Poppen held things down for the Crimson on the mound. (Gil Talbot)
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Harvard baseball team opened up its 2015 season on Friday with early success at Wofford, but the Terriers (8-1) handed the Crimson (0-1) a 9-2 loss in its first outing. Harvard's bats were alive in the season debut, reeling off 11 hits in the game.
Mike Martin and Drew Reid each enjoyed a three-hit game at the top of the Crimson order, while Ethan Ferreira (two hits) and Matt Hink each drove in a run. In 4.2 innings of work, Sean Poppen gave up eight runs on seven hits, but struck out four as he toed the rubber to open the year. Ian Miller, Dylan Combs and T.J. Laurisch each threw better than an inning of relief, combining for just one run on three hits with three strikeouts to keep the Terriers at bay to close things out.
After grabbing two base knocks in the top of the first, Harvard ace Sean Poppen sat down the Terriers in order in the bottom half of the frame to give the Crimson momentum into the second inning. Leading off, Mitch Klug was hit by a 3-1 pitch to put one on. After D.J. Link flew out to left center, first baseman Matt Hink sent a deep ball to the left center gap for a standup double, sending Klug home to beat out the throw, making it 1-0 Crimson early.
But Wofford came alive starting in the bottom half of the second. After scoring a run on one hit in the second, the Terriers added five more on just three hits in the third to extend its lead to 6-1. After a quiet fourth frame, Wofford came back to score three more in the bottom of the fifth to make it 9-1.
In the top of the seventh, Harvard got a run back after Martin got things going with his single to left. Reid grabbed another hit of his own and thanks to an error, both runners moved up a station to put two in scoring position with just one out. After Connor Quinn popped out to second, Ferreira singled through the left side to bring Martin home to cut into the lead.
But from there, Wofford held off any other Harvard attempt at a comeback to eventually take things, 9-2. The two will battle in a doubleheader starting at noon tomorrow at King Field, before a series cap on Sunday at noon.