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Baseball Captures Red Rolfe Division Title with Sweep of Harvard

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Freshman Ryan Smith broke the school record for saves in a season with his seventh     By David Silverman(
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. The Dartmouth baseball team clinched its fourth Red Rolfe Division Title with a sweep of Harvard as the Big Green earned a 7-3 win in game one, followed by a 5-4 victory in the nightcap.

Dartmouth moves to 23-13 on the season with a 14-4 mark in conference play, while the Crimson fall to 8-29 this season with a 7-11 record in the Ivy League.

Sophomore Nick Santomauro (North Caldwell, N.J.) led the Big Green with two hits and three runs batted in. His two hits included a triple and a two-run homer in game two. Junior Michael Pagliarulo (Winchester, Mass.) and senior Erik Bell (Sierra Madre, Calif.) each collected three hits with two RBI going to Pagliarulo.

On the mound, senior co-captain Russell Young (Cleburne, Texas) earned his fifth win of the season, going all seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits, while fanning eight. Freshman Jake Pruner (Triangle, Va.) got the start in game two and shut down the Crimson. He went 6.2 innings, giving up just four hits and no runs and striking out three. Freshman Ryan Smith (Greenlawn, N.Y.) came in the eighth and earned his seventh save, which breaks the single season record.

In game one, Dartmouth got on the board first with two runs in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead. Pagliarulo slapped a single to right field on the second pitch he saw and he was driven home on an RBI triple from senior co-captain Damon Wright (Dallas, Texas). Wright then scored on a ground out by James Wren (Granbury, Texas).

Harvard evened the score in the other half of the second on a two-run double down the left field line from Dillon O’Neill. The first two Crimson batters reached base on singles and were pushed to second and third on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on the double to tie the game at 2-2.

Pagliarulo delivered in the third for the Big Green with an RBI single to put Dartmouth back on top 3-2. Bell led off the inning with a single, stole second and scored on the single.

O’Neill continued to be a thorn in Dartmouth’s side as he tied the game with another double down the left field line that scored Jeff Stoeckel to even the score again, this time at 3-3.

The Big Green took advantage of back-to-back errors with two outs in the top of the fifth as Wren singled through the right side to plate Pagliarulo, who reached on the first error to keep the inning alive, to take the lead back at 4-3.

Santomauro then gave Dartmouth a little cushion with a two-run double down the right field line just out of the reach of the rightfielder to increase the lead to 6-3. He plated junior Jack Monahan (Overland Park, Kan.) and Bell, who got on base on two consecutive hit by pitches. Santomauro scored the seventh run of game one after Harvard committed another costly error.

Young got stronger as the game went on and he finished off the Crimson, retiring nine of the final 10 batters he faced to earn his fifth win of the season.

In game two, Santomauro put Dartmouth on top early with a two-run opposite field homer that scored Onstott after he doubled with one out in the top of the first. In the bottom of the inning, Bell and Monahan made incredible catches in foul territory. Bell went back to the fence and slid into the fence making the catch, while Monahan did the same behind the plate.

Pagliarulo came through in the clutch for the Big Green with an RBI single in the top of the third to extend the lead to 3-0. Dartmouth added another run in the fourth with a run scoring single up the middle by junior Johnathon Santopadre (Vacaville, Calif.) to push the lead to 4-0.

The Crimson looked to be getting back into the game after loading the bases in the bottom of the fifth, but senior Jason Blydell (Nahant, Mass.) stopped the rally with an amazing catch to rob O’Neill of a grand slam. He went back on the ball towards the foul pole and reached into the bushes and pulled out the ball to preserve the lead.

Dartmouth extended the lead to 5-0 with another two out RBI as Bell popped a double to left center that scored Blydell who reached on a lead off single.

Harvard was able to make it interesting as the Crimson loaded the bases in the eighth and scored on a passed ball before Tyler Albright connected on a three-run homer to pull Harvard within one. The Crimson didn’t go quietly in the ninth as Harvard put one runner on and Matt Rogers put a charge into one, but Blydell made the catch at the wall to earn the win.

The Big Green will be back in action tomorrow at Red Rolfe Field to wrap up the Ivy League regular season with Senior Day, beginning at 1 p.m.