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Baseball Falls to UConn in Winter Haven, 9-4

The Crimson nearly held on for its second win in as many days and as many states, but the Huskies surged in the seventh inning. (Photo: Gil Talbot)

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Despite holding a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Harvard baseball team fell to Connecticut on Tuesday, 9-4. The Crimson's early runs were washed away thanks to a five-run seventh inning by the Huskies.

Harvard (2-10) got off to a hot start, thanks to senior Danny Moskovits ability to settle in on the mound. The Newport Beach, Calif., native yielded a pair of runs in the bottom of the first, but got out of jams and sat the Huskies down for much of his 5.0 innings of work. In his first start of the season, Moskovits finished allowing six hits and three runs (one earned), while striking out three and walking three.

At the plate, the Crimson only grabbed five base knocks, but solid base running and timely hits allowed Harvard to have the lead for much of the afternoon. Mitch Klug paced the Crimson with a pair of hits, while Both Jack Colton (0-for-4) and Brandon Kregel (1-for-4) both drove in two runs. Mike Martin scored twice for Harvard in his 1-for-4 outing.

It was Martin who got things rolling early for the Crimson as well. The junior outfielder drew a leadoff hit-by-pitch, and advanced to third in the next at bat thanks to an error. Colton grounded out to third in the very next sequence, but Martin had already come across to give Harvard a 1-0 lead.

The Huskies returned the favor in the bottom of the opening stanza, drawing a leadoff single, a hit by pitch and a fielder's choice all before an error quickly made it 1-1. A UConn double to right made it 2-1 in the blink of an eye, but Moskovits settled down and got help from a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.

Harvard bounced back in the top of the third in style. After Kyle Larrow drew a one-out walk to load the bases, Colton reached on an error, plating Jake McGuiggan to knot it at 2-2. In the very next at bat, Kregel drove in a pair of runs with a booming double to center to give the Crimson a nice 4-2 cushion.

Though Moskovits was rolling, having sat down the Huskies in order in the fifth, including a pair of strikeouts, Bryan Daniello ended his day with a solo shot to right to cut the Crimson lead to 4-3. Shaun Rubin made his first appearance of the season in relief.  The Huskies tied the game later in the inning, however, thanks to an Eric Yavarone sac fly deep to center.

The Crimson got runners on the corners with two outs in the top of the seventh to pose a comeback, but a swinging strikeout ended threat. In the bottom half of the inning, UConn surged forward and quickly. The Huskies grabbed five consecutive hits to open the frame, scoring three runs during that span. Yavarone doubled down the right field line with one out a couple batters later to make it 9-4 in a flash.

The Crimson was not able to get more than one runner in scoring position in the final three innings, paving the way for UConn to take the contest, 9-4.