CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard baseball team (22-11, 11-6 Ivy) split its doubleheader against Columbia (17-18, 12-6 Ivy), earning a 6-4 win in the team's second game after falling 11-9 in the first game. The team's will face off in the rubber match of the three-game set on Sunday, with a new start time of 11 a.m.
Game 1 - Columbia 11 Harvard 9:
The back-and-forth game saw five lead changes. Columbia struck first with two runs in the first inning. The Crimson quickly answered back when Jake Suddleson singled through the right side, scoring senior Ben Skinner. The next batter, junior Chad Minato reached on a fielder's choice, which scored senior Patrick McColl.
Columbia added four more runs in the second inning, but the Crimson battled back. Beginning in the fourth inning, first-year Hunter Baldwin reached on an error, scoring senior Trent Bryan. Next, McColl smacked a liner up the middle, scoring Skinner. Suddleson added two more RBIs with a double down the left field line which cleared the bases and tied the game.
Hunter Bigge gave the Crimson a lead with a long double to center field, scoring Minato. A couple batters later, Trent Bryan smashed his first home run of the season to right center. Columbia battled back and tallied five runs in the eighth and ninth innings to complete a late-game comeback.
Game 2 - Harvard 6 Columbia 4:
The Crimson set the tempo early in the second game, scoring in the first inning. Minato drove a single to right center, scoring Baldwin. Columbia took a three-run lead into the fifth inning that would not survive.
Bigge began the scoring with a single through the left side, plating Suddleson. Senior Devan Peterson continued the rally with a single of his own to right field, scoring Minato. Sophomore Buddy Mrowka gave the Crimson a lead with a single to left center, scoring Bigge. Mrowka added some much-needed insurance runs with a clutch triple down the right field line, just by the first basemen, plating Peterson and Bigge.
- Harvard remains just one game back of first place, with a chance to take first place with a victory against Columbia Sunday.
- The Crimson earned two huge long-relief performances from sophomores Jack Mahala and Enzo Stefanoni. Mahala pitched three-scoreless innings in game one, allowing just one hit and striking out two. Stefanoni, meanwhile, earned his fifth win of the season in game two, pitching three-scoreless innings with a strikeout.
- Suddleson added three RBIs on the afternoon, bringing him to within four of the program's single-season record of 51, set in 1999 by Andrew Huling.
- First-year Harrison Stovern picked up his first-career save, coming out of the bullpen in the ninth inning to get the Crimson out of a jam.
Harvard will look to capture the top spot in the Ivy League in the rubber match of the three-game series against Columbia, beginning at 11 a.m. at O'Donnell Field. The game will also be broadcast on ESPN+. The team will honor its seniors prior to first pitch.