Baseball Swept by Dartmouth on Saturday

Hanover, N.H. - Dartmouth's much-hyped home field advantage proved too much to overcome on Saturday afternoon, as the Big Green took a pair from the Penn baseball team, dropping the Quakers back to .500 both in overall record and in the Ivy League at 12-12 (3-3 Ivy). The nation's longest home winning streak now stands at 28 games. Vince Voiro (4-2) and Sam Horn (1-2) took the losses on the hill for the Red and Blue.

Game One - Dartmouth 6, Penn 3
Box Score
As would prove to be the case throughout the day, Dartmouth was the first to strike, scoring in the bottom of the first. Lead-off batter Joe Sclafani belted a triple over the head of Greg Zebrack in center, sliding into third for a triple. Thomas Roulis followed up with a drive to left field; deep enough to bring Sclafani in for a sac fly RBI, putting the Big Green on the board with a 1-0 lead.

Penn brought the score level in the second inning thanks to Spencer Branigan. The junior hit a ball into the left-centerfield gap that Dartmouth's Jake Carlson had a bead on. Carlson dove and snared the ball but lost control when he landed. Jeff Keller was in position backing up the play to throw the ball in but he lost his grip and sent his throw almost straight down, bouncing into shallow center. With Branigan hustling the whole way, he came around for a double and two-base throwing error, tying the score at 1-1.

After getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the second, Voiro breezed through the third inning with a pair of strikeouts, bringing the Quakers back to bat in the top of the fourth. James Mraz led off the inning with a stinging line drive directly back to the pitcher who was just able to duck out of the way as the ball headed into center. Zebrack followed immediately with a ground ball double down the third base line, putting two on with no one out. Though Ryan Deitrich didn't drive in a run, he set the table for everything to follow with a 14-pitch marathon at-bat before striking out. Two batters later, Derek Vigoa scored both runners with a RBI single past a diving Sclafani at short, making it 3-1.

Sclafani again was in the middle of the action in the bottom of the fourth, hitting his first home run of the season with two outs to knot the score at 3-3.

Penn looked dangerous in the sixth inning, using a two-out rally to load the bases before Dartmouth could escape. The decisive blow came in the bottom of the inning. Joe Turnbull struck out but reached as the third strike was a wild pitch getting past Austin Bossart. That was followed by the first of two Penn errors in the inning as a sac bunt to Rick Brebner was thrown wide of Kyle Toomey covering first base on the play, allowing both runners to reach safely. The consecutive singles that followed scored three to give the Big Green a comfortable lead at 6-3 entering the final frame.

Though Brandon Engelhardt worked a one-out walk, Dartmouth starter Mitch Horacek (2-2) induced a game-ending 6-4-3 double play to seal the victory.

Game Two -Dartmouth 11, Penn 2
Box Score
Home field continued to work wonders for Dartmouth as for the second game in a row, Penn fell behind early. An infield single and hit batter put two on against Sam Horn and Jeff Keller doubled to bring them both in for a 2-0 lead after the first.

The Quakers looked to have something going in the top of the third when Brebner supplied the Red and Blue with their first hit and Bossart followed him by tattooing a ball off the top of the wall in left to put two in scoring position with no outs. James Mraz eventually walked to load the bases but not before Dartmouth starter Adam Frank had gotten two Quakers to pop up, bringing up Zebrack for the pressure at-bat. After seeing a couple pitches, Zebrack connected on a 1-1 count, launching the ball high into deep left-center where Dartmouth's Carlson made a racing catch just before colliding with the wall, keeping Penn off the board.

The Big Green continued to add on in the bottom of the fourth when Nick Lombardi smashed a two-run shot to left to extend Dartmouth to a 4-0 lead, and three more in the fifth put the Quakers in a deep hole at 7-0. Bossart was somewhat able to limit the damage, throwing out two runners in the third and fourth.

Frank fell into a rhythm after putting a couple on in the fourth, and from that frame through the seventh inning, would retire nine batters in a row. Dartmouth added four runs in the seventh off Stephen Silvestri and Alex Ott to stretch the lead to 11-0 before Penn dented the scoring column. Mraz blooped a single down the left field line in the eighth inning to put a runner on for Zebrack, who left nothing to chance after his near-miss in the third inning, smoking a ball over and the fence and out of the park to cut the lead to 11-2. That's where the scoring would end, as Dartmouth's bullpen closed out the final inning and two-thirds.

Penn looks for a quick turnaround, battling Harvard in two games on Sunday, beginning with a seven-inning contest at 12 p.m.

Download: Penn-Dartmouth2.pdf