By: Rick Bender
Box Score TAMPA, Fla. — Dartmouth took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth at USF on Friday night, but the host Bulls scored six runs in the frame — the last four unearned — to rally for a 7-3 victory. Austin Bodrato had a key two-run double to start the scoring in the inning and send the Bulls (9-7) on their way to the win, while sophomore Oliver Campbell had three of the seven hits for the Big Green (4-6).
Sophomore Jonah Jenkins had come on in the seventh and preserved a 2-1 lead with two men on and one out by getting a double play on the first pitch he threw. But after Campbell had singled in an insurance run in the top half of the eighth, Jenkins ran into trouble in the bottom half. Bodrato stroked a two-run double to left-center with one out to tie the game at three, and the second out of the inning was sandwiched between a pair of hit batters that loaded the bases.
USF shortstop Nick Gonzalez worked the count full and fouled off a pair of pitches before lofting a shallow fly to right that was mishandled. That allowed all three runs to score to give the Bulls their first lead of the night at 6-3. Tyler Dietrich followed with an RBI single to finish the scoring.
Dartmouth did not throw in the towel, however, loading the bases with one gone on singles by sophomores Bennett McCaskill and Ubaldo Lopez, and a walk to freshman Bryce Daniel. USF closer Nelson Alvarez was summoned to the mound to get the final two outs and did so in just one batter, inducing a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
Alvarez’ third save of the year made a winner out of lefty Logan Lyle (1-0), who one run in two innings of relief of starter Collin Sullivan, who surrendered just two runs on three hits and three walks over 6.1 stanzas with four strikeouts.
Jenkins (1-1) was stuck with the loss, but freshman Justin Murray provided a quality start for the Big Green. The right-hander also hurled 6.1 innings, yielding one run on five hits and a pair of walks while fanning five.
Both Sullivan and Murray put zeroes on the board for the first four innings before Dartmouth broke the spell in the fifth. Campbell led off the frame with a base hit, trotted to second when senior Steffen Torgersen was plunked and sprinted to third on a fly to left. Another fly ball to left off the bat of freshman Kade Kretzschmar gave the Big Green a 1-0 lead.
It took just two pitches in the bottom half for the Bulls to answer back as Chris Chatfield drove a 1-0 pitch over the fence in center for his second home run of the season, knotting the score at one.
Dartmouth manufactured the go-ahead run in the sixth after senior Sean Sullivan drew a leadoff walk and stole second before junior Trevor Johnson was hit by a full-count pitch with one down. Sullivan managed to scoot to third on a fly to center, and Campbell fell behind in the count on two quick strikes. On the next pitch, Johnson took off for second and purposely got caught in a rundown. While he was tagged out to retire the side, Sullivan crossed the plate before that happened to give the Green the lead again at 2-1.
In the seventh, Dartmouth put men on the corners with one out to send Sullivan to the showers, but Lyle came on and got the final two outs on strikes to escape the inning unscathed. Murray also saw his evening come to an end in the seventh as USF put two runners on with one gone. It took Jenkins exactly one pitch to end the threat with a double play grounder, preserving the lead.
Campbell came up big in the eighth as he capped a two-out rally with an RBI single to score to right-center, plating Johnson who had walked and advanced to second on a single off the bat of junior Michael Calamari. But while Lyle found trouble in the eighth, so did Jenkins, and USF was able to snatch the victory away from the Green.
Jordan Santos and Joe Genord each went 2-for-4 at the plate for USF, which totaled nine on the evening.
Campbell, who entered the game with six career hits, banged out three singles, scored one run and drove in another to lead the Dartmouth offense.
The three-game series continues tomorrow evening as senior Cole O’Connor (1-1, 6.00) will match up against USF’s Alec Wisely (1-2, 3.80). First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.