Harvard's pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts in the two contests (Rob Foldy).
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Finishing a three-game set with the nation's top-ranked team, Harvard baseball fell to No. 1 Florida, 9-2 and 3-1, on Saturday at McKethan Stadium.
Game One- L, 9-2
The Crimson (2-5) dropped the first game of the doubleheader by seven runs as the Gators (17-1) tallied eight runs over the final three innings. Sophomore Matt Rothenberg led the Crimson with two hits, while sophomore Connor Quinn and freshman Patrick McColl drove home runs. Senior Sean Poppen took the hill for the Crimson, scattering nine hits and four runs with four strikeouts over five innings.
Following four innings of scoreless action, the Gators struck first with a run in the bottom of the fifth after a sacrifice fly. The Crimson struck back, however, as Quinn singled to center field to plate Rothenberg and even the score, 1-1.
The tie was short-lived, as the Gators tacked on seven runs over the subsequent two innings. McColl tallied an RBI single in the eighth inning to bring home freshman Jake Allen, who scored his first-career run on the play. Florida managed to plate one more run to close the first game of the doubleheader with a victory.
Game Two- L, 3-1
Playing in a defensive battle in the final outing of the series, Harvard fell in a hard-fought game in front of the venue's 4,498 fans. Junior Nick Gruener threw seven innings on the mound, striking out seven while allowing three runs and nine hits with no walks. Senior Sean O'Neill pitched a scoreless eighth with two strikeouts.
Gruener and Florida starter Alex Faedo were locked in a pitching duel, with each throwing six scoreless innings to start the game. The Crimson held the Gators off the board until the bottom of the seventh when the team plated two after an RBI double from Nelson Maldonado and an RBI groundout from a Nick Horvath bunt.
Harvard put its run on the board in the ninth inning, as the Crimson attempted to build a rally following Bryan's one-out double. Senior DJ Link advanced Bryan to third with a groundout, and a throwing error by the third baseman following a hit from senior Mitch Klug allowed Bryan to cross home.
Harvard baseball continues its Florida trip in Clearwater with a two-game series against Massachusetts March 15-16 and a four-game set versus Army March 17-19.