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Baseball Drops Two, 7-3 and 9-6, to Penn in Home Opener

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard baseball team suffered a pair of setbacks during its home opener on Saturday, dropping a doubleheader to Penn, 7-3 and 9-6. The Crimson (5-16, 1-3 Ivy) kept things interesting in both sides of the twinbill, but the Quakers (13-10, 6-0 Ivy) used late runs to quell Harvard.

Carlton Bailey had a four-hit day for the Crimson, driving in a run and scoring twice himself. Kyle Larrow drove in a pair of runs and scored three times, going 3-for-8 in the process. Mike Martin was held hitless in game one, but racked up three hits and two RBI in game two to lead the Crimson.

The two sides started out with strong pitching, as Harvard's Sean Poppen and Penn's Dan Gautieri each combined for just three hits allowed through the first three full innings. But in the top of the fourth, the Quakers made the first dent on the scoreboard. Mike Vilardo sent a sacrifice fly out to center to bring home Rick Brebner to give Penn a 1-0 lead.

But the Crimson made things quite interesting in the bottom of the fifth scoring three runs on three hits. After Jack Colton drew a leadoff hit-by-pitch, Mitch Klug moved him up a station with a sacrifice bunt. From there, Steven Dill sent a single to center to put runners on the corners with just the one out. Jake McGuiggan fouled out to first, but it was deep enough to drive in Colton to tie the game. From there, Carlton Bailey smacked a booming double that hit the center field wall to bring home Dill, followed in the next at bat by a Kyle Larrow single to make it 3-1.

But the Quakers tacked on three runs of their own in the next half inning. Three hits, an error and a pair of sacrifice hits gave Penn a 4-3, from which it didn't look back. The Quakers scored three more times in the top of the seventh inning to steal game one, 7-3. Poppen drew the loss for Harvard after 5.2 innings of work, allowing four runs (three earned). Both Tanner Anderson and Zack Olson saw time on the hill as well for the Crimson in game one.

In game two, Matt Timoney look to settle in and give Harvard the split series, but Penn pounced early to prevent it. After Michael Vilardo drew a one-out walk, Ryan Mincher eventually brought him home with an infield single to make it 1-0 Penn early. The Quakers got two more on the board in the top of the third thanks to a Brebner home run to deep right field.

Jake Cousins was solid in the early going against the Crimson, seeing the minimum through three with five strikeouts, but Harvard figured him out in the bottom of the fourth. The Crimson tacked on three runs as Bailey, Larrow and Mike Martin all reached safely on singles to the outfield grass. A couple of errors by Quaker infielders led to two runs for the Crimson, which tied things at 3-3 into the top of the sixth.

But Penn was relentless, scoring in each of the last four innings, topped off by a three-run ninth to escape the series with the sweep. Matt Timoney picked up the loss for Harvard, tossing 6.0 innings, allowing four runs (two earned), while Kevin Rex, T.J. Laurisch, Greg Coman, Sean O'Neill and Shaun Rubin all platooned the mound for the Crimson in nine innings.

Harvard returns to the diamond tomorrow to face Columbia for two more.