Harvard's opponents are a combined 13-12 entering the weekend (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The first pitch of the Harvard baseball season is rapidly approaching, as the Crimson travels to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to compete in a tournament hosted by Wake Forest March 4-6. Richmond, St. Peter's and Towson will also be in attendance.
Top of the First
- Harvard returns six of its top-10 leaders in at bats from a year ago, led by junior infielder Drew Reid's 157. Reid hit .280 a year ago and was second on the team with eight doubles.
- Sophomore John Fallon returns as the player with the highest batting average from 2015, hitting .319 last season. Fallon also posted a .385 on base percentage as a first-year player.
- The Harvard pitching rotation returns a pair of its top starters from 2015 in senior Sean Poppen and junior Nick Gruener. Poppen saw a team-high 50.2 innings on the hill as a junior, scattering 56 hits while striking out 48 batters. Gruener, meanwhile, tallied 35 strikeouts over 42.2 innings.
Projected Pitching Matchups
Friday vs. Richmond- Ian Miller (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Matt Olson (2-0, 0.00 ERA)
Saturday vs. Saint Peter's- Sean Poppen (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. John Leiter (0-1, 11.25 ERA)
Saturday at Wake Forest- Nick Gruener (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Connor Johnstone (1-0, 6.75 ERA)
Sunday vs. Towson- Kevin Stone (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Kevin Ross (0-1, 13.50 ERA)
*All matchups subject to change
Sophomore Connor Quinn is Harvard's lone returning All-Ivy selection from 2015, as he was named honorable mention. Quinn hit .291 with one home run and 17 RBI in 2016. The Crimson was also represented on the All-Ivy list by four members of the class of 2015: Ethan Ferreira, Mike Martin, Jake McGuiggan and Matt Timoney.
The Crimson opens the 2016 slate with the Spiders, who have posted a 7-1 record to begin the season. Richmond holds a pair of victories over St. Peter's and Maryland-Eastern Shore, and also topped VMI, St. John's and Western Carolina. Harvard is 14-8 all-time against the Spiders.
Tyler Beckwith and Doug Kraeger have each driven in 12 runs for Richmond, sporting batting averages of .444 and .414, respectively. The team has combined for 11 home runs in seven outings. On the mound, Matt Olson and Dan Martinson are 2-0, with Olson throwing a complete game shutout against St. Peters Feb. 26.
Scouting St. Peter's
St. Peters holds a 1-3 record to start the season and picked up its only victory of the year against Maryland-Eastern Shore. The Peacocks also dropped a game to the Hawks and were swept by Richmond, 2-0. The matchup between the two schools will be the first in program history.
Rob Moore and Jason Midkiff have each recorded three RBI and Angel Perez leads the team with a .455 batting average through three contests. Jake Regina picked up the Peacocks' only win of the year, striking out two batters through six innings.
Scouting Wake Forest
The host Demon Deacons are 5-2 to start the season and are one of two ACC opponents Harvard will square off with this season. Wake Forest opened the season with four consecutive wins over Georgetown, UMBC, VMI and Davidson before falling in a best-of-three series in Los Angeles to USC, 2-1. Harvard and Wake Forest have never faced off.
Will Craig leads the squad with two home runs and 12 RBI, boasting a .720 slugging percentage to start the season. Kevin Conway co-leads the Demon Deacons, along with Craig, with nine hits. Drew Loepprich leads the pitching staff with a 1-0 mark and 1.93 ERA through two starts.
Harvard closes the weekend with Towson, who is winless on the season at 0-6 after being swept in three-game series with New Mexico State and Presbyterian. As is the case with St. Peter's and Wake Forest, the matchup this weekend will mark the first meeting between the two schools.
Brady Policelli leads the Tigers with a .429 batting average, recording nine hits in 21 at bats. AJ Gallo has posted a team-best six RBI to start the year. Matt Golczewski is winless on the hill through two starts, but he leads all starting pitchers with a 3.00 ERA and seven strikeouts.
Feature Video: Crimson Baseball Challenge
At The Helm
Bill Decker is in his fourth season as The Joseph O'Donnell '67 Head Coach for Harvard Baseball, posting a 39-83 record through three seasons. The Crimson has seen an improvement in wins each season under Decker, winning 18 games in 2015. Decker has mentored 11 All-Ivy selections during his tenure at Harvard.
Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a third season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Digital Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.
Use the Social Stream on GoCrimson.com to stay connected with the Crimson on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube this year. The Social Stream brings the conversation from all four platforms into one convenient location, allowing fans of all Harvard Athletics teams to monitor the action in real time.
To keep up with Harvard baseball on twitter, follow here.
Harvard heads to the Sunshine State for a three-game set with No. 1 Florida March 11-13. All three contests will be broadcast on SEC Network+.