After rainy weather forced the Harvard baseball team to postpone its weekend games against Princeton and Cornell, the Crimson finally took the field on Tuesday to play its first Ivy League contests against the Big Red in Ithaca, New York.
Harvard (5-14, 1-1 Ivy) started off the day on the right foot by battling to capture a tight 6-5 victory over Cornell in ten innings. But the Big Red (9-9, 2-2) bounced back in the rubber game, earning a 6-2 victory over the visiting Crimson in order to salvage a split on the day’s action.
CORNELL 6, HARVARD 2
After taking the day’s first contest, the Crimson hoped to carry its momentum into the second game of the doubleheader.
“We had all the momentum in the world coming into that game,” junior centerfielder Mike Martin said. “We hit them hard in the first few innings.”
Unfortunately for Harvard, the team failed to take advantage of early opportunities for run production. The Crimson put itself in some good positions offensively, but, as has been the case for much of the season, the squad was unable to capitalize with runners on base. Harvard left eight men stranded on the base paths throughout the game.
“Sometimes you press too much and you try to do more than what you can do,” senior utilityman Carlton Bailey said. “That’s how baseball goes. You can have runners in scoring position every inning and not score a run.”
Things went from bad to worse when fielding errors and mistake pitches allowed the Cornell offense to plate five runs—capitalized by a three-run double from Chris Cruz—in the bottom of the third.
The Crimson attempted to claw its way back throughout the game. In the sixth inning, Martin was able to score by hitting his way on and then crossing the plate on a sacrifice fly to center field by junior catcher Ethan Ferreira.
“We were just trying to get ourselves back in the game,” Martin said. “We hadn’t been doing well hitting with runners in scoring position, and we were just looking to get going again.”
Harvard chipped away at the lead again in the eighth after junior right fielder Brandon Kregel smacked a double to left and eventually scored on a balk.
But it would all be too little, too late, as Cornell shut the Crimson down the rest of the way to seal a 6-2 Harvard loss.
HARVARD 6, CORNELL 5
Going into the first contest, the Harvard squad stepped off the bus energized and ready to finally play a full game against a conference opponent.
“Basically, our mentality was [that] we didn’t drive all this way to not put our best foot forward,” Bailey said. “Our energy was crazy.”