Baseball Done in By Late Rallies, Swept by Harvard

Harvard 6, Penn 4 Box Score

Harvard 15, Penn 11 (11 Innings) Box Score

PHILADELPHIALate-inning pitching issues once again caught up with Penn in a doubleheader against Harvard on Monday, as the visiting Crimson rallied in both games late to escape Meiklejohn Stadium with a pair of wins.

Penn led in game one, 4-0, before the Crimson scored six in a row for a 6-4 victory. Game two went 11 innings, as Penn’s eight-run sixth inning was not enough to put away a pesky Harvard squad which scored two in the eighth and three in the ninth to extend the game. In the top of the 11th, Harvard scored four to pull away for the win.

In the first game, Penn took advantage of sloppy Harvard fielding for the early lead. Leading 1-0 entering the third, Penn scored three unearned runs as the first seven batters reached base with only two hits – both of which did not leave the infield. Jeff Cellucci, Adrian Thomas and Steve Gable all scored for Penn in the inning. Cellucci and Thomas both scored on a fielder’s choice from James Mraz that was mishandled by the pitcher, whose throw to home was errant.

The lead was safe until reigning Ivy League Player of the Week Matt Rogers drove in two runs with a double to deep center in the sixth. Harry Douglas then drove in Rogers with a double of his own for an insurance run.

Reid Terry took the loss in the opener, allowing all six runs over 5.2 innings. He is now 1-1 this season. Brent Suter went the distance for Harvard, striking out six over seven innings for his third win of the season.

Game two saw Penn seemingly forget about the way the first one ended, jumping all over Dan Zaliskas for three runs in the bottom of the first. Dan Williams drove home Jeremy Maas with a single and then William Gordon plated Williams and Tom Grandieri with a double to left center.

Penn’s bats went silent over the next four innings as Harvard crept back in the game, eventually taking a 6-3 lead with runs in the second, third and fourth innings. Taylor Meehan had a two-run single in the fourth to give the Crimson the lead.

Penn’s quiet bats again exploded in the sixth inning as the Red and Blue pushed eight runs across the plate, sending 11 batters to the box. Grandieri led the inning off with a double, eventually scoring on a Will Davis single. Grandieri came to bat again later in the inning with a runner on and sent the first pitch he saw into the netting in right center for a two-run homer. The ball was originally ruled to have stayed in the field, but the umpires convened and judged it to have hit the netting for the round tripper.

Vince Voiro, who has relieved starter Robbie Seymour to start the fifth inning, was cruising through the game, facing just the minimum nine batters through his first three innings of work. He picked off two of the three batters who reached base off him, and retired the third baserunner as part of a 5-4-3 inning-ending double play.

He ran into trouble in the eighth inning in the form of Jon Roberts. Harvard’s rightfielder got two runs back for Harvard with a home run to left field. Voiro then settled down and retired the next three batters to get out of the inning with a three-run lead intact.

In the ninth, Voiro was again victimized by the longball, as Rogers’ second homer of the game went deep to left center to get Harvard within one.

After the homer, Grandieri came in from right field to pitch. He allowed a first-hitter single to Douglas. Tyler Albright’s sacrifice bunt attempt was placed well enough to turn into a single. Jeff Reynolds did sac bunt, moving two runners into scoring position with one out. After Roberts was intentionally walked, Grandieri induced a groundball to Sean O’Hara. The hard-hit ball to short was misplayed by Derek Vigoa, allowing Douglas to score the tieing run. Albright got greedy, attempting to score, but Vigoa rebounded to fire him out at the plate. Zaliskas finished the inning with a fly-out to right.

Penn had a chance in the 10th, with Thomas on and one out. He was caught stealing though when he ventured too far off first base on a bunt attempt from Gable, catcher to first to short.

In the 11th, back-to-back doubles from Albright and Reynolds scored what turned out to be the winning run. Zaliskas added to the damage with a three-run homer.

Penn is now 10-11 this year and 0-4 in the Ivy League. Harvard is 4-16 and 2-2 in the Ivy League.

The Quakers have little time to think about the weekend as they host Delaware at 3 p.m. on Tuesday in the first round of the Liberty Bell Classic.