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Offensive Explosion 23 Years in the Making

Sunday, June 06, 2010


Courtesy of Dartmouth Athletic Communications

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Junior Jason Brooks tied a career high with six RBIs, including a tie-breaking grand slam, and freshman Zack Bellenger crushed a pair of home runs to lead fourth-seeded Dartmouth past the third seed, FIU, in an elimination game at the NCAA Regional at Alex Rodriguez Park on Saturday, 15-9. The victory was the first in an NCAA Regional for the Big Green (27-18) in 23 years and the first for an Ivy League school since Princeton won a game in 2004.

The last time Dartmouth won a regional game was in 1987 when Mike Remlinger shut out Michigan in the first game of the Northeast Regional in Atlanta, 4-0.

Panther sophomore Garrett Wittels extended his hitting streak to 56 games with a first-inning double, but he will have to wait until the 2011 season to see if he can break Robin Ventura's Division I record of 58 as FIU finished the season with a 36-25 mark.

While Brooks and Bellenger led the Dartmouth offense in a game filled with hitting stars -- every Big Green batter recorded at least one of the team's 17 hits -- it was sophomore Cole Sulser who provided a sense of sanity on the mound with five innings of relief to earn his Ivy-leading eighth victory of the season without a defeat. He surrendered just two runs on five hits after entering the game to start the third with the Big Green trailing by four runs. He issued just one walk and fanned four to increase his strikeout total to 60 on the season, also tops in the Ivy League.

After Sulser made quick work of FIU in his first inning of work, Dartmouth battled back from a 6-2 deficit. Junior Sam Bean was hit by a pitch with one out and went to single on a single by Chris O'Dowd. Brooks drove in a run with a single to left and went to second when O'Dowd aggressively advanced to third. A wild pitch by Panther starter Aaron Arboleya allowed O'Dowd to score, although he nearly was thrown out when he tiptoed his way to the plate. Senior Jim Wren followed with an RBI single between first and second, chasing Arboleya. Bellenger then greeted reliever Corey Polizzano with a home run into the palm trees to left-center for a 7-6 Dartmouth lead.

FIU took the lead for the third time in the game with a pair of runs in the fifth. Yoandy Barroso tied the game with two out with his fourth home run of the year, and three consecutive singles -- the last by catcher Sean Reilly -- brought home the go-ahead run.

Bellenger tied the game at eight in the fifth with a long, two-out home run off Polizzano again to straight-away center, his seventh of the year.

In the sixth, Dartmouth loaded the bases with singles by senior Brett Gardner, Bean and O'Dowd, the last of which was a pop-up lost in the sun by the first baseman. That pop fly would have been the third out, but with new life, Brooks jumped on the first pitch and launched his first career grand slam over the scoreboard in left for a 12-8 Big Green advantage.

For the complete story, head to DartmouthSports.com.



Live Blog of Actual Game (after Brooks' Grand Slam)

Although it is probably against protocol to post, but Dartmouth's Jason Brooks destroyed a two-out grand slam in the bottom of the 6th inning to give Dartmouth a 12-8 lead in the 7th. Bob Whalen's club has battled back from a 6-2 deficit to lead Florida International. The Big Green eliminated the Panthers, 15-9, and now await their next opponent.

DARTMOUTH/FIU GAMETRACKER

Dartmouth 15, FIU 9 -- Top of the 9th

Last chance for FIU to extend the game.
Martinez (FIU) hits home run (15-9, DART), 0 outs.
Barrosso (FIU) singles. Runner on first, 0 outs.
Jobe (FIU) strikes out. Runner on first, 1 out.
Arrojo (FIU) strikes out. Runner on first, 2 outs.
Joyce (FIU) strikes out. Runner left on first, 3 outs.

Dartmouth 15, FIU 8 -- Bottom of the 8th

Scott Rembisz (FIU) to pitch.
Brooks (D) grounds out to shortstop, 1 out.
Wren (D) flies out to center field, 2 outs.
Bellenger (D) walks. Runner at first, 2 outs.
Pitch in the dirt, Bellenger takes second on late throw, 2 outs.
Carlson (D) singles. Runners on first and third, 2 outs.
Onstott (D) flies out to left center, 3 outs.

Dartmouth 15, FIU 8 -- Top of the 8th

Kyle Hunter (D) to pitch.
Bermudez (FIU) grounds out to shortstop, 1 out.
Shantz (FIU) grounds out to pitcher, 2 outs.
Wittels (FIU) singles to right field. Runner on first, 2 outs.
Patton (FIU) pops up to third base. Runner left on base, 3 outs.

Dartmouth 15, FIU 8 -- Bottom of 7th

Bryam Garcia (FIU) to pitch.
Bellenger (D) strikes out, 1 out.
Carlson (D) sprays a single to right field. Runner on first, 1 out.
Carlson (D) steals second base. Runner on second, 1 out.
Onstott (D) grounds out to third. Runner on second, 2 outs.
Gardner (D) rips a shot just past a diving Alfonso (FIU) for a single. Carlson scores (13-8, DART). Runner on first, 2 outs.
Passed ball. Runner on second, 2 outs.
Sclafani (D) walks. Runners on first and second, 2 outs.
Eric Berkowitz (FIU) to pitch.
Beam (D) doubles. Both runners score (15-8, DART). Runner at second, 2 outs.
O'Dowd (D) flies out to left field. Runner left on base, 3 outs.

Dartmouth 12, FIU 8 -- Top of 7th

Runners on first and second for FIU, 1 out.
Scary sequence as Gardner (D) and Carlson (D) collide in the outfield on a Raiko Alfonso (FIU) pop up; fielder's choice called as Tim Jobe (FIU) is thrown out at second. Runners on first and third, 2 outs.
Called strike three! Runners left on first and third, 3 outs.