By: Rick Bender
vs. MAINE (10-26)
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 | 3 p.m. | ESPN+
Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park | Hanover, N.H.
Dartmouth wraps up the 2019 season this week, beginning with its last game against a team from outside the Ivy League in the Maine Black Bears. The Big Green have struggled at home and will finish the year with a losing record at Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park for the first time ever (the park opened in 2009). The last time Dartmouth ended a season under .500 at home in 2007 when there were just five games played in Hanover (1-4).
Big Green head coach Bob Whalen is a Maine graduate, and with a win in this game would reach 600 career victories at Dartmouth.
Overall Record vs. Maine
• This will be the 12th time these two teams have met on the diamond with Dartmouth sporting a 7-4 record in the series.
• The last game was just three years ago when the Big Green knocked off the Black Bears in Florida by a 4-2 final.
• The series began back in 1904 with Maine nipping Dartmouth, 4-3, but the Green won the next five between 1905 and 1923.
• Big Green head coach Bob Whalen is 1-2 all-time against his alma mater.
Scouting the Black Bears
• Maine had a rough start to the season, dropping its first 14 contests before defeating Samford, 6-4.
• The Black Bears are a much more respectable 10-12 since that season-opening skid and defeated Brown on Tuesday by an 8-5 final.
• The offense is averaging a little under four runs a game with a .222 batting average.
• Cody Pasic is the lone .300 hitter on the squad (.313) while starting two-thirds of the games, but three others — Joe Bramanti (.288, 23 RBIs), Hernen Sardinas (.284, 11 2B, 7 HR, 23 RBIs) and Danny Casals (.277, 5 HR) — provide most of the punch in the lineup.
• The pitching staff sports a 6.23 ERA but has held opposing hitters to a respectable .273 average.
• Cody Lawyerson (3-3, 2.17) is the top starter on the mound while Trevor DeLaite is the relief ace with a 2.74 ERA, striking out 33 in 23.0 innings.
• Maine averages one error per game with a .970 fielding percentage, but has allowed 59 stolen bases in 69 attempts.
Last Time Against Maine
Meeting in the RussMatt Invitational in Florida, Dartmouth got a stellar pitching performance from Michael Danielak to defeat the Black Bears, 4-2. Danielak went the distance (his only career nine-inning complete game) and struck out nine without a walk as he surrendered one earned run on seven hits. But with the score knotted at two in the seventh, Justin Fowler came through with a clutch, two-out, two-run single in the seventh to carry the Big Green to victory.
Probable Starting Pitchers
Junior RHP Alec Vaules (2-2, 6.10) has settled into the weekday starter role for the Big Green with victories over Quinnipiac and Siena in separate five-inning starts. Maine will go with Johnny Wholestaff, who isn’t a real person, just a conglomeration of pitchers. First up will be staff ace, RHP Cody Lawyerson (3-3, 2.17), who has allowed just one run in his last three starts spanning 18 innings.
What’s Up Next
Dartmouth will conclude the season with a three-game series against Cornell here at Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park. The Big Green won last year’s three-game set in Ithaca and has not lost a series to the Big Red since 2012. And the last time Cornell won a series in Hanover was 1984. Since then, Dartmouth has swept six, split eight and won an Ivy League Championship Series, two games to one.
Countdown to 600 Wins
Head coach Bob Whalen needs just one more win to reach 600 in his career as Dartmouth’s head coach, now in his 30th season in Hanover. Only four coaches in Ivy League history — in any sport — have won 600 or more games at one school, led by Bob Sneddon with 634 as Penn’s head baseball coach for 35 seasons (1971-2005). Two of the other three are current Harvard coaches (Jenny Allard in softball with 630, Kathy Delaney-Smith in women’s basketball with 602), while former Cornell softball coach Dick Blood is third on the list with 623.
Third Series Loss at Home
After defeating Yale in the first game of the series on April 27, 7-5, Dartmouth dropped two the following day with the last showdown a 4-0 loss. The Big Green are now 2-8 at Red Rolfe Field a Biondi Park with three straight series defeats and will finish with their first losing record at home since the 2007 squad went 1-4, two years before FieldTurf and the stadium seating was added to the facility.
Bullpen Gets the Job Done
Although Dartmouth lost two of three to Yale, the bullpen that had struggled all season did a terrific job in shutting down the Bulldogs lineup in all three games. Sophomores Max Hunter and Jonah Jenkins, along with freshman Chase Jeter, combined to surrender just one unearned run in 8.2 innings on three hits and two walks while fanning four. And against Siena during the week, four relievers twirled four innings of scoreless baseball. The Big Green had entered the week with a bullpen ERA of 9.15 on the season.
Torgersen on a Tear
Senior third baseman Steffen Torgersen is currently riding a 12-game hitting streak during which he has hit .489 (22-for-45) with two doubles, a triple, home run, eight runs and seven RBIs. In the last 25 games (starting with the Bradley series), he has reached base in 24 of those contests. Torgersen leads the team in both batting (.356) and on-base percentage (.453), and in league play those figures are .411 and .482, both of which are among the top four in the league.
Rally for Win Versus Elis
The Big Green fell behind Yale in the opener in the fourth inning, 5-2, and were still behind by two when they stepped to the plate in the seventh. But Michael Calamari led off the frame with a pinch single — just the second pinch hit of the year for Dartmouth in 29 at-bats — jump-starting a three-run rally highlighted by an RBI double off the fence in dead center field by Ubaldo Lopez. Bryce Daniel added an RBI single in the eighth for some insurance, and the Green pulled off their third win this season when trailing after six innings.
O’Connor Moving Up Career Lists
Senior Cole O’Connor pitched eight innings against Yale to pick up the 7-5 win, the 13th of his career. That total puts him in the top 20 at Dartmouth, but having been in the starting rotation each of his four years, he ranks quite a bit higher in innings (216.1, 10th) and games started (37, 3rd). With his start against Cornell this weekend, he will tie the program record of 38 starts set by Jim Croteau ’82 and matched by Robert Young ’10.