Baseball Begins Red Rolfe Division Play, Hosts Brown for Four
Harvard vs. Brown
Harvard vs. Brown
Martin has reached base in 17 straight game, the longest active streak in the Ivy League. (Photo: Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Following its thrilling Beanpot win over Boston College on Wednesday, the Harvard baseball team is set to wrap up its season-long nine-game homestand this weekend when Red Rolfe Division foe Brown makes the trek north for four games. The Crimson (6-18, 1-5 Ivy League) and Bears (6-15, 0-8 Ivy League) will do battle Saturday starting at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. in a crucial divisional matchup.
Harvard Vs. Cancer
The Harvard baseball team has continued to participate in a fundraiser to benefit the Vs. Cancer Foundation throughout the 2014 season. The Crimson had set its sights high with a goal of $10,000 for the cause, but recently surpassed that mark. For more information on how to be involved with Harvard's fight to end cancer, please visit harvard.vs-cancer.org.
Harvard owns a few offensive threats this season, coming in various forms. Outfielder Mike Martin (.287) has reached base safely in 17 consecutive games, the Ivy League's longest current streak. The speedy junior leads the team with 16 runs scored and has hit three doubles, a triple and Harvard's only home run this season. Martin also is a perfect 9-for-9 in stolen base attempts this year.
Fellow outfielder Carlton Bailey is batting a consistent .351 this season – leading the team's batting title race – while scoring seven times and driving in eight runs. Junior co-captain Jack Colton has plated a team-best 11 RBI and is hitting .253 with three doubles. Kyle Larrow owns a .274 average at the plate and has driven home 10 runs on 26 hits. After enjoying a pair of doubles against BC this week, outfielder Brandon Kregel has accounted for a club-best seven doubles and is hitting .256 with nine RBI.
On the mound, the Crimson has improved from last year as well. The Harvard staff holds a 4.44 ERA in 24 games, led by the regular rotation of sophomore Sean Poppen (2-2, 2.27 ERA), freshman Nick Gruener (0-2, 3.94) and senior Sam Dodge (0-3, 6.29). Matt Timoney, who picked up the win over BC, has been stellar in relief, earning a staff-best three wins over eight appearances with a 2.95 ERA. With 17.2 innings under his belt, Danny Moskovits owns the best earned-run average, boasting a 1.53 ERA with 13 strikeouts in seven appearances. Poppen has punched out 27 batters this season, most on the team, followed closely by Gruener's 22.
Last Time Out
The Crimson fended off a five-game losing streak on Wednesday with a solid come-from-behind victory over crosstown rival and ACC foe Boston College. After falling behind 4-0 in the first inning, Harvard inched its way back into the game thanks to a great bullpen platoon and timely hits.
After scoring a run in the third, fourth and sixth innings to cut the BC lead to 4-3, the Crimson powered home three runs in the eighth to overtake the Eagles for a right to play in the 2014 Baseball Beanpot finals against UMass on April 21. Jake McGuiggan drove in three runs for the Crimson, while Brandon Kregel and Jack Colton enjoyed multi-hit days. On the mound, T.J. Laurisch was stellar in relief, tossing 3.2 scoreless frames with five strikeouts, while Matt Timoney's 1.1 innings earned him the win and Sean Poppen's appearance in the top of the eighth secured his first save of the year.
A Look at Brown
The Bears, riding a five-game losing streak into the weekend, brings with them a 6-15 record, having gone 0-8 in Ivy League games. Brown has picked up a couple of solid wins, however, downing George Mason, 6-3, and William & Mary, 16-15. Most recently, the Bears are coming off a 7-4 loss at UConn, after being swept by Princeton and Cornell.
Dan Kerr swings the hottest bat on the club and is hitting .308 with 12 runs scored on 20 hits. He's accounted for a pair of doubles, a home run and has driven in eight runs. Marc Sredojevic (.241) and Josh Huntley (.230) are one-two in terms of offensive run production, driving in 12 and 11 RBI, respectively. J.J. Franco (.267) has crossed the plate 13 times, most of any Bear this season.
On the hill, Brown hurlers have combined for a 5.48 earned-run average and a total of 133 strikeouts. The Bears use a steady rotation featuring Christian Taugner (1-4, 2.14 ERA), Lucas Whitehill (1-2, 4.24), Anthony Galan (1-3, 4.50) and Dave St. Lawrence (0-4, 5.76). Taugner leads the charge with 31 strikeouts this season, while yielding just eight earned runs in 33.2 innings pitched.
Harvard and Brown will surpass the 300th meeting this weekend in a series that dates back to 1868 when the Crimson topped the Bears, 37-15. Harvard leads the all-time series 182-115-1 after a season split last year in Providence. The Crimson stole the first game on Saturday, 12-10, before dropping game two, 14-2. On Sunday, the Crimson again won its first game, 4-2, while Brown came back to win the finale, 4-2.