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Baseball Heads South to Face No. 1 Florida

Baseball Heads South to Face No. 1 Florida

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            Harvard at No. 1 Florida
March 11-13, 2016
7 p.m. | 4 p.m. | 1 p.m.
Alfred A. McKethan Stadium
SEC Network+
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Harvard trails, 3-0
L, 17-6 (March 12, 2006)
L3

Harvard's pitchers combined for 33 strikeouts over the four games at Wake Forest (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Hitting the road to kick off a stretch of nine games in nine days, Harvard baseball will travel to No. 1 Florida for a three matchups March 11-13. Each of the contests will be broadcast on SEC Network+.

Top of the First

  • Harvard went 2-2 in its opening weekend at Wake Forest, besting St. Peter's and the host Demon Deacons. The win over Wake Forest was Harvard's first over an ACC opponent since April 9, 2014 against Boston College. 
  • Sophomore John Fallon sparked the Harvard offense with two home runs and five RBI through the first four contests. After hitting .319 last season, Fallon is batting .400 in 2016.
  • The Harvard pitching rotation returns a pair of its top starters from 2015 in senior Sean Poppen and junior Nick Gruener. Both pitchers picked up wins in their first outings of the year, with Poppen becoming the first hurler to throw a 10-strikeout game in the Ivy League this season.

Projected Pitching Matchups
Friday at No. 1 Florida- Ian Miller (0-1, 6.00 ERA) vs. Logan Shore (3-0, 0.43 ERA)
Saturday at No. 1 Florida- Sean Poppen (1-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. AJ Puk (0-1, 3.09 ERA)
Sunday at No. 1 Florida- Nick Gruener (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Alex Faedo (3-0, 2.12 ERA)
*All matchups subject to change

Honor Roll
After opening the season with two victories in the Wake Forest tournament, Harvard baseball's John Fallon and Patrick McColl were selected as the Ivy League Co-Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively.

Fallon, a sophomore, led the conference with two home runs and five RBI over the weekend. The Houston, Texas native hit .400 on the week with a team-high .933 slugging percentage, recording a conference-best four extra base hits. Starting at first base, McColl opened his career with six hits and four RBI to lead all rookies. Tallying three extra base hits at the Wake Forest tournament, the Los Altos, California native ranks third in the league.

Full Release: Fallon, McColl Garner Ivy League Weekly Honors

Touch 'Em All
Harvard opened the season with three home runs, two off the bat of John Fallon and one from Mitch Klug. Fallon went deep against Richmond and both players hit jacks against St. Peter's. Both infielders knocked their first-career home runs.

Double Down
Through four games, Harvard ranks fourth nationally in doubles per game. Only one player has connected on more doubles per game than shortstop Drew Reid in the country, with Reid averaging 0.75 per game. As a team, Harvard has 12 doubles in 2016.

From the Bullpen
In the final three games of the Wake Forest tournament, Harvard's bullpen pitched 10 scoreless innings. Senior Matt Sanders held the Peacocks to one hit in two innings, senior Nick Scahill tallied a three-inning save with six strikeouts against Wake Forest and the trio of sophomore Dylan Combs, freshman Simon Rosenblum-Larson and senior Sean O'Neill combined for five scoreless frames against Towson.

Scouting Florida
Florida has remained at the top of the polls throughout the 2016 season, and has posted a 12-1 record to open the season. The Gators earned series sweeps against Florida Gulf Coast, Eastern Michigan, Central Florida and Dartmouth, and took two of three from Miami. Four Gators have tallied double-digit RBI, led by 16 from Peter Alonso. Deacon Liput leads the squad with a .419 batting average.

On the mound, Logan Shore and Alex Faedo have tallied wins in each of their three starts, with Shore allowing only one run over 21 innings pitched. Collectively, the Florida pitching staff has limited its opponents to a .193 batting average.

Inside the Series
The Crimson is 0-3 all-time against Florida, dropping a trio of games in March, 2006. Harvard will face off against an SEC opponent for the first time since 2009, when it traveled to LSU.

Captain Crimson
Seniors DJ Link and Matt Sanders were selected by their teammates to captain the 2016 squad. This will be the first season as captain for both players.

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 41-85 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.

Social Stream
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.

What's Next?
Harvard remains in the Sunshine State, traveling to Clearwater for a two-game series with Massachusetts March 15-16 before facing off with Army for four contests March 17-19.

PRINCIPLED LEADERSHIP, ACADEMIC INTEGRATION AND COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE