Freshman Mitch Klug is hitting .250 during 14 games this spring (photo Erik Williams).
HOUSTON – Mitch Klug had two hits and scored in the top of the first to give the Harvard baseball team a 1-0 lead, but No. 28 Houston scored eight unanswered runs to get past the Crimson, 8-1, Wednesday night. Klug was one of six Harvard players to get a hit, as the Crimson reached base 11 times but left 10 runners on base.
Peter Kaplan (0-3) started on the hill for Harvard and took the loss after letting up six runs (two earned) in four innings. Sean Poppen (1 H, 0 R), Matt Timoney (0 H, 0 R), Robert Wineski (2 H, 2 R) and Sean O'Neill (1 H, 0 R) each worked an inning in relief.
Houston starter Jared West lasted just two outs after surrendering two hits and two walks. The freshman, who also threw two wild pitches, was lifted when he struggled to find the plate and walked DJ Link with the bases loaded to plate a run. Grant Slaughter came in to pitch for the Cougars and worked out of the jam by getting Tanner Anderson to ground out to third on a full count to end the opportunity.
The Crimson put two more runners on in the second, Wineski by a walk and Jeff Hadjin on a single, but both were stranded. The missed chances proved costly as Houston answered with three runs in the bottom of the second to take a lead it would not relinquish. Two hits, two Crimson errors and four stolen bases for Houston gave the Cougars three runs, all with two outs, and gain a 3-1 lead.
Houston added one in the third, thanks to a Frankie Ratliff RBI double, and two more in the fourth to build a 6-1 advantage.
The game went quiet for the next two innings, until Anderson and Wineski set the table and a passed ball moved them to second and third with one out. With the Crimson looking to chip away at Houston's five-run lead, the Cougars' Matt Hernandez (2-1) produced back-to-back strikeouts to leave two more Harvard baserunners on the sacks. Hernandez fanned seven Harvard hitters in four innings of relief, while allowing three hits and no runs, to pick up the win.
The Cougars crossed the plate two times in the seventh to get to the final 8-1 score. A Price Jacobs single and triple from Ashford Fullmer, who had three hits in the game, drove in the runs.
Harvard, which as played seven games in the last six days, has its first day off since March 14 tomorrow. The Crimson will be back on the diamond March 22-24 for a three-game series against Houston Baptist. Each game's first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.