When you hear the score 20-19, you might think of a close, hard-fought football game. Or maybe a basketball game halfway through the first quarter. But a baseball game? How crazy would that be?
Yet when the Harvard baseball team (6-21, 3-5 Ivy) faced off against Princeton (7-20, 5-3) on Sunday, the result was just that. Playing at O’Donnell Field in the second game of a doubleheader, the Crimson outlasted the Tigers in a wild nine innings and walked off in the bottom of the ninth to claim a 20-19 victory. The win was the team’s sixth of the year and third in Ivy League play.
Such an unusual game was filled with appropriately unique stats. Here’s a look at the epic showdown by the numbers.
2: Grand slams, one from sophomore infielder Tanner Anderson in the bottom of the sixth and another the very next inning from Princeton first baseman Mike Ford. Tigers catcher Tyler Servais also belted a grand slam in the first game of the doubleheader.
38: The number of hits in the slugfest, 23 for Harvard and 15 for Princeton. The Crimson’s previous season-high was 14 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
9: Errors made in the game, with Harvard committing five and Princeton committing four. Despite the high error total, only six of the game’s 39 runs were unearned.
5: The number of Crimson batters who registered at least three hits. Freshman catcher DJ Link went 4-for-5, and sophomore outfielder Brandon Kregel scored five runs.
11: The number of frames that teams scored in, with all but two coming as multiple-run innings (the high was Princeton’s seven-run second).
20: The number of runs Harvard scored, double its previous season high of 10 versus Cornell last weekend.
19: The number of runs Harvard runs allowed, six more than the season’s previous high of 13 that came just a few hours earlier in the first game of the day against Princeton.
3: Runs Harvard scored in the bottom of the ninth to win the game, all of which came on wild pitches.
It was certainly a week for rookie success in Harvard athletics, as the Athlete of the Week and the two runners-up are all freshmen. With back-to-back complete games helping the Crimson softball team to victories over Princeton and Cornell this past week, freshman pitcher Jamie Halula earned herself Athlete of the Week honors. Here are two other Harvard athletes that had excellent performances this past week:
DJ Link, baseball
Freshman DJ Link had 10 hits, four RBIs, and five runs scored in the Harvard baseball team’s four games over the weekend. Link was key in Harvard’s come-from-behind victory over Cornell in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. With the Crimson down four going into the seventh inning, Link sparked a seven-run inning with a lead off walk and scored four batters later. Link was not done in the inning, however, as the Crimson were able to bat around. In his second trip to the plate, the freshman catcher smacked a single to right field to score two more runs. Link followed up Friday’s performance by registering a team-high four hits and scoring three runs in the Crimson’s wild 20-19 victory over Princeton on Sunday afternoon.
Charlotte Hendrix, women’s water polo
Playing in five games this week for the women’s water polo team, freshman Charlotte Hendrix ended the week with nine goals, 13 assists, and nine steals. In Sunday’s contest with Cal State Bakersfield, the rookie finished with a career-high 10 total points in Harvard’s 17-12 loss. Those ten points consisted of three goals and seven assists, another career mark for the rookie. Just a day earlier, Hendrix helped the Crimson to a 12-6 victory over George Washington with three goals, an assist, and three steals.
There was no doubt that a Harvard men’s basketball player would earn Athlete of the Week honors after the team’s historic 68-62 upset of New Mexico in the NCAA tournament on Thursday. With Laurent Rivard taking home the top honors, here are some of the other athletes with great performances from this past week, including three more men from the basketball squad.
There is no debating that there are a number of question marks heading into the 2013 season for the Harvard baseball team. Out of the squad’s six leading hitters last year, only one player is still on the roster – the team has lost over 50 percent of its offensive production in the quintet. The Crimson also loses two of its top pitchers, who collectively accounted for nearly 100 innings last season. Furthermore, the team’s coaching staff has undergone a complete turnover as Bill Decker, hired out of Trinity College in the fall, has assumed the position of head coach.
Despite all the uncertainty, however, Harvard began its season with a walkoff win in the tenth inning against Bucknell, which equaled the team’s victory total in its first 17 games last year. The squad went on to drop its next three contests, but the Crimson nevertheless gained valuable experience and a much-needed opportunity to see what some of its new talent could do. Here is an overview of a few of the Crimson’s top performers from the weekend, who will most certainly have an impact going forward.