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Baseball Set to Celebrate Program’s 150th Anniversary, Hosts Brown on ESPN3

Matchup
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                             Harvard vs Brown
April 23-24, 2016
12 p.m. | 1 p.m.
O'Donnell Field
ESPN3 | Ivy League Digital Network
John Avino, Dylan Horblum
Bill Spaulding, John Avino
Harvard leads, 186-119-1
L, 8-7 (April 12, 2016)
L1

Harvard is two games back of Yale and Dartmouth in the Red Rolfe Division (Rob Foldy).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Two weekends remain in Ivy League play, and the Crimson plays host to Brown for four crucial games April 23-24 at O'Donnell Field. The program will celebrate its 150th anniversary with a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, and the first two contests will be broadcast on ESPN3. The whole series can be viewed on the Ivy League Digital Network.

Top of the First

  • Harvard (12-20, 5-7 Ivy) took three of four games from division leading-Yale last weekend, and sits third in the Ivy League Red Rolfe Divison.   
  • Sophomore John Fallon has sparked the Harvard offense with an Ivy-best five home runs and 23 RBI through 30 contests. Only classmate Matt Rothenberg boasts a higher average than Fallon, leading the league by 18 points at .391.
  • Rothenberg leads the Ancient Eight in on-base percentage by 11 points (.477), drawing 15 walks and a hit by pitch in addition to his team-high 36 hits. Senior Mitch Klug is second on the team with a .391 OBP.

Projected Pitching Matchups
Saturday vs. Brown- Nick Gruener (4-3, 2.81 ERA) vs. Christian Taugner (5-1, 2.25 ERA)
Saturday vs. Brown- Sean Poppen (2-3, 3.19 ERA) vs. Reid Anderson (0-4, 6.29 ERA)
Sunday vs. Brown- Ian Miller (1-4, 6.54 ERA) vs. Austin French (2-4, 4.75 ERA)
Sunday vs. Brown- Kevin Stone (2-2, 6.18 ERA) vs. Max Ritchie (1-2, 10.80 ERA)
*All matchups subject to change

150th Anniversary
A pre-game ceremony will take place at noon on Saturday, April 23 prior to game one against Brown. There will be a group first pitch to go with other alumni festivities as the program pays tribute to and celebrates its history. For more information, click here.

History First
A storied history, Harvard holds a 2477-1730-36 (.588) all-time record with 17 Ivy League Championships and 14 NCAA Tournament appearances. The program played its first game on June 17, 1865 against Trimountain, winning in a shootout, 59-32, and has churned out over 700 letterwinners since the inaugural campaign.

Going the Distance
Junior Nick Gruener has tallied five-straight complete games, going the distance against Army, Fairfield, Cornell, Columbia and Yale. The Miami native ranks second nationally with the five complete games, while sophomore Ian Miller threw his first-career complete game April 17 vs. Yale.

Last Time Out
Putting an end to the 2016 Beanpot, Harvard fell to Massachusetts, 6-2, in the consolation round on Wednesday at New England Baseball Complex.

The Crimson was led at the plate by freshman Patrick McColl, who tallied a career-best four hits. Sophomore Matt Rothenberg tallied the lone RBI on the day for Harvard, which left 12 runners on base throughout the contest.

Full Recap: Baseball Sweeps Sunday Doubleheader at Yale, 9-1 and 5-2

Honor Roll
On April 12, Ben Skinner of the Harvard baseball team was selected as the Ivy League Rookie of the Week, as announced by the league office.

Skinner tallied a career-best two hits in game one against Columbia on Saturday, and hit .417 on the week with three extra-base knocks and three RBI. The center fielder stepped up for a  clutch RBI-triple to send Saturday's second game with the Lions to extra innings, and he followed up the performance with two RBI against Penn. Skinner left the weekend with a seven-game reached-base streak intact.

Previous Awards: Fallon, McColl Garner Ivy League Weekly Honors

First-Year Standouts
A plethora of freshmen have worked their way into the starting lineup, including three hitters and two pitchers. Patrick McColl has appeared in all 32 games to lead the team, and is third on the team with a .284 average. Outfielders Trent Bryan and Ben Skinner have each knocked home runs, and have 21 and 17 hits, respectively.

On the hill, Kevin Stone and Simon Rosenblum Larson have each appeared in six games, and are both striking out more than six batters per nine innings. Stone is tied for second on the team with two wins.

Touch 'Em All
John Fallon leads the Crimson with five long balls, while freshman Ben Skinner has teed off twice. Three other hitters have connected on a shot over the fence, and Fallon is tied for the Ivy lead with five jacks.

Two-Faced Stolen Base
Junior catcher Josh Ellis has shown off his arm and awareness from behind the plate, successfully throwing out eight of 19 base-stealers through 31 games. Ellis is tied for third in the Ancient Eight with eight runners caught stealing, but he holds the top rate of success among starters at .421. On the other side of the diamond, Ellis leads the Crimson with seven stolen bases on the year without being thrown out.

Follow the Leader
Who holds the top statistical marks for the Crimson this year?

Category

Name

Stat

Average
Hits
Home Runs
RBI
Stolen Bases
Wins
ERA (min. 10 IP)
WHIP (min. 10 IP)
Saves
Strikeouts

Matt Rothenberg
Matt Rothenberg
John Fallon
John Fallon
Josh Ellis
Nick Gruener
Shaun Rubin
Shaun Rubin
Nick Scahill
Nick Gruener

.391*
36
5*
23*
7
4
0.64
0.57
2
37

*Leads Ivy League

Scouting Brown
Brown holds an 11-19 record on the season, including a 5-7 mark in Ivy League play. Sam Grigo leads the Beards offense with five homers and 20 RBI, while Josh Huntley has a team-best .329 average. On the mound, Christian Taugner has picked up five of the Bears wins, holding a 2.25 ERA with 29 strikeouts. Brown ranks fifth in the league in team average (.254) and ERA (5.63).

Harvard leads the all-time series with Brown, 186-119-1.

On a Streak
Sophomore John Fallon enters the contest with a 23-game reached base streak intact. Sophomore Matt Rothenberg has reached successfully in 16-straight contests and freshman Ben Skinner has gotten on board in 13-straight. Freshman Patrick McColl has registered the longest hitting streak of the season at nine games.

At The Helm
Bill Decker is in his fourth season as The Joseph O'Donnell '67 Head Coach for Harvard Baseball, posting a 51-103 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 heads to UMass Lowell for its final non-conference contest of 2016. The game will begin at 6 p.m., and will be broadcast on AmericaEast.tv.

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