Klug brought home a pair of runs and scored twice as well in the 10-6 victory at Mercer. (Gil Talbot)
MACON, Ga. – Thanks to a four-run outburst, the Harvard baseball team took the first game of its series with Mercer on Friday, 10-6. The Crimson improves to 3-2 on the season, while the Bears fall to 8-6 after just their second defeat in nine games.
After its initial run support for Sean Poppen on the hill, the Crimson bats kept alive, scoring six total runs over the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Poppen went 5.0 strong innings, giving up two runs on five hits, while striking out nine and yielding no walks to pick up his first win of the year.
At the plate, eight different Crimson connected for hits, totaling 12 on the day, led by Mitch Klug's eventful day (2-for-5, 2R, 2RBI), along with Ethan Ferreira (2-for-4, 2R), Jake McGuiggan (2-for-4, 1R, 1RBI), Matt Hink (2-for-5, 1RBI) and Jack Colton (1-for-4, 2RBI).
Things started well for Harvard in the top of the first with a flurry of singles. Mike Martin drew a walk in the first at bat of the day to kick things off. After stealing second, Martin was ushered home by Connor Quinn, who singled up the middle to make it 1-0. Ferreira and Klug went back-to-back, while Hink and McGuiggan did the same, the latter two with two outs making it 4-0 in a flash.
After Poppen retired the first six batters he saw, Mercer dented the scoreboard for the first time in the third inning off a Kyle Lewis two-run home run to left-center, making it 4-2. Martin ripped a triple to lead off the fourth, before Drew Reid brought him home with a single up the gut. In the fifth, Colton brought home both McGuiggan and D.J. Link with a one-out double to left, extending the lead to 7-2.
The Crimson tacked on three more thanks to an RBI single from Klug and a fielder's choice, passed ball and error in the top of the sixth, making it a quick 10-2. Though Mercer made things interesting in the bottom of the frame with four runs on four hits and an error, the Crimson had all it needed to escape Claude Smith Field after nine strong innings.
Harvard and Mercer are back at it tomorrow for a double-header starting at 1 p.m.