Crimson Tops Penn in Doubleheader

The lineup has some catching up to do.

For the second-straight weekend, the Harvard baseball team relied on stellar starting pitching—and not its potent lineup—to take both halves of a doubleheader from Penn Saturday, winning 5-1 and 7-3 to complete a 4-0 Ivy weekend.

With the sweep of the Quakers (7-18, 2-8 Ivy), the Crimson (13-9-1, 7-1) stretched its consecutive Ivy win streak to seven and increased its lead in the Red Rolfe division standings to two games heading into divisional play this weekend.

“I know that one thing we’ve been striving for this year is balance [between offense and defense],” said Harvard coach Joe Walsh, whose starters allowed just three earned runs in 15 innings of work Saturday. “Now I think we’re finally finding some.”

The Crimson will next play at Boston College on Tuesday, and will resume Ivy play this weekend when it travels to Yale to kick off its Red Rolfe schedule.

HARVARD 7, PENN 3

Walsh saved his best for last.

A day after using senior ace Trey Hendricks to nail down a Game 1 win against Columbia on Friday—and an hour after sending Hendricks to warm-up in the bullpen in case he was needed in Game 1 on Saturday—Walsh gave the senior right-hander the Game 2 start yesterday.

And Hendricks was worth the wait.

Though not as dominating as he was in last Sunday’s complete game three-hitter against Princeton, Hendricks turned in another strong performance, allowing two earned runs on eight hits while striking out five over eight innings.

The co-captain improved to a team-best 4-1 with the win.

“Trey has just been a pillar of consistency,” junior first baseman Marc Hordon said.

Both earned runs came in the eighth inning, with Hendricks’ pitch count well over 100 and Harvard already ahead by a comfortable 7-1 margin.

“He was up to 116 pitches, and I probably shouldn’t have sent him out there for the eighth,” Walsh said, “but he’s just such a bulldog on the mound.”

Penn starter Brian Cirri (1-2) was solid in his first Ivy start of the season, keeping the Quakers in the game early. But with the score knotted at 1-1 in the fourth, the Crimson began to get to him.

With one out, Cirri walked Hordon and sophomore outfielder Chris Mackey, then hit freshmen second baseman Brendan Byrne to load the bases. Sophomore shortstop Morgan Brown then chopped a ball to Penn counterpart Evan Sobel, who went to second for the forceout. Hordon scored on the play to give Harvard a 2-1 lead.

With runners on the corners, Walsh sent Brown on a delayed steal. Though Matt Horn’s throw was on the money, it got past Sobel and Byrne easily scored on the play, stretching Harvard’s lead to 3-1.

The Crimson added another run in the fifth. Sophomore Zak Farkes walked to leadoff the inning, and advanced to third on a base hit by Hendricks. Junior catcher Schuyler Mann then drove him in with a double over the right fielder’s head.

Harvard scored three more in the seventh on an RBI single by sophomore right fielder Lance Salsgiver and a two-RBI single from Hordon, to take a 7-1 lead into the eighth.

“This is probably the best lineup I’ve been a part of since I’ve been here,” said Hordon, a fourth-year junior. “I’ll tell you one thing, I’ve never hit eighth before.”

Hendricks was relieved by freshman Jake Bruton in the ninth, who recorded two outs and gave up a hit before yielding the mound to sophomore Matt Brunnig. Brunnig, who usually throws right-handed for the Crimson, entered the game to pitch left-handed to All-Ivy candidate Nate Moffie, a left-handed hitter. Moffie flied out to end the game.

Trailing 1-0, the Crimson scored its first run in the second inning. Salsgiver doubled to lead off the inning and came around to score on an error by Sobel.

Harvard finished the game with nine hits, led by Hendricks who was 3-for-4. Salsgiver finished the day 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and Mann was 2-for-5 with a double.

HARVARD 5, PENN 1

Penn starting pitcher Brian Winings took the mound Saturday with a 1-3 record and a 9.39 ERA. And despite throwing a complete-game two-hitter, the only thing he left with was another loss.

Sophomore Frank Herrmann tossed a complete game, and the Harvard lineup took advantage of every Quaker weakness, as the Crimson took Game 1, 5-1.

Aided by Mann—who threw out both runners who attempted to steal—and a perfect defensive effort behind him, Herrmann (3-1) faced only two batters over the minimum, finishing with one walk and four strikeouts in seven innings of work, while surrendering just three hits.

“You know, I didn’t really feel great out there,” said Herrmann, whose 4.39 ERA is now second only to Hendricks’ 3.55. “But we played great defense, and it made it a lot easier.”

The Crimson also did a great job of manufacturing runs on a day when Winings’ stuff—if not his control—was impressive. Though he allowed only two hits, Winings issued seven free passes—two on walks and five on hit-batsmen.

Harvard took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. With one out, Farkes walked and stole second, then advanced to third on a groundout by Hendricks. After Mann was hit by a pitch, he successfully diverted the attention of the defense long enough during a delayed steal to allow Farkes to score.

The Crimson took a 3-0 lead in the fourth when Penn right fielder Alex Blagojevich stumbled reacting to a line drive by Hordon. The ball got past him and went for a triple, scoring Salsgiver and freshman left fielder David Bach.

Harvard’s final two runs came in the fifth. Farkes walked and scored when Hendricks’ single got by Blagojevich for a two-base error. Hendricks then scored on a sacrifice fly by Mann.

The Quakers cut the lead to 3-1 in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Kasey Adler.

—Staff writer Lande A. Spottswood can be reached at spottsw@fas.harvard.edu.

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