The Crimson and Cardinals will finish up the series at noon on Sunday. (Gil Talbot)
BEAUMONT, Texas – The Harvard baseball team fought through two more close games on Saturday during a twinbill at Lamar, but the Crimson fell in tight contests to the Cardinals, 4-3 and 3-2 in 10 innings.
Freshman Nick Gruener got the call in the first game of the doubleheader, but gave up two early runs on a pair of costly leadoff walks for the Cardinals. After Seely and Bumpers drew walks to open things up, Markum brought them both home with a two-out double down the right field line to give Lamar a 2-0 lead in the first.
Gruener got the first two bats to go quickly, but a Stanley single turned into another run for Lamar after the second baseman came around on a Seeley single to short. The Crimson bats were quieted in the early going, but after Lamar went ahead 4-0, Harvard mounted a comeback in the sixth. Mike Martin grabbed a leadoff double to right center, and was brought home two batters later as Ethan Ferreira knocked a dribbler up to first, clearing a path for Martin to cross the plate.
Tanner Anderson shot a two-out, two-bagger to left center to keep things moving in the inning, and Carlton Bailey capitalized on the opportunity, sending a single to center, driving Anderson home to make it 4-2, Cardinals.
Gruener made quick work of the Cardinal bats, getting three to go consecutively in the sixth, before O'Neill and Timoney didn't allow a hit in the closing innings. After grabbing a leadoff single in the top of the seventh, Kyle Larrow made his way around the bags to cut the lead to 4-3, but it ultimately wasn't enough for the Crimson to overcome in game one.
Sam Dodge earned the start in the second game, going 6.1 innings of four-hit work, not allowing a single run, giving up just four hits while striking out four and walking three batters.
Neither club found much success until Harvard struck first in the top of the sixth inning. Larrow drew a leadoff walk, moving to second one batter later as Jack Colton sacrificed his at bat to advance him. Brandon Kregel opened things up, smacking the Crimson's first multi-base knock of the second game, bringing Larrow home with a double down the left field line, giving Harvard the 1-0 lead.
In the home-half of the eighth, however, Lamar tacked on a pair of runs after back-to-back one out singles. Collier sent a blooper to left, driving in both Stanley and Vidrine to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead late.
A leadoff walk in the ninth drawn by Klug gave Harvard a spark though. Klug came around to score two batters later as Bailey grounded out to short, but giving his teammate enough time to cross the plate as the tying run.
After failing to score in the top of the 10th, Harvard eventually yielded the winning run to Lamar in the bottom of the inning as Middleton hit a walk-off single to give the Cardinals the second game of the doubleheader, 3-2.
The two will return to the diamond on Sunday at noon ET for the series finale.