After taking three out of four games against Yale this past weekend (April 16-17) at O’Donnell Field, the Harvard baseball team seemed to climb the Ivy standings with the ferocity of a hot hit single on the Top 40 charts. With eight Ivy games left in this season-within-a-season, the Crimson, at 10-2 (17-10 overall), are sitting pretty atop the Red Rolfe Division standings. Though much like in the fickle music business, the Harvard club will have to continue producing against host Brown in a pair of doubleheaders this weekend (April 23-24) to maintain its prestigious spot.
With an 8-2 record in the Ivies, the Bears (16-14 overall), who sit a game behind the Crimson for first place, are every bit as much in the hunt for a league title. A Harvard sweep, however, would ensure the Crimson at least a share of the division title.
Against the Bulldogs on Saturday (April 16), the home team opened the series with a 4-0 shutout. Frank Herrmann ’06 pitched a complete game two-hitter for Harvard, striking out seven batters. In game two, catcher Schuyler Mann ’05 hit a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth to tie things at 5-5 before crushing a game-winning double.
On Sunday (April 17), Yale punished Crimson starter Jake Bruton ’07 with a four-run first inning on its way to a 7-4 win. Harvard reliever Javier Castellanos ’06 entered the fray in the second to slow the bleeding, giving up three hits and three earned runs while striking out eight batters, a career high, in 6.1 innings. In the nightcap game, Harvard delivered eight runs in the final three innings – sparked by a five-run effort in the bottom of the sixth – to bury the Elis, 12-5.
Before this weekend’s crucial showdown with Brown, the Crimson were taking on the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in Lowell in the opening round of the annual Beanpot tournament just as the Gazette went to press. The winner of that contest will compete for the ‘Pot championship at Fenway today (April 21). Check http://www.gocrimson.com for scores and updates.