On an absolutely wild day at O’Donnell Field, it was only fitting that things should come down to multiple wild pitches.
After Princeton scored four times in the top of the ninth inning, the Harvard baseball team rallied back for three runs of its own to beat the Tigers, 20-19, and earn a doubleheader split on Sunday.
“It was a crazy game,” freshman catcher D.J. Link said. “It was definitely a good team win in that we stuck together and we never really gave up.”
HARVARD 20, PRINCETON 19
In a contest that featured three grand slams, 38 hits, and nine errors and finished with a score better fit for a football game, the Crimson (6-21, 3-5) went into the ninth with a 17-15 lead.
But junior Baron Davis was unable to close the door.
The Tigers (7-20, 5-3 Ivy) began the frame with two doubles and two singles to plate two runs. Davis then hit Ryan Arendt with a pitch to load the bases, and two consecutive fielder’s choices allowed the Tigers to take the lead before co-captain Jordan Haviland replaced Davis and struck out Danny Hoy to end the inning.
But in a game in which it trailed 9-3, the Crimson had one more rally left in it.
Link led off with a walk. He then advanced to second on an infield single by Jeff Hajdin before getting picked off for the first out of the inning.
That’s when the wheels started to come off for the Tigers.
Princeton’s Nick Donatiello walked freshman third baseman Mitch Klug, and sophomore outfielder Brandon Kregel hit a single through the right side to load the bases.
Hajdin scored on a wild pitch, freshman Sean O’Neill was intentionally walked to load the bases, and another wild pitch plated Klug before Princeton again elected to fill the bases by walking sophomore Tanner Anderson.
The Tigers then made a pitching change, replacing Donatiello with A.J. Goetz. But with junior Carlton Bailey at the plate, the reliever threw Princeton’s third wild pitch of the inning and Kregel came home to give the Crimson a walk-off win.
“It was great,” Link said. “They made a few mistakes and we were able to capitalize on them.”
After the Crimson scored the game’s first two runs, Princeton put together a seven-run second inning, highlighted by an Arendt grand slam. But the Crimson answered back with consecutive innings of four, six, and four runs.
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