Baseball Tops Notre Dame, 9-6; Defeats Stetson, 6-5

Pictured: Conner Hulse struck out seven in 7.2 innings against Notre Dame (David Silverman).

DeLand, Fla. - The Harvard baseball team started its season in impressive fashion Saturday as the Crimson defeated Notre Dame 9-6 in the morning before defeating Stetson 6-5 in the nightcap at the Bright House Invitational hosted by Stetson.

Harvard (2-0) has now defeated Notre Dame (4-4) in its last two meetings while Stetson (3-7) has dropped its first two games of the invite. Harvard will play Kansas State Sunday at 11:30 a.m. before returning home.

Against Note Dame, junior shortstop Sean O'Hara had three doubles and three runs batted in while sophomore pitcher Conner Hulse struck out seven while allowing three runs in 7.2 innings of impressive relief. Freshman Robert Wineski produced a run-scoring double in his debut and earned a save by pitching a scoreless ninth inning in which he induced a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Chris Rouches, Dan Zailskas and Sam Franklin all had two hits as Harvard out-hit Notre Dame, 13-12.

The game got off to a rocky start as the Fighting Irish scored three times in the top of the first but Harvard struck for five runs in the bottom of the frame following RBIs from Rouches, Zailskas, Brent Suter (single), Franklin and O'Hara.

Harvard led 8-6 after four wild innings before both pitchers asserted themselves with Harvard holding on thanks to its ability to put the ball in play as Crimson batters struck out just twice.

Against Stetson, Harvard scored two runs in each of the first three innings to claim a 6-1 lead as five different players collected RBIs with another run coming home on a throwing error following a successful double steal.

Stetson chipped away at the lead, chasing Brent Suter after four innings in which the lefty struck out four but surrendered three runs. Will Keuper (1-0) then threw 1.2 effective innings before Jonah Klees worked out of a jam in the seventh in what had become a 6-5 game. Klees worked around base runners in his 2.2 innings of relief but the sophomore got the outs that mattered as he picked up the save.

In the bottom of the ninth, Klees retired the first two batters before allowing a pair of seeing-eye singles get through the infield. He then got Kurt Schluter swinging for a strikeout but everyone was safe on a wild pitch on the third swing to load the bases. Klees buckled down to get Ryan Crews on a game-ending flyball two pitches later.   

Franklin and Zailskas both had three hits while Jeff Reynolds and Danny Moskovits each had two. Each team had 14 hits in the nightcap.