The Crimson split the first two games of the series with Army on Friday to move to 4-12. (Photo: Gil Talbot)
TAMPA – The Harvard baseball team split a twinbill with Army on Friday, taking the first of two, 5-1, thanks to some early run support, before dropping a tight afternoon tilt, 3-2.
Both Kyle Larrow and Mike Martin grabbed four hits for the Crimson (4-12) on the day, while Ethan Ferreira knocked in three and Jack Colton plated a pair of runners. On the hill, Sean Poppen turned in another stellar outing in game one, throwing seven innings, giving up six hits and yielding just one run (unearned), while striking out six. Harvard got yet another strong appearance from Nick Gruener in the second game, as the freshman tossed six innings, giving up just two runs (one unearned) in the second game of the day.
Harvard jumped out to a huge early lead in the first game of the day, grabbing three runs in the top of the first. Larrow belted a one-out double, and was immediately sent home by Colton who singled. After Brandon Kregel drew a walk in the next at bat, Ferreira doubled to bring home a pair of runs in the blink of an eye.
After Poppen yielded just a single in the bottom half of the opening stanza, the Crimson tacked on another run in the top of the second, after Steve Dill grabbed a leadoff single, he was pushed across after Colton blasted a double to make it 4-0.
From there, though each pitcher settled in as neither squad got more than one hit through the top of the seventh. In the bottom half of that inning, Army got on the board with an RBI single from Jon Crucitti to break up Poppen's shutout. But the damage had been done, as Harvard tacked on one more in the top of the eighth after Dill drove in Ferreira to make it 5-1.
In the second game, Harvard got off to another fast start yet again after Brandon Kregel sent a deep sacrifice fly out to center to bring home Mike Martin to make it 1-0 in the top of the first.
The Crimson added another after Ferreira sent a sac fly of his own out to center, plating Larrow to give Harvard a 2-0 boost. From there, Gruener worked his way through the lineup with ease until the Black Knights struck in the bottom of the fifth. Army cut the lead in half after Conner Love brought in Patrick Mescher to make 2-1.
The Black Knights evened the ledger at 2-2 after Mescher returned the favor, scoring Kris Linder with an RBI double. Harvard battled into the bottom of the ninth, but Mescher singled home the winning run with an RBI single to Jacob Page as the Black Knights took the second game of the series, 3-2.
The two clubs will return tomorrow for the rubber match at 2 p.m. in Tampa.