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The Harvard baseball team almost managed to garner a series sweep of both Princeton and Cornell this past Saturday and Sunday at O’Donnell Field. However, the Big Red managed to come away with a 5-4 victory in the second game on Sunday.
The late loss against Cornell did not reflect the rest of the weekend. The Crimson (14-13, 3-5 Ivy) beat the Tigers (5-20, 2-6) on Saturday, 8-1 and 11-8, and started off Sunday with a resounding 14-2 win against the Big Red (8-16, 5-3).
CORNELL 5, HARVARD 4
After the first game of the doubleheader saw the Crimson erupt for 14 runs, the second contest against Cornell featured strong defensive and pitching efforts through the first four innings from both teams, leaving the score knotted at zero. The Big Red produced the first runs of the contest, scoring three runs on four hits in the top of the fifth.
Harvard responded with one run in the bottom half of the inning, but Cornell tacked on another score in both the seventh and the eighth. But faced with a four-run deficit heading into the final frame, the Crimson rallied in the bottom of the ninth.
Junior pitcher Matt Sanders, who came on as a pinch runner, scored to cut the gap to two on a hit by senior outfielder Jack Colton, and rookies John Fallon and Conor Quinn touched home on the ensuing at-bat as a result of a fielder’s choice and an error by the Big Red defense. However, Cornell was able to stop the last minute rally, leaving senior outfielder Mike Martin stranded at third and earning the series split.
“It was nice to see us get a little rally going in the ninth inning,” senior infielder Jake McGuiggan said. “Unfortunately we fell a little short…but we definitely have to hold our heads high for winning three out of the four.”
HARVARD 14, CORNELL 2
The Crimson went on to continue its succession of wins after the sweep of Princeton by starting the first game against the Big Red with bats blazing, generating 11 hits in the first three innings.
Although the fifth inning saw Cornell score two runs, the Crimson clinched the victory with another three innings of strong hitting, bringing up the final score to 14-2.
Hitting out of the third spot of the lineup, McGuiggan went 3-for-4 with four runs and three runs batted in as Harvard scored the first 11 runs of the game and never looked back.
HARVARD 11, PRINCETON 8
Harvard topped Princeton twice on Saturday by notching 19 runs on 30 hits to complete its first Ivy League series sweep since its season in 2010.
The second game was much closer in score than the first. The Crimson broke open the scoring with four runs on five hits in the bottom of the second. Senior Ethan Ferreira, junior Mitch Klug, Fallon, and Quinn all knocked in runs, bringing the score to 4-0. The next few innings were relatively quiet, with only one run being scored by Princeton in the fifth inning. Despite multiple hits from Harvard, the Crimson stranded multiple runners in the contest.
“We tend to get off to a slow start in the second game,” Fallon said. “We came out swinging in the first game [and] got a lot of runs…but the second game, we [got] a little flat.”
The game ended with exciting eighth and ninth innings, highlighted by seven Harvard runs in the bottom of the eighth alone. The Tigers attempted their second rally of the day, responding to Harvard’s string of hits with some of their own. Princeton scored five runs on three hits in the ninth, but the Crimson’s sweep was preserved after Harvard junior Joey Sliepka induced a game-ending grounder in the final moments.
HARVARD 8, PRINCETON 1
The Crimson began the opener against the Tigers by scoring eight runs in the first five innings with no offensive response from Princeton’s offense. The Tigers prevented a shutout by plating a run in the sixth inning, but Harvard emerged victorious with 13 hits to Princeton’s four.
Junior designated hitter DJ Link had three hits—including two two-baggers—in four at bats along with two runs and two RBI. On the mound, sophomore right-hander Nick Gruener earned his third win of the season, going the distance and recording seven strikeouts.
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