The Crimson dropped the first two games of the season, despite a comeback bid in the second game at ORU. (Photo: Gil Talbot)
TULSA, Okla. – The Harvard baseball team opened the 2014 season with wild doubleheader, jumping out to a 4-0 lead in game one while nearly rallying to steal game two, but the Crimson dropped both games of the twinbill at Oral Roberts. Harvard (0-2, 0-0 Ivy League) fell, 6-4 and 4-3 to the Golden Eagles (3-6, 0-0 Southland) on Friday.
In the first game, a trio of Crimson grabbed a pair of hits and paced by a run and an RBI from Jack Colton, Harvard grabbed an early 4-0 lead. In the first, Colton and Mike Martin crossed the plate thanks to Brandon Kregel and Ethan Ferreira.
Sean Poppen got the ball on the hill and quickly went three-up-three-down to move to the top of the second with ease. Poppen would finish his 2014 debut with 6.0 solid innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and a strikeout to the Eagles.
After Poppen made quick work in the bottom of the first, Colton got his shot to return the RBI favor in the second, sending home Mitch Klug on a single to the mound. Harvard made it 4-0 in the next at bat when Carlton Baily notched another infield single for the visitors.
ORU started to bounce back, however, scoring a run in the bottom of the frame to pull within 4-1. After a pair of strikeouts in the third for Harvard, the Eagles tacked on two more in the bottom half, after a single, walk and a double in the inning to cut it to 4-3.
The middle three innings didn't feature much action between the two clubs, but the seventh inning brought more luck for ORU. The Eagles tacked on three runs thanks to a bases-clearing double from Matt Brandy to go up 6-4. ORU stifled the Crimson bats in the final two innings to hold on for the two-run win.
In game two, Oral Roberts jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, thanks to a couple of singles off Crimson hurler Tanner Anderson. Anderson went 6.0 innings in his debut, allowing five hits and three earned, while striking three out in the loss. The Harvard bats were paced by Steve Dill, who finished 3-for-4, and Colton and Baily, who each grabbed two hits for the second consecutive game.
Up 2-0, ORU extended its lead to three runs in the bottom of the third. The Eagles weren't granted a hit in the inning, but a pair of leadoff walks did the trick as Logan Domenico crossed the plate before Anderson got Tyler Boss to fly out to left. Kregel drew a leadoff walk of his own in the top of the fourth and eventually came around to score on a Matt Hink fielder's choice. But the Crimson stranded a pair of runners to keep things at 3-1.
The eighth inning started off well for the Crimson after three scoreless on both sides. Martin led off with a single to third and wound up across the plate after a pair of steals and a wild pitch. Kregel was sent home thanks to a Dill single to center, but Kyler Stout got Kulgu to go swinging to end the threat.
With things all knotted at 3-3, Matt Brandy allowed the Eagles to retake the lead. After being hit by a pitch, Brandy eventually made across the plate after a wild toss and a balk. Harvard was unable to tally another run on the evening, falling to the Eagles in the second game by a score of 4-3.
The two sides will return to the diamond Saturday for another doubleheader, slated to start at 3 p.m. ET.