The Crimson (1-21, 0-6 Ivy) suffered its third straight doubleheader sweep to open the Ivy League campaign—its 14th and 15th consecutive losses overall—yesterday at O’Donnell Field, as visiting Penn (11-11-1, 2-5-1) shut it out over the course of 16 innings, taking the opener, 10-0, and the nightcap by a 5-0 final.
At 0-6 in the Ivies, Harvard is already six games behind Rolfe Division leader Dartmouth (7-1) in the standings and could see that margin increase during a twinbill this afternoon against Cornell in Ithaca. Now in the 13th season of his tenure, head coach Joe Walsh has never directed a team to a losing record in the league.
“If I had 164 games to play, I’d say, ‘We’re in a tailspin, we’re in a slump,’” Walsh said. “But when you’ve come this far into your season and every single Ivy League team wants to play you—[we’re] just laying down, giving doubleheaders away at home.”
PENN 5, HARVARD 0
Senior Max Warren hurled eight gutsy innings to keep his team in the game, but the Crimson’s hibernating bats and shoddy infield defense betrayed it in the second game of the dreary afternoon doubleheader.
Due to errors on the infield, Warren was forced to get extra outs in the fourth and fifth innings and could not escape without allowing a pair of unearned runs in each frame. If not for double plays to end both threats—the first a 1-2-3 twin killing started by Warren, the second a dazzling catch-and-throw in the right field corner by senior Tom Stack-Babich—the damage would have been worse. The low defensive moment came when first baseman Chris Rouches dropped an easy underhand toss from the pitcher, putting the leadoff runner aboard in the fifth.
“Right now we’re playing badly,” Walsh said. “We had a couple of errors in the infield that were inexcusable.”
Warren, who had spent the previous night in the hospital, did not allow an earned run until the eighth inning and recorded 15 outs on ground balls.
“He went out there for eight innings and he wanted the ninth,” Walsh said. “I love guys like that.”
Despite having multiple runners on in four of the first six innings, the Harvard offense could not provide any run support, extending its dry spell from the opener. Freshman Sean O’Hara supplied the Crimson’s first extra-base hit of the doubleheader—after nine singles—when he doubled off Penn reliever Reid Terry in the eighth. Terry finished the shutout for rookie Sam Gilbert, who turned in 5 2/3 innings of scoreless ball.
PENN 10, HARVARD 0
Quakers stopper Todd Roth bested Harvard’s ace, senior Shawn Haviland, in the seven-inning opener, twirling a two-hit, six-strikeout shutout while Haviland fell to 0-5 on the year with a tough-luck loss.
Roth took a perfect game into the sixth inning but O’Hara lashed a leadoff single into left field to spoil it. After he was erased on a double play, senior Jeff Stoeckel lined a base hit into the same spot in left, accounting for the only batter Roth faced over the minimum.
“We heard [Harvard was struggling],” Roth said. “I guess you don’t believe it until you see it and they really are struggling.”
Haviland surrendered seven runs (two earned) and 12 hits, only a few of them well struck, in his six innings of work. A 30-foot RBI single by Penn shortstop Dan Williams in the fifth that pushed the deficit to 4-0 typified his outing.
“Four runs is like 40 right now,” Walsh said.
Junior Ryan Watson had an unsightly relief appearance in the seventh—two walks, two hit batsmen—but Stoeckel surprisingly came in from shortstop to take the hill and managed to staunch the bleeding.
—Staff writer Jonathan Lehman can be reached at email@example.com.