The Princeton baseball team opened up Ivy League action in dominating fashion, shutting out Dartmouth 8-0 in game one of Saturday's doubleheader. The tables turned in game two, as the Big Green took advantage of Tiger miscues to jump out to an 8-2 win to split the series.
In game one, Princeton loaded the bases for John Mishu in the top of the first. With one out, Mishu hit a grand slam over the right field fence to lift the Tigers to a 4-0 lead immediately.
On the mound, Princeton pitcher Mike Ford was superb in the seven-inning contest. He allowed only four hits in the game and the defense prevented any Big Green runner from advancing past second base.
As the defense prevented Dartmouth from finding an opening, the Tiger offense extended their lead in the bottom of the second. With one out and a runner on third, Alec Keller hit an RBI single to right field. Matt Bowman hit Princeton's second long ball of the afternoon, sailing a two-run home run over the right field wall near the foul post.
Princeton added its final run in the fourth inning, behind a Sam Mulroy's solo home run to left field. Mulroy brought his total to six homers on the year, as he went 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
In the game, Bowman, Keller, and Jonathan York each had a pair of hits, with Bowman tallying a pair of runs and RBI.
"It was a classic first doubleheader of the Ivy League," said head coach Scott Bradley. "We battled the elements a little bit (and) looked like world beaters in the first game, (as) Mike pitched a terrific game. We had a really good ball game going (in game two) until the eighth, when we really let it get away from us ... Once we found ourselves behind six, it (was) tough to comeback."
After a solid all-around win in the first game, Princeton committed three errors late, which proved to be costly in game two's 8-2 loss.
Both squads were battling to break onto the board first, as the score was knotted 0-0 over the first three innings. In the top of the fourth, Dartmouth's Matt Robinson hit a solo home run to right center to lead off the inning. Three batters later, Joe Sclafani hit an RBI double to left center to make it a 2-0 contest.
Despite not having a hit yet in the game, Princeton cut the Big Green's lead in half in the fifth. John Mishu led off with a walk, eventually stole second and was advanced to third on a throwing error by Dartmouth's catcher Chris O'Dowd. With Mishu on third, freshman Blake Thomsen hit an RBI ground out to shortstop.
Dartmouth responded with two runs in the top of the seventh, but Princeton continued to attempt a comeback. Ford led off with a walk and was advanced on a passed ball. Tyler Servais broke up Adam Frank's no hitter with an RBI double to left field to score Ford. The Tigers were unable to cut down the Big Green's lead further, as they went into the eighth down 4-2.
In the eighth inning things fell apart for Princeton, as Dartmouth added four runs off two hits and three Tiger errors.
Down 8-2, the Tigers were unable to respond over their next two offensive opportunities.
"Dartmouth is a good team and it's always a big thing to get that first (win). The thing about Ivy League games, is we have to turn around and play two more tomorrow," concluded Bradley.
Princeton will return to action on Sunday, April 1 with a doubleheader at 12 noon versus Harvard. Any schedule updates due to weather will be posted on GoPrincetonTigers.com or Twitter.com/PUTIGERS.