Baseball Holds Off Brown, Sweeps Doubleheader

The Harvard baseball team swept a doubleheader from Brown yesterday, setting up a showdown with Dartmouth for the Red Rolfe Division title this weekend.

After splitting a double-header with the Bears on Sunday, Harvard (16-19, 9-7 Ivy) won the game one yesterday, 7-6. In the second game, Harvard led 11-2 in the fourth, only to see that lead collapse amidst a flurry of extra-base hits and errors in a nine-run fourth for Dartmouth.

But freshman Javier Castellanos stopped the bleeding, entering the game to record the last out in the fourth and allowing only two runs the rest of the way as the Crimson held on to win, 13-12.

Dartmouth swept Yale yesterday to keep pace atop the division, just one game behind the Crimson. Harvard and the Big Green will play two games at Dartmouth on Saturday and two at O’Donnell Field Sunday at noon to end the regular season. The series will likely decide the Red Rolfe Division winner.

Harvard 13, Brown 12

No lead was safe yesterday.

Harvard jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first, keyed by a two-run double by Lance Salsgiver with the bases loaded and a ball off the bat of freshman Chris Mackey that went through the third baseman’s legs to bring home two more.

By the time the inning was over, Brown starter Sam Jennings had exited, the Crimson had batted around, and Harvard coach Joe Walsh’s concerns about finding enough relievers to keep the Crimson competitive for nine innings appeared to be a memory.

But starter Jason Brown, who started strong for the Crimson despite having thrown three times in the last five days, began to unravel in the bottom of the fourth when the Bears’ Matt Kutler reached him for a leadoff double. A throwing error by freshman second baseman Zak Farkes on the next play scored Kutler, opening up the proverbial floodgates.

After eight more Brown hits and an error by freshman Mike Dukovich, the score was 11-10.

“I probably would’ve taken [Brown] out a little earlier if the score was a little closer,” Walsh said. “I started thinking, let’s get him in there for five, get the win, get him the chance for the ‘W’ and then turn it over. But it couldn’t happen, and he lost his fastball out there. It happened quick, but I thought the first three innings he came out there and did a real great job.”

Rob Wheeler came in with the score 11-5 but was nowhere near as effective as he had been against BC in the Beanpot semifinal last week.

With the Crimson’s lead down to one run and a man on second with two outs, Castellanos made his way to the mound.

He promptly plunked the first batter, but settled down to get out of the inning and, eventually, the game. Castellanos wound up pitching 5.1 innings—by far his longest stint in a season in which he has been hit hard several times—and allowing only three hits and two runs.

“I thought I was going to be in there as long as I was able to perform,” Castellanos said. “I just threw as well as I could and was lucky enough to finish it off.”

Castellanos faced the biggest out of his collegiate career with two out in the bottom of the ninth.

Having already surrendered a double to the gap to pinch hitter Bobby Wiginton to make the score 13-12, Castellanos had to get out of a one-out jam to end it. After getting Danny Hughes to fly out to center, with a man on third (Wiginton tagged up on the fly out) and two outs, Castellanos came back from a 3-0 count to get Robert Deeb to line out to Farkes for the final out.

“I knew my team was behind me,” Castellanos said. “I’d been in pressure situations before, but I was in high school. Nothing like this. I knew I had a lot of guys behind me who had faith in me, and that gave me confidence to do the job.”

Salsgiver hit home runs in his second and third at-bats to help the Crimson jump out to the big lead. He finished with five RBIs. Mackey hit a leadoff, first-pitch homer off the netting in left field with the wind blowing in after Brown’s big inning to give Castellanos a needed cushion.

“We were able to come back and say, here we go, let’s start hitting again,” Walsh said. “That was a big momentum breaker for us.”

Harvard 7, Brown 6

Farkes, who had gone 6-for-8 with two homers against Brown on Sunday, was welcomed back warmly by the Bears in his first plate appearance—he was nailed on the hand by Brown’s Chris Davidson. A warning was issued by the home-plate umpire, causing Brown coach Marek Drabinski to jump out of his dugout while Farkes trotted to first.

The play typified a bizarre win for the Crimson in which Farkes was hit on his other hand in the fifth and Drabinski—who argued no less than three calls for well over a minute—was ejected in the top of that inning.

“I’m not so sure those weren’t purpose pitches,” Walsh said. “We’ll see about that. Right now, we hope there’s no break.”

Sophomore Mike Morgalis pitched a complete game but allowed back-to-back home runs in the seventh to make the final score closer than the game really was. With the lead down to one run with one out, Morgalis got Kutler, one of the tougher outs in the Ivy League, to hit into a 1-3 grounder.

Morgalis struck out seven and allowed six runs, five earned.

“The good thing is, we never gave up the lead,” Walsh said. “When you’ve still got the lead, it helps you to stay aggressive, be active on the bases, and that helps. We never had to play behind today.”

Sophomore Ian Wallace hit a 1-2 pitch out of the park to make the score 3-1 in the fourth, and Harvard put four runs up in the top of the fifth, including a two-run double by sophomore Schuyler Mann.

Notes

Dartmouth beat Yale 12-4 and 13-11 to keep pace…Harvard committed four errors on the day and has committed at least one error in nine straight games...Senior Madhu Satyanarayana, who has been hampered by a pulled hamstring for most of the season, will start today’s game against Holy Cross.

—Staff writer Martin S. Bell can be reached at msbell@fas.harvard.edu.