Though spring showers may have postponed the Saturday doubleheader between Harvard baseball and Dartmouth, the two teams faced off at Biondi Park in Hanover, NH for some Sunday action that saw the Crimson drop both sides of the doubleheader.
The Crimson (11-26, 5-13 Ivy) had a tough time stringing together a few hits against the Big Green (13-19, 9-9) in the first afternoon game, falling 4-2 in seven innings. Making the final start of his career, senior pitcher Danny Moskovitz kept Harvard in the second game, but Dartmouth shortstop Matt Parisi blasted a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to seal the 3-1 victory for the Big Green.
With Saturday’s games having been pushed back, the Crimson will finish up their season and the planned four-game set against Dartmouth at O’Donnell Field on Tuesday afternoon.
DARTMOUTH 3, HARVARD 1
Moskovitz was brilliant in the early stages of game two. The right-hander didn’t allow a baserunner until the fourth inning, and the Big Green did not score until the sixth.
“Danny threw really well today…he kept his composure well,” said junior right fielder Brandon Kregel. “He really flourished from the middle to the end of the season.”
However, to that point, the Crimson had only managed a single run of its own.
“We had the defense behind us in this one, and [junior center fielder] Mike Martin did a really good job tracking down some balls,” Kregel said. “But even though every inning [on offense] we would get a runner on, we just couldn’t get the ball rolling to score some runs.”
With the score knotted at one heading into the eighth, junior Tanner Anderson took over on the hill for Harvard in relief of Moskovitz.
After escaping a jam and leaving Dartmouth runners on the corners in his first frame, Anderson gave up an infield single to start the ninth. But this time the reliever wouldn’t be able to avoid the big hit.
Batting in the eight-spot, Parisi blasted the first pitch he saw over the left field fence for his third hit of the game and the walk-off victory.
“The scores were close [in both games], and it’s really frustrating knowing that one extra hit or one extra made play could change the outcome of the game,” said senior utility man Carlton Bailey. “But baseball is a game of failure, and we’ll definitely be ready to play Tuesday.”
DARTMOUTH 4, HARVARD 2
Although the Crimson traveled to Hanover at the bottom of the Red Rolfe division, eliminated from postseason competition, the Big Green sat just a game and a half back of division-leading Yale.
Indeed, the home team played like the group with something to play for in this contest. Although the Crimson outhit Dartmouth, nine to six, the Big Green took advantage of three Harvard errors to score a run in each of the second through fifth innings for the 4-2 victory.
“We didn’t play defense very well, and there were opportunities with runners in scoring position that we didn’t execute,” Kregel said. “We didn’t handle the ball well and hit when we needed to.”
The Crimson took an early 1-0 lead when junior catcher Ethan Ferreira, junior left fielder Jack Colton, and sophomore third baseman Mitch Klug started the top of the second inning with three straight hits.
But defensive miscues led to unearned runs scored by Dartmouth in the bottom halves of the second, third, and fifth innings to go along with another run in the fourth. And though Harvard had at least one hit in every inning but the third, the group could only muster two runs of support for sophomore starter Sean Poppen.
The 6’3” right-hander, who leads the team with 57.1 innings pitched for the season, threw five innings of five-hit ball and only allowed one earned run in the loss.
“In baseball, it’s a crazy thing how you can have that many hits and only scratch across two runs,” Bailey said. “It all comes down to the timely hits with runners on base and in scoring position. We tended to…get one guy on and then not advance him any further.”
Junior righty Matt Timoney threw a scoreless inning in relief, and senior designated hitter Carlton Bailey, junior center fielder Mike Martin, and Klug had two hits apiece in the contest.
—Staff writer Caleb Y. Lee can be reached at email@example.com.