Under the lights of Fenway last year, the Harvard baseball team went into the final innings of the Beanpot championship game down by four and yet to notch a run of its own.
It needed a rally, and a rally is what the fans got. The problem? It was for the other team, and the Crimson gave up four more runs in the ninth inning en route to an 8-0 defeat.
In this year’s Beanpot championship, Harvard found itself in a similar position. Heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Crimson was losing, 8-0, despite six hits and only one fielding error.
It, yet again, was desperate for a rally. And this time it was the underdogs that delivered it.
Harvard (8-26, 4-6 Ivy) scored a whopping six runs in one inning and added another in the next, but fell just short of the University of Massachusetts (12-13, 6-3 Atlantic 10) in their battle on Wednesday night for Boston-area bragging rights.
The win would have given the Crimson its third-ever Beanpot title, and, perhaps more significantly, its ninth win on the season—the same number of victories it was stuck with at at the end of last year.
Instead, Harvard was left with another devastating loss heading into its penultimate weekend of Ivy League play.
But while the result of the game was not ideal, the Crimson’s ability to muster up a plethora of runs at the end of the game did bring some positives.
“I’m proud of the team,” senior second baseman Jeff Reynolds said. “We kind of battled back there—we got it within a run. Even in the last inning we had a guy in scoring position.... Just the fact that the team came back so strong after the beginning innings there—it’s a good thing going into the weekend.”
SEVENTH INNING STRETCH
Six of Harvard’s seven runs came in the bottom of the seventh frame.
It started with a bullet double to right field by senior designated hitter Marcus Way before junior third baseman Kyle Larrow and freshman first baseman Tanner Anderson hit back-to-back singles to give the Crimson its first run of the game.
Next up, senior centerfielder J.T. Tomes was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Reynolds capitalized on the opportunity, rocking a double down the left field line and knocking two runners in.
A sacrifice fly by sophomore shortstop Jake McGuiggan gave Harvard its fourth run of the evening.
When one more walk put a runner on first, sophomore Jack Colton hit the Crimson its second double of the inning, earning two RBI and giving Harvard its final two runs of the frame.