In the first games of the spring season, the Harvard baseball team’s defensive struggles led to its dropping both games of Friday’s doubleheader at Oral Roberts, 6-4 and 4-3.
The Crimson (0-2) squandered a strong first start by sophomore right-hander Sean Poppen, who threw six-plus innings and gave up three earned runs on six hits. After Poppen walked the first batter of the bottom of the seventh, Harvard coach Bill Decker handed the ball to junior Matt Timoney.
Timoney threw to three Golden Eagles (3-6) batters, with two reaching on errors by Timoney and senior second baseman Kyle Larrow to load the bases.
Sophomore T.J. Laurisch took over on the hill and promptly gave up a bases-clearing double to Matt Brandy. Oral Roberts’ two-run lead stood for the final two frames, and the Crimson suffered a loss in its first game of the season.
In the second contest, Harvard spotted the Golden Eagles a 3-0 lead by the end of the third inning, but bounced back with a run in the fourth on an Oral Roberts error and two in the eighth on a passed ball and a single by junior catcher Steve Dill.
With the score knotted at three after seven-and-a-half innings, Harvard senior reliever Danny Moskovits hit Brandy with the pitch, and the Golden Eagles third-hitter advanced on a wild pitch to second and to third on a groundout to second. With one out and the count 0-0, Moskovits balked, forcing Brandy home for the go-ahead run to put his team up 4-3. The Crimson bats were silent in the ninth, leading to Harvard’s second close loss.
The Crimson face off against the Golden Eagles on Saturday afternoon for another twin bill to complete its first series against Tulsa in Harvard history.
—Staff writer Caleb Y. Lee can be reached at email@example.com.