Riding a wave of offensive momentum after back-to-back victories two days before, the Harvard baseball team (13-21, 6-6 Ivy) looked to stretch out its recent success into a three-game win streak.
But while the Crimson didn’t miss a beat on offense, it couldn’t put together the same consistent defense it showed on Monday against Brown, surrendering a 15-11 loss to UMass (8-20, 5-7 Atlantic 10) in the second round of the Beanpot yesterday afternoon in Brockton, Mass.
“We made some crucial errors we shouldn’t have made,” junior captain Tyler Albright said. “That’s disappointing. We need to minimize those.”
On the offensive end, Harvard got going early by scoring three runs in the first inning. Albright earned the first two of his five RBI in his first at-bat. The star catcher sent home classmate outfielders Dillon O’Neill and Sam Franklin with a single up the middle. Two at-bats later, the designated hitter crossed the plate himself off a single from junior catcher Cole Arledge.
“We can score early and often,” Albright said.
But before the Crimson could strike again, UMass tied up the game with one run in the first and two in the second frame. Second baseman Eric Fredette was first on the board for the Minutemen, taking advantage of a catcher’s error. One inning later, first baseman Mike Gedman put up a two-run homer to tie the game, 3-3.
UMass was unable to build on its momentum immediately, and Harvard responded in the top of the third with another three-run inning, one which the Minutemen could not match in the bottom of the frame.
Once again, Albright sparked the Crimson offense, sending home Franklin with a double for his third RBI of the day and Franklin’s second of three runs.
“Tyler was really hot today,” Franklin said.
This time, with Albright in scoring position, it was sophomore Marcus Way who sent the captain home. The first baseman sent the ball through left field for a two-run homer that increased Harvard’s lead to three.
“We have one of those lineups,” Franklin said. “Anyone at anytime can hit…everyone’s clicking at a good time right now.”
Harvard matched its production in the next frame when it put up three more runs. Junior Sean O’Hara picked up an RBI when freshman Dan Moskovits scored on the shortstop’s ground-out. Soon after O’Hara sent home Moskovitz, Albright picked up his fourth and fifth RBI with a single that sent home Franklin and freshman Kyle Larrow.
But Albright’s final two RBI of the game marked the last time the Crimson would put up three runs in a single frame.
The bottom of the fourth marked a turning point in the game, as UMass powered through Harvard’s defense and never looked back.
“When we score runs, we need to come back in the dugout and suit up for them,” Albright said. “We didn’t do that.”