Ball State Tops Baseball, 10-2, in Coastal Carolina Invitational Finale

Ball State Tops Baseball, 10-2, in Coastal Carolina Invitational Finale

Tanner Andersen threw one inning of scoreless relief for the Crimson (Gil Talbot). 

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Harvard baseball team hung with Ball State through the first six innings, but a five-run seventh allowed the Cardinals to pull away from the Crimson in a 10-2 loss to close out the weekend in the Coastal Carolina Invitational at Field Sunday.

Ball State jumped out to an early lead with a run in the first before the Crimson (1-6) came back and tied the game in the bottom of the second. The Cardinals stretched the lead to four with two runs in the third and singles tallies in the fourth and fifth, while Harvard cut it back to three in the bottom of the fifth. The score would remain that way until the decisive seventh inning that tipped the game in favor of Ball State.

Brandon Kregel paced the offense for Harvard with two hits, a run scored and a RBI, while freshman Mitch Klug went 3-for-3 and drove in a run. Fellow class of 2016 member D.J. Link was the only other member of the Crimson to pick up a hit, and Carlton Bailey scored the team's other run.

After the Cardinals capitalized on a Crimson miscue in the opening stanza, Harvard knotted the score in the bottom of the second. Kregel began the rally with a walk. He moved to second on a single up the middle by Link and came into score on a Klug single to center. The Crimson had a chance to take the lead with runners at the corners and only one out, but the next two batters fouled out and struck out, respectively, to end the threat and keep the game tied.

Ball State took advantage of timely hitting in the third, fourth and fifth to extend its advantage out to four, but the Crimson responded with a single run in the bottom of the fifth to stay within striking distance. Following a walk to Jeff Hajdin to begin the inning, a fielder's choice and a throwing error put runners at first and third again for Harvard with one out. Kregel ripped a single to left field to put the Crimson's second run on the board and put men at first and second; however, both runners were left stranded to keep Ball State in front by three.

In the seventh, the Cardinals capitalized on four hits, including two doubles, a walk and a hit by pitch to put the game out of reach from the Crimson, who did not threaten in the final three innings.

Starter Peter Kaplan went three innings and struck out four for Harvard, allowing three runs but only one earned. In relief, Sean Poppen threw 1.1 innings of scoreless ball, and Tanner Andersen tossed one frame without giving up a run.

The Crimson returns to action March 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Rice to begin a 10-day trip to Texas and Louisiana.