CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard baseball team brought the Red Rolfe Division title race to the final day of the regular season as the Crimson emphatically swept a Saturday twinbill from rival Dartmouth by scores of 8-4 and 15-7 at O'Donnell Field on Saturday.
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Harvard (17-23, 10-8 Ivy) can clinch the division title outright with a sweep tomorrow in Hanover, N.H. against a Dartmouth (21-15, 11-7 Ivy) team that got swept in an Ivy doubleheader for the first time in over three years.
Dartmouth hopes to have the edge on Sunday as Kyle Hendricks (3-4, 5.40 ERA) will toe the rubber in the opening game (1 p.m.) having last pitched on Tuesday against Brown. Hendricks did surrender four runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings while throwing 118 pitches so he is still on considerably short rest. Hendricks has been susceptible to hits all year with 54 in just 41.2 innings and he was touched for seven hits and five runs by Harvard last season. In the second game, freshman LHP Kyle Hunter (1-0, 3.60) has started the last game of every weekend thus far, but he would have to pitch on three days' rest.
Harvard was able to gain momentum in the series thanks to junior lefty Eric Eadington (4-3), who started on two day's rest and gutted his way through 6.1 innings in which he allowed just one earned run while striking out three. Harvard also banged out a season-high 19 hits against four Dartmouth hurlers with a two-game total of 30 hits. Also boding well for Harvard heading into Sunday's action was the Crimson collecting 10 runs on 12 hits against the Big Green bullpen.
In the first game, Harvard scored four runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings to claim an 8-4 win behind a crisp outing from sophomore lefty Brent Suter (4-2).
Harvard fell behind briefly but the Crimson owned the middle innings behind a single and double from Sean O'Hara, a two-run double from Dillon O'Neill in the fourth, a two-run triple from Kyle Larrow in the fifth and an RBI single and sacrifice fly from Tyler Albright in the two innings. .
Joe Sclafani tried to bring Dartmouth back with doubles in the fourth and fifth but he had little help despite a solo homer for Zack Bellanger in the seventh to halve the deficit to the final margin.
Suter remained unbeaten in Ivy League play, striking struck out six and scattered five hits while his teammates banged out 11 hits. O'Hara, Larrow, Sam Franklin, Dan Zailskas and Chris Rouches all had two hits for the home team.
In the second game, the teams combined for nine errors resulting in 10 unearned runs but the Crimson cruised behind its 19 hits with three runs in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to go with five runs in a decisive eighth inning.
Jeff Reynolds went 5-for-6 in the nightcap while O'Neill, O'Hara and Albright all had three hits. Way came through in the clutch with a 2-for-4 day and five runs batted in while also pitching the final two innings and not allowing a hit to earn his second save of the season.
Leading 9-3, Harvard let Dartmouth back into contention as an error and a walk led to four runs in the seventh to tighten things up. Dartmouth was the team that did not respond well, however as a throwing error in the bottom of the frame gave the Crimson some cushion in a 10-7 game. Things fell apart for the Big Green in the eighth as Way and Reynolds delivered two-run singles each to pull away.
For the day, Albright, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Week was 4-for-5 while getting on base in 6-of-7 plate appearances. Harvard batted .435 while holding Dartmouth to just a .206 mark.