NEW YORK – The Harvard baseball team (9-12, 1-1 Ivy) earned its first win at Robertson Field in 11 years in its Ivy League opener today at Columbia (6-18, 2-1 Ivy). The Crimson eventually split the twin bill, taking the first game 11-6, and dropping the second 7-1.
On day one, Patrick Robinson led the Crimson, going four-for-eight at bat and notching a team-high four RBI. Jake Allen and Austin Black posted .400 batting averages, connecting on two of five at bats. Robinson and Jake Suddleson each collected a home run, while Noah Zavolas set a new career high of nine strikeouts in game one.
Game One: Harvard 11, Columbia 6 (9 Innings)
The Crimson fought back from an early 4-0 deficit and recorded a season-high 15 hits to open conference action 1-0. Additionally, Harvard earned its first win at Robertson Field in 11 years, last beating the Lions on home turf April 1, 2007.
On the pitching mound, Noah Zavolas set a new career high of nine strikeouts with zero walks through seven innings, while Buddy Hayward closed out the final two innings with two strikeouts and didn't allow a single hit or walk. Patrick Robinson notched his first home run of the season and tallied a team-high three RBI and Ben Skinner stole his Ivy League-leading eighth base of the season. Hunter Bigge went three for four at bat while Jake Allen led the game with 12 put-outs.
On the first pitch of Ivy League play, Ben Skinner bombed a double to left field but was unable to reach before the Lions turned over the inning. Columbia scored early when Liam McGill doubled down the left field line, allowing Randall Kanemaru to tag three bases and put the Lions on the board. Columbia would add three more to make it 4-0 through the end of the first.
Neither team would score through the bottom of the third, before Austin Black led off the fourth inning with a double, followed by Patrick Robinson who ripped a double to right field, sending Black home and putting Hunter Bigge in scoring position. Matt Rothenberg and Chad Minato followed up with back-to-back RBIs, putting Harvard within one. With two outs and Allen at bat, Ty Weist threw a wild pitch, allowing Rothenberg to tie the game at four.
Jake Suddleson started the fifth inning with a bang, blasting his team-leading fourth home run over the left field wall to put Harvard up 5-4. After Columbia subbed in Leo Pollack to pitch for Ty Weist, Pollack put up back-to-back bases-loaded walks, allowing Harvard to take a 7-4 lead in the fifth. Patrick McColl helped the Crimson turn the game on its head, driving in Minato and Rothenberg to put five runs between Harvard and Columbia.
In the bottom of the fifth, Noah Zavolas tossed three batters straight to tally his seventh, eighth and ninth strikeouts of the game, a new career high for the senior.
Columbia would finally answer in the bottom of the sixth, with three base hits to earn another score, cutting the deficit to four runs.
Chandler Bengtson notched a home run in the seventh to up Columbia's score to six. Patrick Robinson responded with a two RBI homer in the eighth, extending the Crimson's lead to 11-6.
The Crimson notched a season high 15 hits in the eighth while the Lions went one-two-three in the eighth and ninth to set the final score 11-6 in favor of the visitors.
Game Two: Harvard 1, Columbia 7 (9 Innings)
Jake Suddleson and Patrick Robinson followed up with strong performances in game two despite a 7-1 loss for the Crimson. Suddleson and Robinson each went two-for three at bat, with Robinson notching Harvard's lone RBI.
Simon Rosenblum-Larson carried the Crimson through six innings, totaling four strikeouts and allowing just one walk and eight hits. Freshman Jack Mahala took over in the seventh, followed by John MacLean and Enzo Stefanoni who combined for two strikeouts, three walks and four hits.
Columbia again marked the scoreboard first off a single from Joe Engel that sent Liam McGill across the plate to open game two.
Neither team was able to touch home again until Patrick Robinson sent a single to center field that allowed Suddleson to collect two bases and tie the score at one.
Randall Kanemaru opened the third inning with a home run to give the Lions a 2-1 lead and a Chandler Bengtson double extended the Lions' advantage to 3-1 before back-to-back fly-outs ended the third.
A defensive mis-cue in the bottom of the fifth allowed Columbia to score a two RBI home run to put the Lions up 5-1.
Randall Kanemaru came up big for Columbia again in the eighth, recording an RBI double for a 6-1 Lions lead. Liam McGill followed up with a single that drove in Jack Chernow, putting the score at 7-1. Harvard prevented an 8th score and ended the inning with a rundown of Randall Kanemaru on the third base line.
Bryce Barr was able to secure three-straight strikeouts in the ninth to win the back end of the doubleheader for Columbia.
Harvard will return to Robertson Field at Satow Stadium tomorrow, April 1, for a single game to close out the series against Columbia. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.