Baseball Holds Off Brown, Sweeps Doubleheader

The Harvard baseball team swept a doubleheader from Brown yesterday, setting up a showdown with Dartmouth for the Red Rolfe Division title this weekend.

After splitting a double-header with the Bears on Sunday, Harvard (16-19, 9-7 Ivy) won the game one yesterday, 7-6. In the second game, Harvard led 11-2 in the fourth, only to see that lead collapse amidst a flurry of extra-base hits and errors in a nine-run fourth for Dartmouth.

But freshman Javier Castellanos stopped the bleeding, entering the game to record the last out in the fourth and allowing only two runs the rest of the way as the Crimson held on to win, 13-12.

Dartmouth swept Yale yesterday to keep pace atop the division, just one game behind the Crimson. Harvard and the Big Green will play two games at Dartmouth on Saturday and two at O’Donnell Field Sunday at noon to end the regular season. The series will likely decide the Red Rolfe Division winner.

Harvard 13, Brown 12

No lead was safe yesterday.

Harvard jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first, keyed by a two-run double by Lance Salsgiver with the bases loaded and a ball off the bat of freshman Chris Mackey that went through the third baseman’s legs to bring home two more.

By the time the inning was over, Brown starter Sam Jennings had exited, the Crimson had batted around, and Harvard coach Joe Walsh’s concerns about finding enough relievers to keep the Crimson competitive for nine innings appeared to be a memory.

But starter Jason Brown, who started strong for the Crimson despite having thrown three times in the last five days, began to unravel in the bottom of the fourth when the Bears’ Matt Kutler reached him for a leadoff double. A throwing error by freshman second baseman Zak Farkes on the next play scored Kutler, opening up the proverbial floodgates.

After eight more Brown hits and an error by freshman Mike Dukovich, the score was 11-10.

“I probably would’ve taken [Brown] out a little earlier if the score was a little closer,” Walsh said. “I started thinking, let’s get him in there for five, get the win, get him the chance for the ‘W’ and then turn it over. But it couldn’t happen, and he lost his fastball out there. It happened quick, but I thought the first three innings he came out there and did a real great job.”

Rob Wheeler came in with the score 11-5 but was nowhere near as effective as he had been against BC in the Beanpot semifinal last week.

With the Crimson’s lead down to one run and a man on second with two outs, Castellanos made his way to the mound.

He promptly plunked the first batter, but settled down to get out of the inning and, eventually, the game. Castellanos wound up pitching 5.1 innings—by far his longest stint in a season in which he has been hit hard several times—and allowing only three hits and two runs.

“I thought I was going to be in there as long as I was able to perform,” Castellanos said. “I just threw as well as I could and was lucky enough to finish it off.”

Castellanos faced the biggest out of his collegiate career with two out in the bottom of the ninth.