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Early Lead Vanishes in 11-5 Loss to #1 Virginia

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Sophomore Jake Carlson     By Brian Westerholt
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Dartmouth took a 4-0 lead through two-and-a-half innings before top-ranked Virginia came back to defeat the Big Green on Sunday afternoon, 11-5. After being shut out in the first two frames, the Cavaliers found a way to score at least one run over each of the next six innings to fend off the Green. Virginia (8-2) banged out 18 hits in the game, four from lead-off hitter Phil Gosselin, while sophomore Jake Carlson had three of the 10 hits for Dartmouth (1-2).

The Big Green put three runs on the board in the first on a run-scoring grounder off the bat of senior Jim Wren, an RBI infield single by junior Jeff Onstott and a double steal by senior Brett Gardner and Onstott, with the latter swiping home. In the third, Dartmouth tacked on another run when sophomore Joe Sclafani singled, took second on a wild pitch, moved over to third on a fly to right and scored on Onstott’s sacrifice fly.

Meanwhile, sophomore right-hander Kyle Hendricks got through the first two frames without allowing a run before the Cavaliers got to him in the third for three runs. Werman stroked a two-run triple, scoring Bruno and Gosselin, then came home on a wild pitch to make it a 4-3 game.

John Hicks double for Virginia to lead off the fourth, then scampered home on a Swab single to right-center. The Cavaliers took the lead after Swab stole second, advanced to third on a grounder to short and scored on Bruno’s sacrifice fly.

Dartmouth called upon junior Ryan Smith from the bullpen to start the fifth, and he was immediately greeted by a Steven Proscia double. Following a hit batter, Hicks moved Proscia to third with a fly to right and Swab beat out a double-play ball to allow Proscia to score for a 6-4 Cavalier lead.

That lead was increased to 8-4 in the sixth as Virginia welcomed freshman southpaw Kyle Hunter to college ball by plating two runs against him. A pair of singles and a sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third with one out, but a pop up to first baseman Jason Brooks left Hunter one out away of escaping with no damage. Proscia had other ideas, unfortunately, as he lined a two-run single to center.

In the top of the seventh, junior Sam Bean started things off with one of his two singles in the game, and Carlson was drilled by a pitch. A double play threatened to end the rally, but sophomore Joe Sclafani walked before Wren beat out an infield single to send Bean plateward.

Swab singled to lead off the bottom half, went to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Bruno’s single. Virginia tacked on an unearned run later in the inning to make it 10-5. In the eighth, Swab produced a two-out, RBI double to end the scoring on the day.

Picking up the victory for Virginia out of the bullpen was Tyler Wilson (1-0), who tossed three innings of one-run ball on three hits and a walk with one strikeout. Branden Kline earned his first save of the year with 2.1 scoreless frames with a pair of whiffs.

Hendricks (0-1) was stuck with the loss after surrendering five runs on eight hits and two walks with one strikeout in his four-inning start.

While Gosselin was enjoying a 4-for-5 day with two doubles and three-runs scored, Kenny Swab and Stephen Bruno were each collecting three hits. Swab and Keith Werman also drove in three runs in the game.

Wren and Onstott were involved in all five Dartmouth runs as each drove in two runs while Onstott scored the other tally.

The Big Green return to campus for winter finals before heading to Florida for 11 games in 11 days. First up will be Bucknell on March 17 in Winter Haven at 3 p.m.