Baseball Set to Open 2019-20 Season at Alabama

Chad MInato jumping
Chad Minato '20 will captain the 2020 Harvard baseball squad (Photo/Wofford)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -  Baseball season has finally arrived, as the defending Ivy League champion Harvard baseball is set to begin its 2020 campaign this weekend in Tuscaloosa, Ala. with a three-game set against the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Crimson will start the series at Sewell-Thomas Baseball Stadium on Friday at 4 p.m.

How To Follow
Friday, Feb. 28 / 4 p.m. EST – Watch | Listen | Live Stats
Saturday, Feb. 29 / 3 p.m. EST – Watch | Listen | Live Stats  \
Sunday, March 1 / 11:30 a.m. EST – Watch | Listen | Live Stats
Twitter - @Harvard Baseball
Instagram – @HarvardBaseball

Projected Starters (2019 Stats)

HARVARD:
FRI. - Sr. Kieran Shaw, RHP – (1-3, 3.96 ERA) - 25 Innings Pitched / 28 Strikeouts
SAT. - So. Owen Holt, RHP – First Appearance
SUN. – Jr. Enzo Stefanoni, RHP – (5-1, 2.82 ERA) - 44.2 Innings Pitched / 36 Strikeouts

ALABAMA
FRI. – Fr. Connor Prielipp, LHP – (2-0, 0.00 ERA) – 9.0  Innings Pitched / 15 Strikeouts
SAT. – So. Connor Shamblin, RHP – (1-0, 2.70 ERA) – 10.0 Innings Pitches / 9 Strikeouts
SUN. – Fr. Antoine Jean, LHP – (2-0, 3.38 ERA) – 8.0 Innings Pitched / 5 Strikeouts

What to Know:

  • Harvard comes into the season as the defending Ivy League champion.
  • Chad Minato will captain the 2020 squad.
  • Kieran Shaw will make his fourth career start and first since 2018. Shaw served as the team's primary closer last season, setting the Ivy League's single-season saves record with 13.
  • Owen Holt will make his collegiate debut when he takes the mound on Saturday.
  • Enzo Stefanoni will start his second career game on Sunday. The junior led team in ERA last season, posting a 2.82 mark over 19 appearances and 44.2 innings pitches.
  • Jake Suddleson returns to the lineup after a monster junior season in which he posted a .372 average, hit 11 home runs and knocked in a program record 53 RBI.
  • Minato and Suddleson started all 43 games for the Crimson in 2019.
  • Hunter Baldwin and Logan Bravo will both look to improve on successful first-year seasons as they attempt to carve out a bigger role in 2020.
  • The Crimson split its four-game opening series a year ago at Wofford.
  • Harvard has posted five wins over power-five conference opponents under Decker.
  • Suddleson is nine home runs away from tying the program record of 28.
  • Chad Minato also etched his name in the record book last season after his 17-game hit streak. The run was good for fourth longest in program history.

Scouting Alabama
The 2020 season has been kind to the Alabama Crimson Tide, who has kicked off its campaign with nine straight wins. Alabama (9-0, 0-0 SEC) is coming off of back-to-back sweeps of Northeastern and UNLV the past two weekends. The Tide added a pair of midweek wins against UT-Martin and Middle Tennessee State on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The Crimson Tide ranks third in the country in home runs and sixth in the nation in ERA through two weeks of action.

At the Helm
Now in his seventh season, The Joseph J. O'Donnell '67 Head Coach for Harvard Baseball, Bill Decker will attempt to carry over the momentum from the 2019 season. Last season resulted in the first Ivy League Championship and NCAA Regional birth for the Crimson since 2005. Decker's squad won 27 games, including a 14-7 mark in Ivy League play. Decker's team returns a number of veteran leaders including captain Chad Minato, Jake Suddleson and Kieran Shaw.

Next Up
Harvard travels to DeLand, Fla. and the campus of Stetson University for three games at the Stetson Invitational. The Crimson will clash with Fairfield, Ohio State and Stetson over the course of the weekend.