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Baseball Struggles in Ivy League Opening Weekend

The Harvard baseball team traveled to New York and Philadelphia to open its Ivy League slate with Columbia and Penn on Sunday and Monday. The team returned to Cambridge with as many conference wins as it had when it originally set out on the trip.  

The Lions and Quakers, whom are considered by many as the favorites for the Ivy League title, swept the Crimson in each of its two-game series. Harvard (10-12, 0-4 Ivy) lost the four games by a total of five runs, with three of the four losses coming on walk-off singles. The Lions (11-10, 3-1) and Quakers (7-9, 3-1) outscored the Crimson by 18 runs last season.

“Losing three out of four games on walk-offs is tough,” freshman utilityman Matt Rothenberg said. “It can be deflating, so I think the biggest challenge right now is keeping morale high, keeping people ready to go for the long haul.”

PENN 4, HARVARD 3

With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Penn outfielder Gary Tesch singled to left field, allowing Matt McKinnon to score on an error by leftfielder Matt Sanders to hand the Crimson its third walk-off loss in four games. It was the third error of the day for Harvard and the team’s eighth on the weekend.

“I think it’s always an adjustment coming back up North, but we definitely need to tighten that up going into next weekend against Princeton and Cornell,” senior Jake McGuiggan said.

With Harvard trailing by one and down to its last out, captain Ethan Ferreira singled home McGuiggan to force the Quakers to bat in the botom of the ninth.

Harvard junior Sean Poppen got the start for the Crimson, throwing six and a third solid innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out eight.

PENN 2, HARVARD 1

In Monday’s first game, it was senior Connor Betbeze driving in junior Ryan Mincher in the bottom of the ninth to secure a walk-off victory for the hosts. In the decisive final frame, Crimson junior pitcher T.J. Laurisch loaded up the bases with just one out.

Starter Tanner Anderson allowed just one run and six hits in seven innings of work for Harvard. However, it was Quakers starter Ronnie Glenn who stole the spotlight on the mound. The senior threw a complete game and surrendered just one run to pick up his first win of the season. The Crimson’s only tally came in the top of the first inning, when Ferreira singled home Martin.  

COLUMBIA 9, HARVARD 7 (F/8)

In a game that was called in the bottom of the eighth inning due to darkness, two Columbia homeruns proved to be the difference as the Lions were able to pick up a win against Harvard. Lions rightfielder Gus Craig took Harvard starter Matt Timoney yard in the third to give the hosts a 4-1 lead.

The Crimson scored the game’s next six runs after stringing together eight hits in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings.

But Columbia roared back in the bottom of the sixth, tagging freshman Dylan Combs for four runs (three earned) to take a lead it would not relinquish.

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