Harvard baseball returns to O'Donnell Field on Friday for the first of six-straight home games in Ivy League play as the Crimson hosts Brown starting at 1 p.m. This weekend's games were moved up one day to Friday-Saturday due to forecasted weather conditions. Saturday's doubleheader will begin at noon.
Harvard and Brown are tied for second place in the Red Rolfe Division, 3.0 games behind league leader Dartmouth. Brown dropped three of four games to the Big Green last weekend in Providence, R.I. so the Bears are now under pressure the rest of the way to win games while needing some assistance from Harvard and Yale in their games against Dartmouth. Harvard still controls its own fate with its final eight Ivy games all coming against Brown and Dartmouth and with six of those games being played at home.
Harvard continues to play close games with outcomes decided by just a few pitches here and there. The team's record has not been reflective of the year, as the Crimson has already lost an incredible 14 games by two runs or less with eight of those games decided by a single run.
The latest came Wednesday night as the Crimson lost to Massachusetts in the Beanpot championship game at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Mass. by a score of 8-7. Harvard scored seven runs in its final two at bats and had the tying run on second base in the ninth when a line drive to center field was caught to end the game.
Harvard is led by Kyle Larrow's .351 batting average. Larrow has five multi-hit games in his last seven contests with a 13-for-26 mark in that span (.500). Jake McGuiggan (.326, 8 2B, 16 RBI) was last week's Ivy League Player of the Week and is batting 13-for-28 (.464) in his last eight Ivy League games. Steve Dill (.324), Carlton Bailey (.310), Jeff Reynolds (.301, 10 EBH, 16 RBI) and Jack Colton (.283, 12 RBI) follow suit.
Brent Suter (1-5, 3.92 ERA) and Tanner Anderson (2-2, 6.66) are slated to start on Friday. Suter has struck out 36 batters in 41.1 innings of work while Anderson has won his last two starts.
Harvard senior Brent Suter is a candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for his amazing contributions in the classroom and the community. For more on Suter, log onto www.seniorclassaward.com.
The Bears have lost five straight and 11 out of their last 14 games. The team was swept at home by Holy Cross on Wednesday by scores of 12-6 and 9-0.
Pitching has been at the heart of Brown's problems as opposing teams are batting .352 with the Brown pitching staff saddled with a 8.32 ERA. Heath Mayo (2-1, 5.13) and Kevin Galan (1-4, 8.36) are slated to start on Friday. Mayo has allowed 45 hits and 24 walks against 24 strikeouts in 40.1 innings while Galan has allowed 65 hits in 37.2 innings against just 19 strikeouts as opposing teams are hitting .392 against him.
Cody Slaughter leads a good hitting team with a .347 batting average and a .411 on-base-percentage. Wes Van Boom (.295) leads the team with 26 RBI on the strength of 12 doubles while Will Marcal (.291) has a team-high 14 extra base hits including five homers for 22 RBI. John Sheridan (.340) has 11 of Brown's 18 stolen bases this season.