Sitting at 4-8 in Ivy League play, the Harvard baseball team knew it would have to win the weekend series against Yale to still have a shot at making a late-season run at the division title.
But after splitting Saturday’s games with the Bulldogs (17-19, 9-7 Ivy), the Crimson (10-24, 5-11) suffered two extra-inning nail-biter losses on Easter Sunday to fall four games off the division leading pace.
“It’s just one of those weekends where you come out 1-3, but you could have easily come away 3-1,” said senior second baseman Kyle Larrow. “It stings to look back and think about the things we could have done better…. You hate to have so many what if’s, but that was the case this weekend.”
YALE 7, HARVARD 6
Fresh off the tough loss earlier in the afternoon, Harvard found itself headed to extra innings once more. And for the second straight contest, the Bulldogs left the Crimson standing on the field after a game-winning base hit.
Harvard senior right hander Danny Moskovits had a rough second inning on the mound, giving up three runs—all unearned—on three hits, but threw six strong innings to put the Crimson in a position to earn a series split.
Though the Harvard bats came alive to plate six unanswered runs, the Crimson bullpen couldn’t maintain the lead, giving up four runs in three-plus innings of work in relief of Moskovits.
“We just have to move forward,” said junior right fielder Brandon Kregel. “We have to hit when it counts, pitch when it counts. When we’re down, we have to find a way to get back up.”
YALE 1, HARVARD 0
Before beginning the third game of the weekend, the Crimson knew that hits and runs would be a premium when the batters stepped into the box against Bulldogs ace Chris Lanham, who sported a 5-1 record coming into the afternoon.
Harvard sophomore Sean Poppen matched Lanham through seven shutout innings of work, but threw a wild pitch to put a runner on third with one out in Yale’s half of the eighth. Bulldog catcher Robert Baldwin then stepped up and hit the game winning sacrifice fly to left-centerfield, clinching the 1-0 win for Yale.
The Crimson could only muster two singles and a walk off Lanham, who faced three batters more than the minimum in eight shutout frames.
Poppen fell to 2-3, though he did not give up an extra-base knock in 7.2 innings on the hill.
YALE 8, HARVARD 2
After taking the first tilt of the four-game set in New Haven, Conn., Harvard found itself locked in a tight battle with the Bulldogs on Saturday evening. Down by one heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Crimson gave up four runs in the frame and fell, 8-2.