Pictured: Jeff Reynolds
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – Harvard baseball finished its opening weekend of 2011 play with a pair of 5-4 losses at Jacksonville State on Sunday.
JSU, which improves to 7-3 on the season, received good efforts from Sam Eberle, who went 3-for-3 in the opener and Erik Underwood, who was 2-for-3 in the second game. Harvard falls to 0-4 with the losses.
In the opener, JSU's Taylor Sparks (1-0) scattered seven hits over six innings and the Gamecocks rallied for its second-straight win in the series, 5-4. Will Keuper (0-1) suffered the loss for the Crimson as JSU broke a 4-4 deadlock in the eighth as Blake Seguin had a one-out triple and came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Bishop.
Eberle had a RBI single to right field in the first inning to give JSU a 1-0 lead, but Harvard battled back in the third to plate a pair of runs after Jake McGuiggan scored on a wild pitch and Samuel Franklin drove in a run on an infield grounder as the Crimson took a 2-1 lead.
The Gamecocks answered in the home half of the third after Scott Underwood had a two-RBI double to centerfield to give JSU a 3-2 lead.
The Crimson answered with two runs in the fifth inning on RBI singles by Franklin and Tyler Albright to take a 4-3 lead, but JSU tied the game in the bottom of the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by Michael Bishop.
McGuiggan, Franklin and Dillon O'Neill all had two this in the game for Harvard while Eric Eadington had six strikeouts in five innings in a no decision.
In the second game, Sam Dodge (0-1) got stuck with the loss in his collegiate debut after allowing four runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings.
JSU took a 1-0 lead on a RBI infield grounder by Eberle in the first inning, but the Crimson answered after Marcus Way scored on a double steal in the top of the second to tie the game at 1-1.
JSU took a 2-1 lead in the home half of the second on a sacrifice fly by Blanchard while Harvard's J.T. Tomes had a sacrifice fly in the third to tie the game at 2-2.
The Gamecocks took the lead for good in the bottom of the third inning after Bluestein was hit with bases loaded and Stephen Bartlett followed with a sacrifice fly to give JSU a 4-2 lead.
JSU added an insurance run in the fifth inning on Bartlett's second sacrifice fly of the day for a 5-2 Gamecock lead.
Harvard scored its final two runs in the sixth inning for the final margin as Way delivered a long RBI triple and Jeff Reynolds, who had two hits in the game, followed with an RBI single.