Pictured: Max Perlman
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Max Perlman allowed just four hits in seven innings but the Harvard baseball team dropped a pitchers' duel, 2-0, at the University of Charlotte on Friday night.
Perlman was masterful for a third-straight start on the young season but Charlotte broke open the scoreless draw thanks to a leadoff walk in the seventh, eventually scoring on a two-out tapper.
Harvard (1-11) managed just three hits against a tough Charlotte staff as the 49ers improve to 13-5.
After a leadoff walk and a strikeout to start the seventh, Perlman got a strikeout which was followed by a stolen base. The 49ers successfully laid down a sacrifice bunt to move a runner to third base. The strategy paid off as Justin Roland tapped a ball towards the pitchers' mound. Perlman was unable to make a play at first base and the eventual winning run came in.
Harvard threatened in the top of the eighth as Dillon O'Neill singled and stole a base with one out but reliever Brock Hudgens got a fly out and a ground out to end the frame.
Charlotte got a much needed insurance run in the bottom of the eighth against reliever Ben Sestanovich who had been impressive in previous outings. Sestanovich hit J.J. Elseser to lead off the inning and, after another sacrifice bunt, cleanup hitter Ross Steedley singled to left to make it 2-0.
Perlman (0-3) struck out six against the four hits and three walks in his seven innings of work.
Andrew Smith (3-1) matched Perlman with six strikeouts in 7.1 innings while walking two and scattering the three hits.
Harvard did steal three bases with O'Neill collecting two.
The teams continue the series with single games on Saturday and Sunday.