Twenty Runs in Game Two Helps Harvard Baseball to Split Against Princeton

Twenty Runs in Game Two Helps Harvard Baseball to Split Against Princeton

Brandon Kregel was had three hits, scored five runs and drove in two in the second game against Princeton Sunday afternoon (photo Harvard Athletic Communications).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Harvard and Princeton baseball teams combined for 53 runs and split an Ivy League doubleheader at windy O'Donnell Field Sunday afternoon. Princeton took the opener, 13-1, before an offensive outburst from Harvard led the Crimson to a 20-19 win in the second game.

The winds were blowing straight out to centerfield, with gusts of over 40 miles per hour, making the ball carry to all fields and turning routine popups into challenging defensive plays. The teams combined for six home runs on the day, including five from Princeton (7-20, 5-3 Ivy League) at the usually pitcher-friendly O'Donnell Field.

Harvard's (6-21, 3-5 Ivy League) lineup in the second matchup featured five players with three or more hits and two more with two-hit days to aid the Crimson in scoring 20 runs for the first time since a 23-9 win over Dartmouth April 30, 2006. DJ Link had four of the Crimson's 23 hits, while Sean O'Neill and Tanner Anderson drove in four and Brandon Kregel scored five times. Anderson's four RBI came with one swing of the bat, a towering grand slam in the sixth inning.

The Crimson trailed 7-2 after 1 1/2 innings and again 19-17 going into the bottom of the ninth, but rallied on each occasion. Harvard's nine combined for 14 runs during a three-inning span from the fourth through sixth of the second game to build a 17-10 lead on the Tigers. Princeton scored five in the seventh and four more in the ninth to go up 19-17 and get within three outs of a two-game sweep, but Harvard had another offensive burst left.

In the ninth, Harvard set the table by drawing two walks and knocking two singles, before Princeton's pitching went sporadic. With the bases loaded, one out and Harvard down two, the Tigers advanced runners with a wild pitch, issued an intentional walk, threw another wild pitch and offered another intentional walk, before ending the game with a pitch that sailed over the catcher's head and to the backstop to plate Kregel with the winning run.

Jordan Haviland (1-0) earned the victory by striking out Princeton's Danny Hoy to strand runners on first and second in the top of the ninth.

The offensive prowess of game two came after Harvard struggled to gain base runners in the first game. Princeton's Mike Ford (3-0), who also homered in both games, shutdown the Crimson with a seven-inning complete game. Ford allowed four hits and one unearned run while striking out seven. 

Ford's game-one homer was one of three for Princeton in the opener, including a grand slam from Tyler Servais in the fifth to help the Tigers pull away. Tanner Anderson (0-4) allowed 10 runs in five innings to take the loss.

Harvard is back on the diamond Wednesday at Northeastern for the first round of the Beanpot tournament. The Beanpot second round games will be played in a doubleheader at Fenway Park April 29. The Crimson returns to O'Donnell Field next weekend for a four-game set against Yale.