Pictured: Marcus Way hit his first career homer in the loss. (David Silverman)
GREENSBORO N.C. – Three times Harvard tied the game only to allow North Carolina Greensboro to regain the lead in the bottom half of its inning as the Spartans completed a sweep of the Crimson by a score of 12-7 on Thursday. Harvard continues its lengthy road trip with a three-game set at Charlotte over the weekend.
As has been the case of late, Harvard (3-7) saw its opponent go ahead late in the game as UNCG (11-5) scored six times in the bottom of the eighth inning – all with two outs – to open up a 6-6 game.
Fifth-year senior catcher Ed Jayjack delivered the big blow in the decisive frame, a grand slam to right field.
Harvard out-hit UNCG but the Crimson was just 5-for-17 with runners on base and 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
UNCG got on the board in the first inning on a two-out, infield single by Jayjack.
Harvard got even in the third on an RBI single by Dillon O’Neill to score Brent Suter, who led off with a double.
In the bottom of the frame, a pair of no-out walks on full counts hurt Crimson starter Conner Hulse as Ray Quinones singled home a run and Jayjack followed with a sacrifice fly.
In the fifth, Suter tripled with two outs and came home on a single by O’Neill two batters later but the Crimson gave the run back in the bottom of the inning on a pair of throwing errors following a steal attempt.
The Crimson tied the game in the sixth with some good luck. After loading the bases with one out, Tyler Albright plated a run with a fielder’s choice and another run came home on a swinging strike three coming on a wild pitch.
Hulse battled control problems with four walks and four hits against five strikeouts (three earned runs) and eventually gave way to Evan Morris in the sixth inning.
Morris hit the first batter he faced and uncorked a wild pitch to immediately get into trouble. Two batters later, Eric Brindle put down a suicide squeeze to plate the go-ahead run. One batter later, Chris Barker punched an 0-2 pitch through the left side to make it a 6-4 game.
Harvard tied it again in the eighth on a two-run double by Albright to plate O’Hara (infield single) and Zailskas (walk). Two batters later, the bases were loaded with one out but reliever Colby Hyatt induced a pair of ground outs against the top of Harvard’s order to escape further damage.
Jonah Klees took the loss despite striking out the side in the eighth with four K’s in two innings.
Reynolds, O’Hara and Suter all had two hits while Marcus Way hit his first career homer in the ninth.