After almost reaching half of its 2014 11-win output with five victories in the first eight games of the season, the Harvard baseball team saw its offense sputter in a four-game series against Stetson (12-9) to kick off spring break for the Crimson (5-7).
Harvard scored just six runs in the four-game set against the Hatters after plating 25 in its previous series at Mercer. The schedule does not offer the Crimson much respite, however, as the team now moves on to play six more games in the next week in Florida.
STETSON 6, HARVARD 2
Senior righthander Tanner Anderson was almost a one-man show for the Crimson in the final tilt of the weekend. The Tampa, Fla. native threw six strong innings, giving up four runs—two earned—and had two of Harvard’s seven hits hitting out of the six-hole.
However, the Crimson offense struggled to string together hits for the third-straight day, as no one else in the lineup had a multi-hit day.
The Hatters elected to tackle the pitching game by committee, with starter Evin Lynch only going three and two-thirds innings despite giving up just one run. Four more Stetson pitchers—none of whom recorded more than six outs—kept the Harvard offense quiet.
On the defensive end, the Crimson did not do itself any favors, recording twice as many errors as runs scored.
STETSON 14, HARVARD 1
Though the Crimson pitching staff recorded five goose eggs on the scoreboard, there were also three crooked numbers that contributed to a Hatters blowout. A half inning after Harvard put up its first and only run of the game to narrow the gap to 5-1 in the seventh, Stetson batted around and then some, plating nine runs on nine hits against Harvard junior relievers Sean O’Neill and T.J. Laurisch.
The Crimson’s one through four hitters finished 1-for-14 on the day. And, outside of senior second baseman Jake McGuiggan’s RBI double, Harvard could not break through against Hatters starter Adam Schaly, who picked up his third win of the season on the hill.
Crimson senior starter Matt Timoney labored in his 110-pitch, five and two-thirds innings start, giving up five runs on eight hits to fall to 2-1 on the season.
STETSON 15, HARVARD 2
After strong early-season starts of six and seven and a third innings, sophomore righthander Nick Gruener struggled in just two-plus innings of work. The Hatters sent him to an early exit, recording eight runs on eight hits against the Miami, Fla. native.
By the third inning, Stetson had broken things wide open with a 10-run lead, and led by what would be the final score by the sixth. And though the Crimson offense hat nine hits and drew six walks on the day, the group also stranded 13 runners, with three hitters stranding at least three. The loss dropped Harvard to .500 for the season.
STETSON 8, HARVARD 1
Junior righty Sean Poppen was pitching to contact in game one of the series. More than 50 of his 84 pitches were in the strike zone, and the Chesapeake, Va. native did not record a strikeout or a walk in five and a third innings on the bump. In what turned out to be a precursor of the games to come, the Hatters struck early and often, recording three runs in the first and another in the third off Poppen to take the early lead.
The biggest performance of the day came from the arm of Stetson starting pitcher Brooks Wilson, who earned his fifth win of the season with a masterful complete game. Wilson scattered six singles and a double and did not walk a batter despite hurling 115 pitches.
Senior utilityman Ethan Ferreira had the Crimson’s lone run batted in on a double in the fourth inning to plate sophomore infielder Drew Reid.
—Staff writer Caleb Y. Lee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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