The Harvard baseball team must love nuclear fission.
Yesterday the batsmen smashed atoms--usually spelled "at 'ems"--galore in a 7-4 loss to visiting Holy Cross.
"We all hit the ball hard," said right fielder Chris McAndrews, "but we were hitting the ball right at people."
Aside from McAndrews (four for four) and Scott Vierra (two for three), the Crimson hit at 'em all afternoon.
The loss broke Harvard's six-game winning streak and dropper, the team to 12-7 overall. Holy Cross is 9-5.
It was one of only four non-league, non-tournament games on the Crimson's 37-game schedule, but Coach Alex Nahigian took it pretty seriously.
"I told the kids after the game. "We weren't ready to play,'" an angry Nahigian said. "'And anytime you're not ready to play, it's my fault.'" Nahigian refused to say anything more.
Perhaps Nahigian was frustrated by a key call that went the other way in the bottom of the eighth. With the Crusaders on top 7-2, the Crimson had started a one-out rally, scoring one run and loading the bases for team batting leader Paul Vallone.
Vallone hit what appeared to be a Texas League single, but center fielder John Mahoney tried for the force at third. McAndrews slid in under Tony Froto's tag, and base umpire Randy-Moore called him safe.
This enraged Froto, Crusader Head Coach Jack Whalen, and the rest of the Holy Cross team. Moore conferred with home plate umpire Don January, and then reversed his call.
"First of all he [Froto] touched the base," Moore said after the game. "Then he swiped the tag. I thought the runner was going from first to third."
Moore said he reversed himself because McAndrews was forced from second, so a tag was unnecessary. The Crimson claimed Froto had never been near the base.
McAndrews remained out, and Holy Cross reliever J.P. Ziegler retired the final four batters he faced to record the save.
The Crusaders had jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first on a leadoff walk, a grounder to first and an RBI single. With one out in the second, John Quinn scored from first when McAndrews let a Nick Zammarelli single get past him.
The Crimson knotted the score in the second, Mickey Maspons led off with a single, Vierra doubled him home, and Mahoney misplayed a McAndrews single, allowing Vierra to score.