Anderson and the Crimson look to get into the winning column this weekend with a four-game slate at Lamar. (Photo: Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After a nail-biting first series on the road, the Harvard baseball team will head back to the nation's Sun Belt for a four-game set at Lamar. The Crimson (0-4) and the Cardinals (8-5) will do battle at 7:30 p.m. on Friday before a double header on Saturday and a series cap on Sunday at noon.
Keeping up with the Crimson
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Harvard opened its 2014 campaign with four close ballgames last weekend at Oral Roberts, but the Golden Eagles were able to come away with the series sweep. In the first game, the front end of the first doubleheader of the weekend, the Crimson opened up with a 4-1 lead through the first two innings, but ORU grabbed three in the bottom of the seventh to take a 6-4 opener. After digging out of a 3-1 hole in the eighth in game two, Harvard yielded just a run in the bottom of the frame and eventually fell, 4-3.
The Crimson was set to outlast the Eagles in the third game of the series, taking a late 3-1 lead in the eighth, but four ORU runs in the bottom half of the stanza gave the Eagles its third win in a row. The two clubs battled back and forth in the rubber match, taking a game into the eighth, but Oral Roberts tacked on two in the bottom of the inning once again to take an eventual 6-5 victory.
For his part, Jack Colton hit .400 on the weekend (8-for-20) driving home four and crossing the plate twice himself, earning Ivy League Honor Roll accolades. On the hill, Harvard's four hurlers battled deep, especially newcomer Nick Gruener, who went 7.2 innings, but the Eagles were able to sneak away with the four wins.
Last season Harvard stole eight bases all year, but in just its first four games, the Crimson has successfully stolen eight bags -- and hasn't been caught in the act once.
The .300 Club
It's early yet in the season, just one series into the new campaign, but a trio of Crimson are batting .333 or better: Jack Colton (.400), Kyle Larrow (.333) and Carlton Bailey (.333). Together, the triad have five RBI and five runs scored as well.
Hitting Streaks Attached
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Dial Up the Rotary
With a deep rotation and a developing bullpen, the Crimson can be successful. All four Harvard starters over last weekend, Sam Dodge, Tanner Anderson, Nick Gruener and Sean Poppen, all went at least six innings or deeper.
A Look at the Cardinals
Lamar (8-5) is coming off a close call at Baylor, giving up three in the seventh to drop a 3-2 decision to the Baylor Bears. The Cardinals are led at the plate this season by Kevin Santana, who's batting .367 with eight doubles, eight RBI and 10 runs. Jacoby Middleton is hitting .286, driving home five and scoring eight runs.
On the mound, Lamar has a solid starting rotation that's kept the Cardinals in games. Will Hibbs (1-0, 1.17 ERA), Chase Angelle (1-1, 2.57 ERA) and Jayson McKinley (1-1, 3.12) lead the way on the bump.