Two hits – in fact two pitches – were all Dartmouth needed to pull off the 1-0 upset over the University of Miami on Friday night.
The wind and Dartmouth’s impressive pitching were just too much for the Hurricanes to handle as they kicked off their weekend series against the Big Green at Mark Light Field.
Dartmouth came out swinging early on offense and was able to come away with two doubles on the first two pitches of the game. The Canes (2-5) were able to get out of the inning fairly unscathed, surrendering only one run.
However, in baseball, sometimes one run is all it takes.
Just ask UM starting pitcher Jesse Lepore, who suffered his second-straight loss while giving up only one run.
“It’s definitely frustrating, but we’re just taking this as something to build on as a team,” Lepore said, keeping a positive tone throughout his post-game remarks. “It’s still early in the season, and we’re looking forward to getting better from here.”
Despite the loss, Lepore pitched a career-long eight innings while recording six strikeouts against only three walks.
As odd as it may sound considering Lepore’s final stat line, he was the second-best pitcher to take the mound Friday evening. Big Green (3-1) starter Beau Sulser carried the team throughout the night, tallying strikeout after strikeout – finishing with 10 overall in seven innings-pitched. He improved to 2-0 on the season with the win.
Dartmouth’s Chris Burkholder took over in the eighth inning and continued to stifle Miami’s offense with two “3-up-3-down” innings to seal the victory for the Big Green in his second save-appearance of the season.
The Hurricanes offense has been subpar for the majority of the young season, but the performance tonight may have been the biggest struggle so far. The Canes only reached base four times on two hits and failed to even put the ball in play most innings.
Miami Coach Jim Morris didn’t echo Lepore’s optimistic tone following the unexpected loss.
“Offensively, I don’t know if there’s any other word besides ‘embarrassing’ to describe the way we swung the bat,” Morris said.
UM’s lineup hasn’t threatened too many opposing players in the field so far this season, and Morris was clear on how his team can start producing more runs.
“First of all, we’re striking out too many times,” he said. “We’re not putting the ball in play, and we’re not putting any pressure on the defense.”
Morris did find a way to end the night on a positive note after venting his frustrations.
“I’ve had a couple teams start slow here at Miami and during my time at Georgia Tech,” Morris said. “I’ve been coaching a long time, and you find a way to turn it around and play well, so that’s what we need to do.”
Miami will get a shot at revenge against Dartmouth 7 p.m. Saturday at Mark Light.