Baseball Suffers a Pair of Setbacks to Columbia, 12-6 and 8-3

Baseball Suffers a Pair of Setbacks to Columbia, 12-6 and 8-3

The Crimson dropped its second doubleheader of the weekend at home with the two losses to Columbia. (Harvard Athletic Communications)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard baseball team got off to a hot start against visiting Columbia early on Sunday, but the Lions' bats awoke and eventually took both games of the Ivy League doubleheader at O'Donnell Field. Harvard fell in two to Columbia, 12-6 and 8-3, to cap off its first weekend at home.

Centerfielder Mike Martin enjoyed a five-hit day in the three-hole, going 5-for-8 with a pair of runs driven in and a run scored in the Crimson's losses. Carlton Bailey scored twice over the twinbill, legging out a big double in the second game, while Jake McGuiggan also ripped a double and added a pair of RBI and a run scored as well.

On the mound in game one, freshman Nick Gruener dealt steadily through the first four innings, yielding a lone infield single to the Lions. Behind his early effort, the Crimson nicked the scoreboard first with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. Brandon Kregel and Ethan Ferreira got on base before the first out, and both were eventually plated by Nick Saathoff and McGuiggan, respectively, with a single and a sacrifice fly out to center.

With Gruener moving quickly, Harvard tacked on two more in the fourth, thanks to a Columbia miscue and a Mike Martin single which sent Bailey across to make it 4-0 quickly. But from there, the Lions took hold of things in a deadly fifth inning.

Columbia managed to bat around the order in the visiting half of the frame which featured eight runs on five hits and two Crimson errors. Of the eight runs, six were unearned thanks to the untimely gaffes. After allowing five runs (two unearned) over 4.1 innings of work, Gruener was replaced by Nick Scahill on the mound. Scahill ultimately tossed two thirds of an inning, giving up five runs on three hits for the Crimson as the Lions pounced for four more runs in the top of the sixth.

Harvard got a run each in the sixth and seventh, but was unable to overcome Columbia's 12 scores, eventually falling 12-6.

In game two, the Lions kept the momentum, scoring early and often. Columbia got at least a run in each of the first four stanza's as Lion hurler Kevin Roy saw the minimum Crimson bats through 3.2 innings. Down 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Kyle Larrow reached on an error to break up the perfect start for Roy, while Mike Martin singled down the right field line to break up the no hitter in the next at bat. From there, Martin was caught stealing, but avoided the tag long enough to allow Larrow to safely cross the plate from third to give Harvard its first score of the day.

After Columbia got two more runs across in the top of the sixth, Martin kept his bat heated with an RBI single to left on a 2-2 count to make it 7-3. But the damage was done. The Lions would hold off the Crimson, 8-3, despite a late rally attempt in the bottom of the ninth.

With the losses, Harvard moves to 5-18 and 1-5 in Ivy League play. The Crimson is back in action, but out of conference as crosstown foe Boston College makes the short trek north to Cambridge for the first round of the Beanpot at O'Donnell on Wednesday at 3 p.m.