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Baseball Opens Ivy Action at Cornell, Princeton

Baseball Opens Ivy Action at Cornell, Princeton

Matchup
Dates
Times
Venue
Video
Talent
Series
Last
Streak

                             Harvard at Cornell
April 2, 2016
12 p.m. | 2:30 p.m.
David D. Hoy Field
Ivy League Digital Network
-
Harvard leads, 105-49
L, 5-4 (April 5, 2015)
L1

Matchup
Dates
Times
Venue
Video
Talent
Series
Last
Streak

                         Harvard at Princeton
April 3, 2016
         12 p.m. | 2:30 p.m.
Clarke Field
Ivy League Digital Network
-
Harvard leads, 143-121-25
W, 11-8 (April 4, 2015)
W2

Harvard finished second in the Ivy League Red Rolfe division in 2015 (Rob Foldy).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Seventeen games are in the books for the Crimson, having competed in four states throughout the month of March. Harvard baseball's focus now shifts to Ivy League play, where the team will open with doubleheaders at Cornell and Princeton April 2-3, respectively. Both contests will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.

Top of the First

  • Harvard (7-10) continues to have the most explosive offense in the conference, averaging nearly five runs per game. The Crimson hitters have collectively hit .263 to lead the Ancient Eight.  
  • Sophomore John Fallon has sparked the Harvard offense with four home runs and 18 RBI through 17 contests. After hitting .319 last season, the third baseman has improved to .323 in 2016.
  • Junior Nick Gruener tallied Harvard's first two complete games of the season against Army and Fairfield, March 18 and 26. The Miami native leads the Ivy League with a 10.5-1 K/BB ratio, which is the 12th-best mark in the country. Nationally, only two pitchers have thrown more complete games than the Crimson right-hander.

Projected Pitching Matchups
Saturday at Cornell- Nick Gruener (3-1, 2.48 ERA) vs. Paul Balestrieri (0-3, 5.40 ERA)
Saturday at Cornell- Sean Poppen (1-2, 2.62 ERA) vs. Tim Willittes (2-2, 4.94 ERA)
Sunday at Princeton- Ian Miller (0-3, 8.50 ERA) vs. Cameron Mingo (2-2, 3.09 ERA)
Sunday at Princeton- Kevin Stone (2-1, 3.94 ERA) vs. Keelan Smithers (0-1, 1.00 ERA)
*All matchups subject to change

Honor Roll
After opening the season with two victories in the Wake Forest tournament, Harvard'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 opening 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. He also recorded a trio of extra-base hits on the weekend.

Full Release: Fallon, McColl Garner Ivy League Weekly Honors

Touch 'Em All
John Fallon leads the Crimson with four long balls, while senior Mitch Klug, sophomore Connor Quinn and freshmen Ben Skinner and Trent Bryan have added one apiece. Fallon is tied for the Ivy lead with four jacks.

Base-Stealers: Beware!
Junior catcher Josh Ellis has shown off his arm and awareness from behind the plate, successfully throwing out five of nine base-stealers through 16 games. Only three catchers have thrown out more runners in the Ivy League, but Ellis boasts the best percentage (.556) among the top tier.

League Best
Harvard owns the highest batting average in the Ivy League (.263), and leads the conference in runs (83) doubles (40), RBI (74) and slugging percentage (.399). Tied for the highest win total in the Ancient Eight, Harvard has four hitters batting north of .300 with an on-base percentage of at least .350.

Scouting Cornell
Cornell is 6-9 on the season, and enters the weekend on a five-game skid. Tommy Wagner and Dale Wickham lead the offense with .377 and .375 averages, respectively, while Cole Rutherford holds the team high in home runs (4) and RBI (11).  Tim Willittes and Justin Lewis have a team-high two wins apiece on the mound, with Willittes pacing the Big Red with 30 strikeouts.

Harvard leads the all-time series with Cornell, 105-49.

Scouting Princeton
Princeton enters Ancient Eight competition with a 7-10 record, including a 1-0 mark at Clarke Field. Jesper Horsted leads the team with a .308 batting average, while Asher Lee-Tyon has driven in a Tiger-high eight runs. On the hill, Luke Strieber and Cameron Mingo have fanned 14 and 13 batters, respectively, to pace the team.

Harvard leads the all-time series with Princeton, 143-121-25.

Strength of Schedule
Starting the 2016 campaign, Harvard has already faced off against the nation's top-ranked team (Florida) and toppled an ACC opponent (Wake Forest). The Crimson has seen four of Baseball America's top-100 prospects from their March 10 list, including the No. 6 overall player in Florida southpaw AJ Puk.

At The Helm
Bill Decker is in his fourth season as The Joseph O'Donnell '67 Head Coach for Harvard Baseball, posting a 46-93 record through three-plus 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 hosts Northeastern for the first round of the 2016 Beanpot. The game will begin at 3 p.m., and will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.

PRINCIPLED LEADERSHIP, ACADEMIC INTEGRATION AND COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE