But for three games this weekend, that same offense could best be described as comatose. The powerful lineup that had threatened to ravage the Yale (13-15, 8-4 Ivy) starters appeared to be in hibernation, mustering only four runs through the first three games.
Fortunately, on Sunday afternoon, naptime ended.
The Crimson (14-13-1, 8-4 Ivy) finally roared into life with an 11-run outburst in the final game to end a disconcerting weekend on an optimistic note.
“It was definitely overall a disappointing weekend,” said sophomore Lance Salsgiver. “We hit the ball pretty well all weekend, but we just hit some long fly balls and the wind was blowing in. On Sunday, we started to hit some more low line drives and got things turned around.”
Nevertheless, the 1-3 weekend drops Harvard to a second-place tie with the Bulldogs in the Red Rolfe division of the Ivy League, with two weekends of crucial division play remaining. Dartmouth, which took three games from Brown this weekend, is in first with a record of 9-3.
HARVARD 11, YALE 5
After three games of offensive lethargy, enough was clearly enough.
The Crimson bats erupted in the fourth and final game of the weekend, putting Yale away behind the strength of two four-run innings.
Harvard benefited from impressive performances at both the plate and on the mound by both Salsgiver and co-captain Trey Hendricks.
Hendricks (5-1), who was a late scratch from Saturday’s games due to back spasms, won his fifth straight decision with a solid six-inning outing. He also walked twice, scored two runs and stole a base, one of seven for the Crimson on the game.
Salsgiver went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a stolen base. He shutout the Bulldogs over the final three innings in relief of Hendricks, notching six strikeouts and giving up only two hits.
“[Salsgiver] was pretty impressive for not really having kept up with his pitching in the bullpen,” said junior catcher Schuyler Mann. “He was throwing fastballs for strikes and keeping his breaking stuff nasty.”
“I felt better every inning I was out there,” Salsgiver said. “I felt more comfortable every inning, and I started to hit my spots.”
Harvard jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning, scoring all runs with two outs. A walk and two hit batters loaded the bases for senior Marc Hordon, who sent a 3-2 pitch into left field for a two-RBI single. The Crimson manufactured a run on a delayed steal, and junior Rob Wheeler had an RBI single into left field to close out the scoring.
The lead was short-lived, as Yale tied it up in the bottom of the first with four runs on four hits and a walk. After that, however, Hendricks steadied himself and did not allow a run until the sixth inning.