Baseball ends with a bang
By Jonathan Meltzer, Sports Writer
Published on Wednesday, May 4, 1994
The Dartmouth baseball team won three out of four games against Harvard University earlier this week to secure second place in the Red Rolfe Division of the Ivy League.
The Big Green split a doubleheader with the Crimson in Cambridge on Saturday, then swept a twin-bill at home on Monday. A disappointing loss to New Hampshire College yesterday dropped Dartmouth's overall record to 15-21, while they finished at 9-11 in league play. The season closes out tomorrow at home against the College of the Holy Cross.
Greg Gilmer '96 went 3-6 in the Monday doubleheader, finishing with a .476 batting average in Ivy League play--the league leader. Gilmer becomes the first Dartmouth player since 1946 and just the third ever to lead the league in hitting. What makes his feat even more impressive is that he has been playing the last two weeks with a broken finger.
New Hampshire 10 Dartmouth 9
Jon Aljancic '97 got his first career start yesterday against the Penmen, and struggled early. Dartmouth trailed 2-0 and 3-2 before breaking the game open in the bottom of the fourth. Four runs in the inning, including a towering Brian Eller '94 home run, gave the Big Green an 8-3 lead.
But the Penmen came back in a big way. Six Dartmouth errors helped New Hampshire College to score four in the fifth inning, one in the sixth inning, and two in the seventh. The final score was 10-9, with New Hampshire winning in a marathon, 3-plus hour game.
Gilmer and Mike Armstrong '97 were the offensive stars for Dartmouth, each with four hits in five at-bats.
Dartmouth 4-10 Harvard 0-2
Monday afternoon was senior day at Red Rolfe Field, and Steve Murphy '94 capped off his Dartmouth career with a memorable performance. Murphy had a no-hitter through 5 2/3 innings en-route to a one-hit, complete game shutout. Dartmouth won the game 4-0, and another senior, Brian Eller, provided the only support Murphy would need, knocking in the first run of the game.
After a ceremony between games to honor the five Dartmouth seniors, Rick MacDonald '94 took the mound and went the distance for the Big Green in the nightcap, scattering eight hits and allowing only two runs.
MacDonald got all the run support he would need early on as Dartmouth hammered out eight runs in the first two innings. Jake Isler '96 had a three-run double in the first, while Craig Pawling '96 hit a grand slam in the second. MacDonald did not allow a run until the sixth, and the Big Green cruised to a 10-2 win.
The victories over Harvard were a good way to close out the season, and finishing second in the division to Yale University is an achievement on which to build.
"It was important to finish second because our goal at the beginning of the season was to win the division. But going into the weekend, we knew that we couldn't, so we adjusted our goals," Gilmer said.
The significance of the second place finish was not lost on Andrew Spencer '97 either.
"It was very big. We finished last in our division last year, so finishing second with such a young team will send a message to the other teams in the league," he said. "We can only get better."
Gilmer agreed about the team's potential for the next few seasons .
"It was important to the program as a whole, to turn the corner," he said. "There is a new air of confidence on our team and with the program itself."
But while they were certainly looking ahead, both Gilmer and Spencer stopped to look back. They each acknowledged the contributions and leadership of the seniors, and talked about the lift the team got from the performances of Murphy and MacDonald on Monday.
"It was a really big day for the seniors," Spencer said.
Dartmouth 8-8 Harvard 7-11
Back in Cambridge on Saturday, Harvard jumped out early in game one, taking a 6-0 lead after two innings. If the Big Green were in need of a wake-up call, that was it. Dartmouth wasted no time mounting a comeback.
Greg Gaynor '97, Mike Habeeb '97 and Gilmer opened up the third inning with consecutive singles, loading the bases with nobody out. Eller's sacrifice fly got Gaynor home with Dartmouth's first run, and Spencer got Habeeb across with an RBI groundout. Isler followed with a double, scoring Gilmer, and suddenly it was 6-3.
Scott Simon '97, Dartmouth's starting pitcher, settled down after his shaky start. Simon did not allow a hit or a run over the next four innings.
The Dartmouth offense used that opportunity to put some more runs on the board. After having scored one run in the fourth to make it a 6-4 Crimson lead, the Big Green opened the game up in the fifth.
Dartmouth scored four runs in the inning on only two hits. Two Harvard errors and a wild pitch were the difference and Dartmouth led 8-6.
Freshman relief pitcher Dave Stefanowicz allowed one run in the seventh, but still picked up his first career save, as Dartmouth hung on to win 8-7.
In the second game, the Big Green had an offensive explosion in the first inning, but a weary bullpen couldn't hold the lead. Isler and Jim Meyer '97 each went deep for Dartmouth, but Harvard had no trouble answering back. The Crimson scored ten runs in the first three innings to put things out of reach. The final was an 11-8 Crimson win.