Fast Starts, Solid Pitching Lead Harvard to Saturday Sweep of Yale

Timoney struck out seven over 7.2 innings of work to earn his sixth win of the season. (Gil Talbot)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The 374th and 375th meetings on the diamond between Harvard and Yale went the Crimson's way on Saturday, as it moved to 18-17 (7-7 Ivy) following a doubleheader sweep over the Bulldogs (10-21, 2-12 Ivy), 10-5 and 7-0.

The Crimson scored early in both outings, combining for 14 runs in innings one and two over the span of the DH. Six Crimson hit better than .425 on the day as Harvard stayed consistent at the plate with 27 hits over the two games, four for extra bases. Mitch Klug had a day at the dish, hitting .625 (5-for-8) with two RBI and three runs scored. Drew Reid (.571) brought home four runs and scored four times, both team highs on Saturday, while Connor Quinn and Mike Martin each saw great production at opposite ends of the lineup with four hits in seven at bats each.

With all of the run production, the pressure was taken off of the Crimson hurlers. Nick Gruener earned the starting nod in the first game, but left after giving up five runs (four earned) on six hits, though he yielded to Nick Scahill with a sizeable lead intact. Scahill came on in relief and was lights-out, punching out seven Bulldogs over 4.0 innings of work, issuing no walks and just one hit to pick up the win.

In game two, Matt Timoney got the call and tossed yet another stellar game to improve to 6-1 on the year. Timoney, who struck out seven in his outing as well, was dealing through the first six innings of work, giving up just two hits in that span. Yale eventually scattered six hits during his 7.2 innings of work, but walked only twice and did not cross the plate. After Shaun Rubin came on, the sophomore put together a solid 1.1 inning effort, striking out one, while not allowing a walk, hit or run to keep Yale off the board.

Game 1 – Harvard 10, Yale 5
The Crimson shot out of the gates in the early going, making it so Yale never really had a shot in the Saturday opener. Though the Bulldogs plated an unearned run in the top of the first and added two more in the second, Harvard put together a pair of four-run innings in the first and second to take a quick 8-3 lead. Eight hits and two Bulldog errors led to the quick start for Harvard.

After Scahill entered, thing settled down, as the junior kept the Yale bats quiet. From the top of the fourth through the remainder of the contest, the two clubs combined for just two hits, in what turned into quite the pitchers' duel. Ethan Ferreira, who upped his on-base streak to 27 games, sacrificed his last at-bat to bring in Drew Reid in the bottom of the sixth to push the score to its final, 10-5.

Game 2 – Harvard 7, Yale 0
Once again a quick start and solid pitching was the storyline for Harvard in Game 2. The Crimson jumped out to an explosive 6-0 lead after two innings, as Timoney continued to deal. Austin Black – earning his second career start at the DH spot – got things going in the bottom of the first with a two-RBI double to the far right field wall, and eventually came around thanks to a Matt Hink single up the middle.

Three singles in the second – capped by Reid's two-RBI stint at the plate – and a Mitch Klug single pushed things to the 6-0 mark in just two frames. From there, though, the Crimson added just one more run, as Klug boomed a double to deep left center, driving in Reid, who had doubled himself the previous at bat.

Timoney continued his tear until the eighth inning, yielding to Rubin with two outs, but the damage had been done. Harvard would hold off any offense from Yale, which managed just six hits in the game, to win 7-0.

Harvard and Yale continue the four-game set Sunday with a noon start at O'Donnell Field on the Ivy League Digital Network.