Baseball Dives Back Into Red Rolfe Division Play at Yale
Harvard vs. Yale
Harvard vs. Yale
The Crimson is 3-3 over its last six, keeping itself in contention in division play. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Following a series split with Red Rolfe Division foe Brown last weekend, and a two-game split with Princeton in a makeup series, the Harvard baseball team is set to test division leader and archrival Yale as the Crimson (9-21, 4-8 Ivy League) take on the Bulldogs (14-18, 6-6 Ivy League) in New Haven, Conn., Saturday and Sunday.
Keeping up with the Crimson
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Last Time Out
In its series with Brown, the Crimson suffered a pair of one-run defeats, 5-4 and 1-0, but light up the scoreboard with 10-8 and 13-3 victories. Solid pitching kept Harvard in its two losses, but when the bats erupted, the Crimson was no match for the Bears. Kyle Larrow hit a team-best .500 (8-for-16), including a double, with five runs and a pair of RBI. Ethan Ferreira batted .375 (6-for-16) with three runs scored and five runs driven in, while Carlton Bailey swung the bat well with his .333 average (5-for-15), scoring four times and driving in five more runs. Brandon Kregel was the kickstart in the final game against the Bears, hitting Harvard's second home run of the season, driving in three runs in the 13-3 victory.
Against Princeton, Harvard took a 3-1 lead in the sixth, only to see the Tigers score two in the bottom of the seventh to force extras. But the Crimson struck in the top of the ninth as Steven Dill reached on an errant throw to score Jack Colton for the eventual winning run. In Game 2, the Crimson took a 2-0 lead over the Tigers off Ferreira's two-run double, but a five-run eighth propelled Princeton to a 6-2 win. Before that, Greg Coman kept the Tigers in check for his 3.0 innings, fanning five batters and allowing just one hit.
Coman's pitching was just one of a few solid performances from the Crimson staff over the week, as freshman Nick Gruener tossed 6.1 innings of three-hit ball, allowing just one run while striking out six in the 1-0 loss to Brown. Danny Moskovits went 6.1 innings against the Bears to earn his first win of the season, striking out seven and giving up just three runs on five hits. Sean Poppen struck out a season-high 11 batters on the hill over 6.0 innings in Game 2 vs. Princeton, giving up just two runs on six hits. T.J. Laurisch earned the win in his outing, going 2.0 innings and giving up just one run.
A Quick Look at Harvard
The Crimson enjoyed some offensive success last week, leading to a 3-3 record in its last six outings. Harvard is hitting .253 as a team, led by Carlton Bailey's .317 average as one of the most consistent offensive producers. Bailey has 12 runs scored and adds 13 RBI in the leadoff position. Behind him, centerfielder Mike Martin has been electric at the plate and on the bags as well. The junior is batting .291 with 11 RBI, a team-best 20 runs scored and is a perfect 12-of-12 in stolen bases.
On the mound, Sean Poppen has served as the go-to ace of the staff, lasting 44.2 innings with a team-best 2.82 ERA and 45 strikeouts. Newcomer Nick Gruener has been stellar in his debut season, despite three close losses, holding a 3.52 ERA with 28 strikeouts and just 10 walks.
The Bulldogs come into the four-game slate with the Red Rolfe Division lead, by just a game over Dartmouth and two up on the Crimson. Last weekend, Yale dropped three of four to the Big Green to make things interesting down the stretch.
Of its 14 wins this season, seven have come by two runs or less, including an 8-7 win over then-No. 1 LSU in Baton Rouge. The Bulldogs are even in Ancient Eight play at 6-6. Before the Dartmouth series, Yale had dropped both games to Penn, lost one to Cornell and swept both Columbia and Princeton.
The Bulldogs are batting .255 as a team, led by catcher Robert Baldwin with his .326 average in 31 games. Baldwin is second on the team with 16 RBI, adding a club-best two home runs. Green Campbell has driven home 17 runs this year, and has shown to be quick on the basepaths with four steals.
On the bump, Chris Lanham has gone 45.2 innings for the Bulldogs, including two complete games, earning a stellar 5-1 record and a 3.35 ERA. He's fanned 31 batters this season, tops on the staff, which has a team ERA of 5.95. In seven starts, Chasen Ford has a 2-4 record and an earned-run average of 5.70, with 19 punchouts and 18 walks. In 35.1 innings pitched, David Hickey is second on the staff with 26 strikeouts, adding a 3-3 record on the year.
The Series with Yale
Harvard and Yale will meet for the 370th time during the first game on Saturday. The Crimson holds a 193-175-1 advantage in the all-time series, including wins during the first eight meetings from 1868-1873. Yale came back to lead the series, 46-40, through the 1800s, before Harvard took the 1900s, 120-106-1, and currently leads the 2000s, 33-23. In the most recent meetings, the two teams split four games in Cambridge last season.