Baseball Falls in Two Close Games to Yale, 4-2 and 2-1

Hink belted a home run in the first game of the day. (Gil Talbot)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Unlike Saturday's meetings between Harvard and Yale, Sunday's doubleheader went the way of the visitors, and with limited offense. The Crimson (18-19, 7-9 Ivy) fell to the Bulldogs (12-21, 4-12 Ivy), 4-2 (10 innings) and 2-1 at O'Donnell Field.

Harvard scored just three runs on the day, but had 17 hits between the two games, leaving 19 runners on base in total. Senior co-captain Jack Colton enjoyed a five-hit day at the plate, going a perfect 4-for-4 in the second game, with four singles to left. Matt Hink recorded his first career home run in the first game, a booming shot over the scoreboard in left field, giving him an RBI and run scored. Ethan Ferreira tallied a pair of doubles, one in each outing, while he and Drew Reid were the only other batters to drive in runs.

On the hill, Sean Poppen got the early start, but earned a no-decision after going 5.0 innings, giving up just one run on four hits with two walks issued and four strikeouts. Tanner Anderson took the loss in that contest, but pitched strong despite a couple of errors behind him. Anderson's line read 4.2 IP, with five hits, three runs (two earned), three walks and six strikeouts. Ian Miller took the day's second loss, but was stellar in his outing. The freshman put in work for 7.2 innings, scattering four hits, yielding two runs with four strikeouts. Miller retired the first 14 Bulldogs he saw, owning a perfect game through four and two-thirds innings.

Game 1 – Yale 4, Harvard 2 (10 Innings)
In the first game, slated for seven innings as the DH opener, both clubs were battling in a close affair. As the leadoff man in the bottom of the first, Mike Martin reached on an error by way of a dropped fly ball to left, eventually coming around after stealing third and being ushered home by Reid on a sac fly to make it 1-0.

The Bulldogs waited until the third inning to knot the game up at 1-1, after Green Campbell singled down the left field line, plating left fielder Joe Lubanski. Eric Hseih found his way to third on a leadoff double that turned into three bases via an error, but Poppen settled in, striking out Robert Baldwin and inducing two consecutive groundouts to end the threat. In the bottom of that frame, Mitch Klug roped one through the right side representing Harvard's first hit of the day, though things ended with the game still tied, 1-1.

In the bottom of the fifth, Hink blasted his homerun to left to give Harvard a 2-1 lead, before Anderson made quick work of the Yale bats in the top of the sixth. The top of the seventh inning, however, changed things around for both teams. After Nate Adams stretched a routine play into a three-base effort after an error in right by Harvard, the junior came across on a passed ball, after Anderson had struck two out, ultimately forcing extra innings.

After going in order in the top of the ninth, Yale erupted for two runs on three hits with two left on base in the top of the 10th – all with two outs. Baldwin played hero, sending a two-RBI double to deep center, plating both Hsieh and White, the winning runs. Harvard was unable to muster the runs needed in the bottom of the 10th, ultimately falling, 4-2, to Yale.

Game 2 – Yale 2, Harvard 1
The second game of the day was an even more defensive battle, despite Harvard racking up 12 hits in the nine innings. Once again, the Crimson jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the home half of the opening frame, this time as Ferreira singled to right to plate Reid, who initially got on base by taking one to the shoulder.

With a 1-0 lead, Miller flew through the Yale order with ease, going 14-up, 14-down through four and two-thirds innings. Yale captain David Toups broke the silence in the fifth, but the real damage was done in the seventh inning – again with two outs. Hsieh singled up the middle before Baldwin homered to deep left field to instantly take a 2-1 lead on the Bulldogs' third hit of the game.

The Crimson was retired in order in the bottom half of the seventh and eighth innings, but held on to dear life in the ninth. After Colton grabbed his fourth base knock of the game, the senior was caught stealing, before Martin reached on an infield single. Martin was thrown out on a fielder's choice during Reid's at bat, before Klug was hit by a pitch to give the Crimson two on with two out for Ferreira. The senior co-captain, getting the start as the DH for the finale, battled brilliantly in seven pitches, but eventually flied out to deep right field to give Yale a 2-1 victory and the series split.

Up next, Harvard travels down the road to Fenway Park to meet up with Northeastern for the Beanpot Consolation game, before taking on Dartmouth in the season finale next weekend. The Crimson will play two in Hanover on Saturday, before returning to Cambridge for Senior Day on Sunday.