The Harvard baseball team gears up for the 2015 opener at Wofford this weekend. (Harvard Athletics)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard baseball team will make its way south to open up the 2015 campaign, as the Crimson looks to start the new year with a visit to Wofford this weekend for a four-game series. Harvard (0-0) and Wofford (7-1) are slated to play Friday, a doubleheader on Saturday, and a series cap on Sunday; all pending weather in Spartanburg.
The Crimson, which finished last season 11-28 (5-15 Ivy League) looks to improve with a full roster and the addition of 11 newcomers. Harvard features 16 position players and 16 pitchers (10 righties and six lefties) this season, owning a deep roster built for the long-haul.
Keeping up with the Crimson
To catch all the latest news and notes on the baseball team, follow @HarvardBaseball on Twitter and @OfficialHarvardBaseball on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtag #GoCrimson to see what fans are saying about Crimson athletics.
Ivy League Digital Network
After an incredibly successful inaugural year that saw over 1,000 events streamed live, The Ivy League Digital Network has returned for 2014-15, providing fans with unprecedented coverage of the Ivy League. Multiple subscription options are available to fans including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.
Weather permitting, every Harvard home game during the 2015 season will be streamed live and in HD from O'Donnell Field.
Harvard played yet another tough slate in 2014, and opened up the season 1-9 before handing a tough Michigan State team a 7-3 loss in Greenville, South Carolina. The Crimson then split with North Dakota State and took one-of-three from Army, a 2015 opponent, too. Harvard split three of its five Ivy League series last year, but had great success against area schools. The Crimson claimed the 2014 Beanpot with a gutsy 3-0 over UMass at Northeastern's Parson's Field, earning its first Beanpot title since 2005.
Back in Action
Harvard will miss the production of Kyle Larrow and Carlton Bailey this season, but the Crimson is quite the veteran squad. 2014 First Team All-Ivy League selection Mike Martin returns to the lineup, as do co-captains Jack Colton and Ethan Ferreira. Martin hit .304 and led Harvard with 45 hits a season ago, including six doubles, two triples and a home run. He accounted for 22 runs and 12 RBI. Colton had himself 38 hits in 143 trips to the plate, scoring 13 runs and adding 14 RBI, while Ferreira had 31 hits – eight doubles – and scored 12 times, plating 16 runners.
On the mound, Harvard should compete well with their rotation of Sean Poppen, Nick Gruener, Matt Timoney and Tanner Anderson. Poppen led all Crimson hurlers with a 2.51 ERA, going 2-4 in nine starts. He yielded just 51 hits inn 57.1 IP and will toe the rubber to open the year for the second season in a row. Gruener had a stellar freshman campaign, throwing 51.0 innings, giving up just 47 hits and tallying a 3.88 ERA. Anderson was injured early in the Ivy campaign, but finished the year with a 1-2 record with a team-high three saves, while Timoney had a team-best three wins (3-5) with a 4.76 ERA a year ago.
A Look at Wofford
The Terriers (7-1) started the season strong with seven straight victories, six of which came at home. Wofford hosted Boston College to open the year with a win, then consecutively defeated Xavier, Dayton, Presbyterian, Pitt, Miami (OH) and UNC Asheville before suffering its first loss at the hands of Clemson (L, 11-5) on Wednesday.
Matthew Pelt has been stellar for the Terriers to open the year, hitting .429 with seven runs and four RBI. Matt Ramsay leads the team with 12 hits and with eight RBI through eight games, including a pair of triples. James Plaisted is second on the team behind Ramsay with six runs batted in.
On the hill, Matt Milburn, Luke Leftwich and Adam Scott are in the probable rotation versus Harvard this weekend for the Terriers. Millburn has a 2.77 ERA and a 1-0 record in two starts (13 IP). Leftwich holds a 2-0 record and has given up five runs in 11 IP for a 4.09 ERA. The righty leads the staff with 18 strikeouts as well, however. Scott has been lit up for nine hits and six runs in eight innings of work so far, but is still a steady presence on the rubber for Wofford.
After its trip to Wofford, Harvard continues its road swing with a four-game series at Mercer in Macon, Georgia, in a week's time.