Baseball Sputters in Florida, Going 2-8

Jessica E. Schumer

Ambidextrous freshman MATT BRUNNIG got a win and a CG-loss as he and the Harvard baseball team spent spring break in Florida.

It may have been break, but the Harvard baseball team couldn’t catch one.

After struggling to four straight losses to open its Florida swing, the Crimson finally started playing better baseball—at the wrong time. Harvard (5-10) dropped back-to-back contests against Florida International and No. 13 Miami by a combined two runs before winning two of its final three games to finish the trip 2-8.

“We know we’re a good team,” said sophomore catcher Schuyler Mann. “I don’t think it was a case of not playing well against the bad teams and then playing better against the good teams. It was just everyone starting to play to their potential.

“It gives us a lot to look forward to coming back and getting ready for the Ivy season.”

Harvard next hosts Rhode Island Wednesday at 3 p.m. in its home opener.

Harvard 9, Nova 3

In this game, junior Trey Hendricks was just about all Harvard needed.

With the Crimson trailing the Knights 3-2 in the top of the sixth, Hendricks blasted a two-run homer to give Harvard its first lead of the ballgame. Then Hendricks—doubling as the Crimson’s starting pitcher—made sure the lead stood, retiring nine of the next 10 batters he faced before yielding the mound.

The 9-3 victory Sunday was Harvard’s second straight over the Knights (20-14) at the NSU baseball complex in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Hendricks (1-1) finished the game 3-for-5 with three RBI, while allowing three earned runs on eight hits in eight innings of work.

Leading 4-3 after Hendricks’ homer, the Crimson picked up another run in the sixth on an RBI single by freshman right fielder Lance Salsgiver. The Crimson’s final three runs came in the ninth on an RBI single by Hendricks and a two-RBI single by freshman third baseman Josh Klimkiewicz.

Harvard 7, Nova 4

Behind a 17-hit attack sparked by veterans and rookies, Harvard surged past the Knights 7-4 at the NSU Baseball Complex on Saturday evening. Hendricks went 5-for-5 with three RBI, while Salsgiver and fellow freshman Zak Farkes finished with four and three hits, respectively.

Ambidextrous rookie Matt Brunnig took the win for Harvard, allowing four earned runs on 10 hits in seven innings. Brunnig struck out seven batters before being relieved by senior closer Barry Wahlberg, who threw two scoreless innings of relief for the save.

“It was obvious that [the freshmen] were going to be able to contribute immediately,” said Klimkiewicz, who added an RBI double. “It was expected, and we just do what we can to help the team.”

With the score tied at 3-3 in the top of the fifth, Farkes doubled to left field. A sacrifice bunt by senior catcher Brian Lentz advanced the runner, and Farkes scored on a single to right by Hendricks.