Baseball Continues Non-Conference Slate with New Mexico State

Baseball Continues Non-Conference Slate with New Mexico State
Live Stats
Harvard at New Mexico State
March 2-4
8 p.m. | 2 p.m. (DH) | 2 p.m. (EST)
Presley Askew Field
   Friday | Saturday GM1 | Saturday GM2 | Sunday
Aggie Vision, ESPN3
Adam Young, Matt McHugh
First Meeting

The Harvard baseball team will continue non-conference play this coming weekend at New Mexico State University with a four-game series scheduled for Friday, March 2, through Sunday, March 4. Both Friday and Sunday's games will be broadcast live on Aggie Vision and ESPN3.

Last Time Out
Harvard had a tough start to the season, going 1-3 last weekend at Samford. The Crimson opened the 2018 campaign with back-to-back extra-inning games, including a 15-inning win, the longest game since it played 17 innings in 2009. Through the weekend, the Crimson totaled 21 hits, 11 runs, four doubles and was successful on three of four stolen base attempts. The pitchers combined for 39 strikeouts, led by Simon Rosenblum-Larson who threw 11 with zero walks in six innings. Freshman Buddy Hayward was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week following the opening contests. 

Top of the First
After the first four games, Buddy Hayward is tied for the team lead in hits (3) and RBI (2) and leads the team having put up two doubles. Returner Jake Suddleson tallied the only home run for the Crimson last weekend, while Ben Skinner was able to steal two bases in the four-game series. On the pitching mound, Simon Rosenblum-Larson shined for Harvard, striking out 11 Bulldogs with zero walks and allowing just one run. A total of 10 pitchers, including three freshmen, saw action last weekend in Birmingham. 

Ivy Rankings
Early in the season, Harvard's players are sitting at the top of the Ivy League. Buddy Hayward and Matt Rothenberg are both one of two Ivy League players to have hit two doubles and one triple respectively. Jake Suddleson is one of just six Ivy players to have hit a home run and Ben Skinner leads the league with two stolen bases.

Projected Pitching Matchups*
Friday at New Mexico State - Noah Zavolas (0-0, 2.57 ERA) vs. Kyle Bradish (2-0, 0.79 ERA)
Saturday at New Mexico State - Simon Rosenblum-Larson (0-0, 1.5 ERA) vs. Justin Dehn (1-1, 6.35 ERA)
Saturday at New Mexico State - Kevin Stone (0-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. Alex Pinedo (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Sunday at New Mexico State - TBD vs. Johnathan Groff (2-0, 0.00 ERA)
*All matchups subject to change 

Scouting New Mexico State
The Aggies will welcome the Crimson with a 5-3 overall record, having earned all five wins at home. In the past week, New Mexico State dominated Mississippi Valley State with game scores of 39-0, 15-4 and 20-0 before narrowly dropping a 5-4 decision to Arizona on Tuesday. In eight games, Mason Fishback leads the Aggies with 18 RBI and eight extra base hits while Noah Haupt is posting a .591 batting percentage on 13 hits and 22 at bats. On the mound, Kyle Bradish has earned a 2-0 record to date, having pitched 11 innings and recording 23 strikeouts and allowing just one run. 

Freshman Class
The Crimson welcomed nine freshmen to the 2018 roster, including five pitchers. Three hail from Massachusetts and Michigan, Connecticut, New Jersey, California, Florida and Washington D.C. each account for one. Four rookies made their collegiate debuts last weekend at Samford. 

At the Helm
Bill Decker is in his sixth season as The Joseph O'Donnell '67 Head Coach for Harvard Baseball, posting a 76-133 record through five-plus seasons. The Crimson has seen an improvement in each season under Decker, winning 17 games in 2016 and 19 in 2017. Decker has mentored 18 All-Ivy selections during his tenure at Harvard. 

Rookie Move
After the first weekend of baseball, Buddy Hayward was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for his performance at Samford. In his collegiate debut, the Plantation, Fla. native pinch hit and batted in two runs on a double to give Harvard a 4-3 lead, forcing extra innings in game one. Then, in Harvard's 15 inning win later in the day, the rookie pitched four innings, allowing just one hit and totaling seven strikeouts and zero walks.

On day two, Hayward connected on two of three at bats during the later game and scored Harvard's lone run on a Devan Peterson hit in the top of the fourth. 

What's Next?
Next up, the Crimson heads south for its annual spring break swing. The team will play 10 games in nine days across South Carolina in preparation for its first Ivy League matchup at Princeton on March 24-25. Harvard's spring break opponents include Presbyterian, Davidson, South Carolina and Furman, with four-game series at Presbyterian and Furman.