of the Ivy Championship Series yesterday to rally for a 12-5 victory over Dartmouth College’s baseball team and secure their first league title since 2008.

Columbia (26-19) was in position for the doubleheader sweep thanks to a Gus Craig walk-off single in the 10th inning of the first game to defeat Dartmouth, 6-5.

The Lions banged out 29 hits in the twin bill, the most against Big Green pitchers over any two-game stretch all season. Joey Falcone led Columbia with six hits, while Jordan Serena and Nick Crucet each had five — the latter also added five RBIs.

The top four hitters in the Dartmouth lineup all had three hits in the afternoon, including junior Jeff Keller, who blasted a two-run homer in the first inning of the first game for an early 2-0 Big Green lead.

But the Lions responded with three runs in the second with the help of a couple of errors. The Lions scored another unearned run in the fifth to go ahead, 4-2.

Meanwhile, Columbia left-hander David Speer was making quick work of the Big Green hitters, retiring 16 straight into the sixth inning. Keller broke the string with a two-out single, stole second and scored on junior Dustin Selzer’s second double of the game, cutting the deficit to 4-3.

Senior Cole Sulser came on to pitch in the middle of last half of the sixth, and after stranding a runner at second, got into trouble in the seventh. The Lions loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a two-out walk before Mike Fischer worked Sulser for another free pass to force in a run.

Down 5-3, Dartmouth scored once in the eighth inning on an errant pickoff throw and then tied the game in the ninth on a two-out RBI single by Ryan Toimil.

Dartmouth loaded the bases in the 10th inning, but reliever Kevin Roy got a soft liner to short and a pair of strikeouts to end the threat.

Columbia wasted little time scoring the game-winner. Fischer hit the first pitch in the Lions’ half of the 10th between the wall and chain-link fence in center for a ground-rule double, and Craig followed with a liner into left-center for the winner.

Sulser (5-3) was stuck with the loss having allowed two runs on five hits and a pair of walks in 32∕3 innings while striking out five.

In the nightcap, Dartmouth (32-9) again jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first. Selzer hit a sacrifice fly off Lion starter Joey Donino for the first run and Ennis Coble sprinted home on a two-out, third-strike wild pitch for the second run.

Columbia tied the game in the second, took the lead in the third and added another run for a 4-2 advantage after four innings.

Dartmouth responded as Coble ripped a double to right to score Matt Parisi who had singled, making it 4-3. The Big Green greeted reliever Mike Weisman rudely in the sixth, with Joe Purritano and sophomore Nick Lombardi stroking back-to-back doubles and Matt MacDowell hitting a one-out single over a drawn-in infield to put Dartmouth back on top, 5-4.

After that, it was all Columbia as the Lions scored six times on five hits off two Dartmouth pitchers to take a 10-5 lead.

The Lions tacked on two more runs in the ninth and reliever Stefan Olson (1-1) finished off the win by throwing the final 32∕3 innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while fanning six.

Columbia will represent the Ivy League at an NCAA Regional at the end of this month.

Notes: Dartmouth ends its season with a school-record 32 victories and the lowest team ERA (2.75) since 1971. … The Big Green staff had not allowed more than nine runs in a game all season until the second game yesterday. … Dartmouth entered the game fourth in the country with a .982 fielding percentage, but committed three errors in each game, a total it had amassed in just one other game this season. … The Big Green was 26-2 when scoring first in a game before yesterday.