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Last Wednesday's Harvard-Boston College Beanpot Consolation Game was a wild one, featuring 14 runs, 20 hits, 13 pitchers and a rare 7-7 tie.
So what happended yesterday in the Harvard-BC rematch?
A 10-inning pitchers' duel, of course.
Harvard finally triumphed, 4-3, scoring the winning run on a suicide squeeze by freshmen Craig Wilke.
Harvard (13-20-1) got fine pitching performances from juniors Jamie Irving and Mike Cicero. Curt Romboli of BC (13-22-1) matched the Harvard throwers, tossing nine innings of three-hit, three-run (one earned) ball. Irving, pitching righthanded, scattered three hits and three runs (only one earned) while striking out three in innings.
Cicero relieved Irving, and his five-inning stint was hit longest of the year. Cicero was masterful, allowing only one hit and three walks. His scoreless outing lowered his ERA to a measly 3.24, and he gained the win to improve to 2-2 on the year.
"My fastball was working, and for the first time I used a sinker which I has been working on," Cicero said. "I got a lot of ground balls, and they hit them right at our fielders."
The game's scoring was fueled by errors more than hits. The Eagles took a 3-1 lead, thanks to two unearned runs. The Crimson battled back to tie the score in the bottom of the sixth on the strength of a two-run Scott Parrot double.
And like BC, two out of the three Harvard runs at that point were unearned. But the unearned route seemed the only road Harvard could travel, as the Crimson managed only three hits all game.
"We hit the ball well, but it found leather," Wilke said.
Neither team scored in the last three regulation innings, setting the stage for Harvard's tenth-inning heroics. Junior Joe Weidenbach, pinch-hitting for Dennis Doble, led off the inning by reaching second on a two base error. After freshman Terry Hurt pinch ran for him, freshman Mike Hochanadel walked.
With one out, BC's Steve Dunlea wild pitched the runners to second and thrid. Up stepped Wilke, who proceeded to lay down the squeeze to plate the winner.
"We needed to win," Wilke said. "It's too bad the game didn't mean more (Harvard has already been eliminated from post-season Ivy League play), but a win is a win."
The victory did carry some significance, however. Harvard hadn't beaten BC in three years, and BC has eliminated Harvard in two out of the last four Beanpots.
"Beating BC was sweet," Cicero said. "We haven't beaten them in a long time."
The Crimson played without captain Mike Giardi, junior Bryan Brissette and sophomore Mark Levy, all sidelined by injuries. None are expected to return for Harvard's final two games of the season.
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