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One up and one down.
It’s been a consistent theme for the Harvard baseball team throughout its conference season, and that trend continued in Providence Saturday afternoon when the Crimson split its sixth consecutive Ivy doubleheader.
Harvard (10-26, 7-9 Ivy) recorded 18 hits in a 12-10 win over Brown (5-28, 3-13), but it could not find the same success at the plate in game two when a nine-run Bears first inning doomed the Crimson to a 14-2 loss.
BROWN 14, HARVARD 2
Brown jumped on Harvard starter Sean Poppen early as the rookie struggled with his control.
After walking leadoff hitter Jake Levine, Poppen surrendered singles to Tim McKeithan and Will Marcal and a double to Dan Massey to fall behind 2-0. A passed ball gave Brown another run, and following a strikeout, Wes Van Boom recorded an RBI single up the middle and Dan Kerr homered to left to make it 6-0 Bears.
After a strikeout of J.J. Franco, Poppen gave up three more runs as John Sheridan singled, Levine walked, McKeithan singled, and Marcal doubled to left.
The freshman starter lasted just one more inning, in which he gave up a Franco RBI single, and saw his ERA balloon to 6.10 on the year.
Against reliever Shaun Rubin, the Bears continued pouring it on with a Franco sacrifice fly in the fourth and a Van Boom three-run homer in the seventh to finish with 14 runs; coming into the day, its previous season-high had been six.
On the mound, Brown starter Dave St. Lawrence threw eight strong innings to earn his first win of the season. The lone Crimson runs came on a Sean O’Neill homer to right-center in the fifth—his first dinger of the year—and a Nick Saathoff RBI single to center in the eighth.
“Brown was the first team to score, so they had a lot of momentum,” sophomore Brandon Kregel said. “Especially with them getting nine runs in the bottom of the first—that’s really hard to battle back against.”
HARVARD 12, BROWN 10
In a high-scoring affair, Harvard put together a seven-run fourth and survived a last-gasp Brown rally to earn the victory.
Harvard went into the bottom of the seventh—the final inning—leading 12-6. Van Boom led off with a double and Kerr walked against Harvard co-captain Jordan Haviland. Following a fielder’s choice, an RBI single, a two-run triple, and a sacrifice fly, the Bears were within two at 12-10.
But after a Marcal single to right brought the tying run to the plate, Haviland struck out Massey to shut the door.
“We did a few things we obviously need to improve on,” co-captain Robert Wineski said. “[But] we still came out with a win.”
That seventh inning was the fifth in which both teams scored during the contest.
The Crimson jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the top of the first on RBI singles by sophomore Tanner Anderson and Wineski. In the bottom of the frame, Brown got one back on a Massey sacrifice fly.
Both teams scored once in the third, as Anderson crossed the plate on a wild pitch and Cody Slaughter had an RBI single to make it 3-2.
In the fourth, Harvard put seven runs on the board. Before the Bears’ Anthony Galan could record an out, a Jeff Hadjin double, Mike Martin single, Mitch Klug double, Kregel single, and Anderson single had plated three. After Saathoff grounded out, back-to-back hits by Wineski and freshman D.J. Link put the Crimson ahead, 8-2, and Harvard scored two more runs before the inning was up on a Hadjin infield hit and a Martin single to center.
“We had the momentum going into the inning, and one thing that we learned this year is to just keep the momentum when we have it,” Kregel said. “A lot of times you score like three runs in an inning and people become complacent, and I think in [the seventh] inning people just kept on wanting more, and that was pretty huge.”
A Levine RBI single in the bottom of the fourth and a Saathoff RBI double in the top of the fifth made it 11-3 before the Bears scored three more on a Massey two-run home run and Franco RBI single.
Saathoff homered for the second time this year in the top of the seventh to put the Crimson up six heading into the final frame.
Kregel, Anderson, and sophomore Mike Martin all finished with three hits for Harvard, while junior Sam Dodge earned the win despite allowing six runs in five innings.
“Dodge threw very well,” Kregel said. “It all just comes down to everyone trusting each other.”
—Staff writer Scott A. Sherman can be reached at email@example.com.
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