Baseball Wins

Even nine lives would not have helped Holy Cross stop Harvard's bats yesterday.

Nine different Crimson batters helped finish off the Crusaders one hit at a time in a convincing 12-6 victory that extended the Crimson's winning streak to five games.

"We've had production from a lot of players all year," sophomore catcher Brian Lentz said. "We just hadn't been doing it at the same time. Everyone's coming together now, moving runners around the bases and improving our run productivity."

Harvard (13-12, 7-1 Ivy) wasted no time, jumping out to 4-0 lead in the top of the second before adding four more in the fifth to down the Crusaders (10-13, 5-2 Patriot).

With two away in the fifth and the Crimson leading, 5-4, Lentz doubled to score sophomore second baseman Faiz Shakir and start the Crimson rout.

Sophomore third baseman Nick Carter and tri-captain Erik Binkowski followed, adding a pair of two-out doubles to give Harvard a commanding 9-4 lead.

With a pair of hits and an RBI against the Crusaders, Carter extended his hitting streak to six games.

The Harvard Coop Athlete of the Week is 7-for-12 in his last three games, and leads the team in RBI (20) and homeruns (4).

"Nick's hitting has been tremendous for us this year," Lentz said. "He's been able to lift the ball out of the park and has really come through for us in the clutch."

Batting 2-for-4 with a walk, Lentz hasn't cooled either.

The Ivy Rookie of the Week two weeks ago, Lentz is 5-for-12 in his last three games with three multi-hit performances in his last five starts.

Lentz, Carter, and Binkowski combined for five RBI as the bottom half of the order hit 11-for-12 with 9 RBI.

On its recent winning streak, Harvard has been scoring tremendously by key pinch-hits and strong batting up and down the order.

In Monday's doubleheader with Penn, junior outfielder Joe Llanes drove in the winning run with a pinch-hit single up the middle in the bottom of the eleventh, and junior catcher Scot Hopps doubled to the gap in right with the bases loaded in the fifth to score three.

Although not as dramatic yesterday, the Crimson bench continued to hit well as Hopps and sophomore outfielder Javy Lopez added pinch-hit singles in the ninth to score a pair and pad the Crimson lead.

Crimson freshman right-hander Brendan Reed (1-1) picked up his first collegiate win, allowing three hits and two earned runs in three innings of work.

Coming in to relieve Reed, freshman left-hander Kenon Ronz retired six of the first seven batters he faced, allowing only one hit in two innings of work.

Sophomore right-hander Justin Nyweide was equally effective, striking out a pair without allowing a run in two innings pitched.

"We have a lot of good pitchers and a lot of strong arm, especially the young guys," Lentz said. "It's important to get them on the mound. Our depth on the mound is going to depend on how fast our freshman develop."

Tri-captain catcher Jason Larocque got things started for the Crimson in the second.

With two-away and a runner on second, Larocque doubled to left to score Lentz and give the Crimson an early 1-0 lead.

After a walk to Binkowski, Llanes took Crusader freshman right-hander Dan Lucey (0-1) deep to left once again with an RBI double.

With a pair of runners in scoring position, sophomore shortstop Mark Mager completed the Crimson barrage with a single to center that scored Llanes and Binkowski to give Harvard a 4-0 lead.

Leading 10-4 in the top of the ninth, Hopps ensured that there would be no Crusader comeback.

With the bases-loaded and none out, Hopps singled to score a pair while pinch-hitting for Larocque.

The Crusaders scored two in the bottom of ninth, but their rally would fall short as freshman right-hander Matt Self got senior Jeff Miller to fly out to center with runners at the corners.

Harvard hit extremely well under pressure, scoring 10-of-12 runs with already two outs in the inning.

"With two-out, it's important not to think about it," Lentz said. "If you think about it too much, it will mess you up. The most important thing is just not to give up with two away."

The two-out magic is beginning to become a trend for the Crimson.

Facing Columbia last Saturday, Harvard rallied from a 5-0 deficit with seven runs in its last at bat, six of which came with two-outs.

The Crimson face Boston College today before travelling to Yale for four games over the weekend.