Going into Wednesday, the Harvard and Princeton baseball teams had been waiting eagerly for 18 days to get a chance to face off in a full game.
The teams were originally scheduled to play each other on March 29 on the Tigers’ Clarke Field, but inclement weather halted action after four full innings of play.
After resuming the postponed doubleheader, the Crimson (9-21, 4-8 Ivy) took the first game against the Tigers (10-20, 5-7) in a close 4-3 contest, but would fall in the second match, 6-2.
PRINCETON 6, HARVARD 2
After winning the day’s first contest, Harvard hoped to go two-for-two against conference rival Princeton.
“We were excited after the first win,” junior co-captain Ethan Ferreira said. “But after about five minutes…we were hungry to get the next one, because we know how important these games are.”
The Crimson’s momentum from that win rolled over into the second matchup. Harvard wasted no time jumping out to a two-run lead in the top of the first inning.Those runs came off a two-out double by Ferreira, scoring co-captain second baseman Kyle Larrow and junior right fielder Brandon Kregel.
This early offensive production would quickly be stymied by the Tigers’ stingy pitching. Luke Strieber and Nick Donatiello manned the mound for Princeton and combined for eight strikeouts to hold the Harvard batters in check the rest of the way.
But solid defense from the Crimson would maintain Harvard’s advantage throughout most of the game. Sophomore righty Nick Scahill and freshman lefty Greg Coman took care of the early innings. The duo allowed only one run to the Tigers to keep the Crimson’s lead at 2-1 going into the eighth.
“The first seven innings were all about pitching,” said junior center fielder Mike Martin. “[Princeton] didn’t come close to scoring a run.”
Unfortunately for Harvard, the defensive flood gates were about to break down. In the eighth inning, the Tigers’ offense finally hit its stride and pounded the ball around the field. Princeton strung together six hits, took advantage of wild pitches and walks, and ultimately put five runners across the plate, leaving the Crimson down 6-2 heading into the ninth inning.
Donatiello’s pitching for the Tigers would be enough to preserve the lead, and Harvard was held silent in the ninth, ultimately falling to Princeton, 6-2.
“We just kind of cooled down,” Ferreira said. “We didn’t execute as well as we could have or should have.”
HARVARD 4, PRINCETON 3
It was déjà vu for the Crimson as it stepped off the bus in New Jersey to continue where it left off last time out against the Tigers, in the top of the fifth inning with a 1-1 tie.