A Walk-Off Grand Slam and a Shutout Lead Harvard to a Doubleheader Sweep Over Yale

Photo: Tim O'Meara/The Crimson
Photo: Tim O'Meara/The Crimson
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard baseball team (16-6, 6-2 Ivy) took both games at O'Donnell Field in the team's Saturday doubleheader against Yale (10-16, 4-4 Ivy). The Crimson won the first game with a ninth inning, nine-run rally, capped off by a senior Patrick McColl walk-off grand slam, 10-8. Harvard earned the second win, 3-0, thanks to a strong pitching performance by sophomore Buddy Hayward.

Game 1 – Harvard 10, Yale 8

Harvard began the scoring in the bottom of the first with a single to right field by McColl, scoring senior Ben Skinner from third. Yale answered with eight-unanswered runs to take a strong lead into the ninth inning.

The ninth-inning rally began with a bases-loaded walk by junior starting pitcher Hunter Bigge to score senior pinch-hitter Edwin Owolo. Junior Chad Minato followed with a two-RBI single down the right field line, bringing the score to 8-4. Pinch-hitter Devan Peterson hit a ball through the left side, adding another run. Skinner hit a sacrifice to first base, which scored Minato to bring it to a two-run deficit.

McColl stepped to the plate with the bases loaded, two outs and down two runs. The senior took a ball left out over the plate and hit it over the right field fence for a walk-off grand slam, capping the team's eight-run rally in the ninth inning.

Game 2 – Harvard 3, Yale 0

Pitching was the focus of the second game, as Hayward threw eight strikeouts over six strong innings, allowing just three hits. The sophomore gave way to first-year Harrison Stovern, who pitched two scoreless innings, striking out a career-high five batters.

The Crimson scored a run in the fourth, seventh and eighth inning. In the fourth, junior Quinn Hoffman came home on a wild pitch from Yale's starting pitcher, Alex Steigler. Sophomore Matt Thomas added an insurance run in the seventh inning,  hitting a two-out single down the left field line, scoring Suddleson. In the eighth inning, Suddleson produced the run with an infield single up the middle, scoring Skinner.

Harvard Highlights:

  • McColl's grand slam was his seventh home run of the season, which set a new career-high for home runs in a season for the senior. He also added five RBIs on the game, a new season-high for him, as well. 
  • Minato continued his hitting streak with hits in both games, extending his hitting streak to 15 games, which puts him tied for fifth in program history, tied with Hal Carey in the 1998 season. 
  • Shaw shut the door in the ninth inning of the second game, earning his tenth save of the season, extending his program-record for saves in a season. The mark was previously set at six by Steffan Wilson in 2005.
  • McColl and Suddleson continue to bash opposing pitchers in the middle of the Harvard lineup, both with seven home runs and 29 RBIs each. McColl leads the way with his .442 average, while Suddleson still has an impressive number at .361. 
  • With the wins, Harvard claims sole-possession of first place in the Ivy League, which they will look to add to in tomorrow's series finale against the Bulldogs. 

Up Next:
The Crimson looks to sweep the series against the Bulldogs, facing off in a Sunday matinee from O'Donnell Field, with first pitch from senior Ian Miller coming at 12 p.m. The game will also be broadcast on ESPN+.