Batsmen Blow Leads Against BC

"We couldn't hold our leads," outfielder Ted Decareau said.

That just about summed it up. The Harvard men's baseball team (4-8-1 overall, 0-4 Greater Boston League) let two wins get away from it yesterday at Boston College.

Harvard dropped the first game, 12-9, after blowing a 7-0 lead after three innings and a 9-7 advantage in the ninth frame. The Crimson led, 2-1, in the nightcap, but had to fight back from a two-run deficit to tie the score at 4-4 before the game was called on account of darkness.

"You've got to give them a lot of credit," Captain Tom Konjoyan said. "They chipped away and we stopped scoring."

Harvard blew out of the starting gate in the twinbill's opener with three runs in the first. After Mike Hill followed Konjoyan's leadoff single with a double to put runners on second and third, DH Nick Del Vecchio doubled a run home. Tim Hurley, who went 3-for-3 in the game, then singled in Hill and Del Vecchio.

Harvard added another run on Marcel Durand's double in the second. But Del Vecchio, trying to score from second on a single, caught his cleat rounding third, fell and was thrown out trying to return to base.

The Crimson extended its lead to 7-0 as Hurley led off with a double, advanced to third on Dan Scanlan's single and came in to score on Tim Andriola's base hit. Del Vecchio, hitting with a severely sprained ankle, added a sacrifice fly to bring in Harvard's seventh run.

B.C. scrapped back for four runs off starter Mike Dorrington before knocking him out of the box with two out in the bottom of the sixth. And Harvard couldn't hold a 7-4 lead in the last of the seventh--Crimson reliever Ray Desrocher gave up three hits and three earned runs as the Eagles knotted the score at 7-7.

The Crimson regained the lead in the top of the ninth when Jay Jakimczyk smashed a line drive over the centerfield fence with a man aboard to give Harvard a 9-7 advantage.

Again, the pitching staff could not hold it. Tony Lancette gave up a single and a walk and was yanked for Sean Johnston. Boston College then scored to close the gap to 9-8. With the bags full of Eagles, Johnston served up a slider that didn't slide. It ended up a towering fly ball that sailed over the fence in left centerfield.

"We scored seven runs and then we died," Decareau said.

Harvard jumped out on top 2-0 in the nightcap as Jakimczyk singled in a run and another scored on a BC miscue. But in the bottom of the first, a batted ball hit starter Sean Johnston on the pitching elbow. He was replaced by Tony Lancette, who nursed a slimlead into the bottom of the fourth. Then EagleChris Mandile, who was previously hitless for theday, lifted a wind-aided fly ball that justcleared the centerfield fence to put BC up, 4-2.

The Crimson rallied in the top of the fifth asDecareau drove a high fastball into the leftcenter field bleachers to tie the score at 4-4. Itwas his second hit--and second homer--in the lastfour games.

Lancette went the distance through six beforethe game was called.

"Our pitching was very good in the second game.Tony pitched a very good game," Durand said. "Weneed to iron a couple of things out, but we'vereally cut down on the mental errors that plaguedus in Florida. We have a strong lineup whereanybody can come up with a big hit. We just needto be more consistent offensively."

With the crucial Eastern IntercollegiateBaseball League (EIBL) games to begin nextweekend, the Crimson needs to be at full strength.Del Vecchio is day-to-day, and the Crimson can illafford to lose a starter like Johnston withstrings of doubleheaders coming up