Riding momentum from Wednesday’s 5-3 win over crosstown rival BC—a victory that broke a 15-game losing streak against the Eagles—the Harvard baseball team came out similarly strong in its second game of the year at O’Donnell Field.
The Crimson (5-22, 2-6 Ivy) picked up two runs in the first inning of its first of two contests against Columbia (12-16, 5-3) on Saturday on the way to a 6-2 victory—Harvard’s first over the Lions since April 1, 2007, when the Crimson split a doubleheader at Columbia’s Robertson Field.
But unfortunately for Harvard, its first winning streak of 2012 proved to be a short one, as the Lions charged back to a 10-1 win in Saturday’s nightcap, handing the Crimson its second split in three Ivy League series.
“We came out pretty strong,” said freshman right-handed pitcher Tanner Anderson. “It was good getting the win against Columbia in the first game. The second game didn’t go as planned, but we definitely learned a few things. We haven’t beaten [the Lions] in a few years, so it was definitely nice to come away with a win.”
COLUMBIA 10, HARVARD 1
In the second matchup between the two teams, Columbia’s offense stole the show, scoring five unanswered runs in the first inning followed by two in the second, putting Harvard in a deep hole from the start of the second game of the doubleheader.
“We were a bit complacent at the start of the second game,” Anderson said. “In the first game, our offense was doing really well, same with our defense. In the second game, that fell a little bit, but sometimes that happens.”
Harvard managed seven hits over the course of the game—just three fewer than Columbia’s total—but the Crimson failed to capitalize on its scoring opportunities, stranding 10 runners on base, including three in the seventh inning.
Down 8-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Harvard tallied its lone run of the game. With the bases loaded, sophomore catcher Steven Dill grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, scoring freshman center fielder Mike Martin from third. Sophomore left fielder Jack Colton flied out to left to end the inning, stranding a runner on third.
“We didn’t hit the ball terribly, it was just right to [Columbia] players,” Martin said. “They had a lot of double plays, but give credit to their pitcher for keeping us off base.”
Columbia closed out scoring for the two teams with two ninth-inning tallies. Two walks and a wild pitch from Harvard’s third reliever of the day, sophomore Peter Kaplan, set the stage for an RBI single and run-scoring groundout. The bottom of the final inning of the day proved to be a quick one, and the Crimson went 1-2-3 in the ninth.
“It was a pretty terrible game,” Martin said. “They got some key hits with the bases loaded…and we went down early. It’s pretty hard to come back from 5-0 down, but we had a chance.”
HARVARD 6, COLUMBIA 2
Harvard led the way for the duration of game one, maintaining at least a one-run advantage throughout the contest after going up, 2-0, in the first inning.
“Our offense was really kicking in,” Anderson said. “We jumped ahead really quick. We got two on the board in the first inning and kept going at it. On defense, we were just making plays.”