WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – In a preview of the first round of the Baseball Beanpot in April, Harvard and Massachussetts met for a doubleheader in Florida, and the Crimson came away with a pair of wins on the day. Harvard improved to 7-7 on the season with victories by 9-3 and 11-8 margins over the Minutemen (0-5).
The Crimson erupted for 27 hits over the two games, including four each from Drew Reid (4-for-6, 4R, 1RBI), Jake McGuiggan (4-for-7, 1R, 3RBI), Ethan Ferreira (4-for-7, 2R, 3RBI) and Mike Martin (4-for-7, 3R, 2RBI). Tanner Anderson also had a day at the plate, bringin home three runs, while scoring twice himself.
On the mound, Kevin Rex and Nick Scahill earned the nods versus the Minutemen. Rex picked up the first win of the day after giving up just three runs (one earned) on five hits in 4.0 strong innings. He struck out two in his outing, one which moved him to 2-0 on the season. Scahill was tested by UMass early and lasted 1.1 innings (4H, 4R, 1ER, 1K) before Greg Coman came on in relief in the second to settle things down and pick up the victory. Coman threw 2.2 innings of work, yielding one run on one hit with four strikeouts and two walks.
UMass quickly jumped on Harvard in the day's opening frame, scoring two runs on a two-out error, but the Crimson got one back in the bottom of the stanza, thanks to Ethan Ferreira bringing home Reid on a single up the middle.
The Minutemen tacked on one more the very next time out to make it 3-1, but Harvard managed to take a slim 4-3 lead after breaking out in the bottom of the second for three runs on five hits, before an inning-ending double play.
Mike Martin added an RBI double down the left field line, plating Mitch Klug, in the bottom of the third, then a Klug single and Anderson sac fly in the fourth gave the Crimson a dominating 7-3 lead. McGuiggan sacrificed his at bat in the bottom of the fifth, before Ferreira sent a moon shot over the left field wall in the sixth to eventually run away with the 9-3 victory.
Once again, UMass stormed out of the gates, taking a 3-0 victory after one inning, thanks in part to three Crimson errors in the bottom of the frame, and added one more in the second inning to draw ahead 4-0. But two big innings turned things around for Harvard, now the visiting team.
Reid and McGuiggan went back-to-back with doubles to right center, before Ferreira brought home the latter on a sac fly for the first out. Then Anderson singled to right field, scoring Connor Quinn, who reached base after being hit by a pitch.
Then in the fifth, the Crimson erupted, scoring five runs, all with one out. After Ferreira reached on a fielder's choice, Klug, Anderson and Martin found success three at bats in a row, before a wild pitch brought the third run of the inning home. Pinch running for DJ Link, Matt Sanders and Mike Martin completed a double-steal, which successfully saw Martin steal home and Sanders advance to third on an error. From there, McGuiggan sent an RBI single to center, plating Sanders for the fifth run, putting Harvard up 8-4 in the blink of an eye.
Even though UMass made it 8-5 in the next inning, Harvard grabbed three more runs in the sixth, highlighted by a two-RBI single up the middle from Sanders. The Crimson eventually ran away with the second ballgame, 11-8, after Sean O'Neill closed things out.
Harvard is back in action on Thursday as it takes on Army for a four-game stand, the first of which will be played in the New York Yankees Spring Training Complex.