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Baseball Starts Season by Beating Wright State, Falling to #1 Virginia

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Senior Jim Wren     By Beverly Schaefer
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Senior Jim Wren doubled home sophomore Jake Carlson with one out in the ninth to lift Dartmouth to a 3-2 victory over Wright State (3-6) at Virginia's Davenport Field in the Big Green's first game of the season. But the host Cavaliers (7-2) showed why they are Baseball America’s top-ranked team in the country, topping Dartmouth (1-1) by a 14-3 final in the Green’s second game of the day.

In the opener, sophomore reliever Cole Sulser struck out the final two batters in the top of the ninth with the go-ahead run on second base to keep the score deadlocked at two. Carlson then led off the bottom half by drawing a walk and went to second on freshman Ennis Coble’s bunt. With the hope of setting up a double play, Raider reliever Travis LaMar intentionally walked sophomore Joe Sclafani.

Wright State called Michael Schum from the bullpen to face Wren, but the designated hitter stroked a ringing double to left to easily score Carlson from second base to end the game.

The Raiders had tied the game at two in the top of the eighth against Sulser when R.J. Gundolff doubled to the gap in left center, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Jake Hibberd’s single to center.

Dartmouth trailed 1-0 in the sixth when it finally broke through against Wright State starter Casey Henn. Sclafani started the frame by finding a hole through the right side for a base hit, and Wren ripped a shot to left center to score Sclafani. Junior Jeff Onstott then singled over the shortstop’s head and took second when the throw came to the plate, keeping Wren at third. After a fly out, junior Jason Brooks walked to load the bases, and fellow junior Brandon Parks lofted a sacrifice fly to right to give the Big Green the 2-1 lead.

The game was scoreless through four innings as Dartmouth senior starter Robert Young cruised allowing just three hits without allowing anyone past first base. But in the fifth, Garrett Gray started things off with a double, went to third on a bunt, then scored on a two-out single off the bat of Cameron Fagg.

Young hurled six innings for the Big Green, surrendering a run on five hits and one walk while striking out five before yielding to Sulser (1-0). The reliever tossed the final three frames, allowing just the one run on three hits with four punchouts.

Coble, Sclafani, Wren and sophomore David Turnbull all had two hits to account for eight of the nine Big Green safeties.

Henn lasted 5.2 innings before getting knocked from the box, giving up two runs on seven hits and a pair of walks with three strikeouts. Although LaMar (0-1) did not give up a hit in his 1.2 innings out of the bullpen, he did walk three batters and was tagged with the loss.

Against Virginia, Dartmouth pushed across a run in the top of the first for an early 1-0 lead. Carlson led off with a solid single to left-center, then scooted to third on a one-out single by Sclafani. Wren got the run home with a fly to center.

Big Green hurler Ben Murray (0-1) escaped trouble in the first, giving up a pair of singles and a walk. But in the second, he wasn’t as fortunate as the Cavaliers touched him up for six runs as he uncharacteristically walked three batters in the inning. The big blow was a two-run double by Steven Proscia.

After retiring the side in order in the third, Murray was lifted in the fourth after Virginia strung together four straight hits to start the frame. Junior Dan Ternowchek had a difficult time stifling the potent Cavalier offense, which had four consecutive extra-base hits in the fourth, as it went on to score eight runs in the inning for a 14-1 lead.

The Big Green got solitary runs in the sixth and the eighth to complete the scoring. Coble tripled to start the sixth and came home on a Sclafani grounder, and junior Jason Brooks had a pinch-hit single with the bases loaded in the eighth.

Freshman Michael Johnson provided excellent relief in his collegiate debut, shutting down Virginia for three innings on just two hits before sophomore Max Langford pitched a scoreless eighth with a couple of whiffs.

Carlson banged out a pair of hits for Dartmouth, and Coble scored two of the squad’s three runs.

Robert Morey (2-1) earned the win for the Cavaliers, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk in six innings of work while striking out three. Phil Gosselin had four of Virginia’s 16 hits while Proscia and Tyler Cannon each drove in three runs on two hits.

Dartmouth gets one more shot at Virginia on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.