Senior Day is supposed to be a joyous occasion--the culmination of four years of hard work in a Crimson uniform.
For the nine seniors on the baseball team, their final game began encouragingly but quickly turned nightmarish.
When the last out had been recorded, Harvard found itself on the losing end of a 16-5 UMass blitzkreig yesterday in front of a sparse crowd at Soldiers Field. Harvard 5 UMass 16
The Crimson, who entered the game having lost eight of their last nine ballgames, jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Senior Joe Weidenbach singled to center and moved to second when senior captain Bo Bernhard was hit by a pitch.
After a sacrifice bunt by freshman rightfielder Brett Vankoski which moved the runners along, senior outfielder Jamie Crowley hit a sacrifice fly to plate Weidenbach.
UMass grabbed the lead right back, however, when the nipped senior pitcher Jamie Irving for two run in the top of the second.
The Minutemen added another pair of runs in the third to increase their lead to three runs, 4-1.
But the Crimson maintained their composure and responded by scoring two runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Sophomore third baseman Peter Albers led off the inning with a single. Weidenbach reached first base on a throwing error by the UMass catcher, moving Albers to second.
A Bernhard sacrifice bunt advanced both runners, and Vankoski walked to load the bases.
Crowley then ripped a single down the third base line, driving home a pair of Harvard base runners.
The Crimson had a chance for more with only one out, but neither junior catcher Dennis Doble nor sophomore shortstop Mike Hochanadel could produce the clutch hit.
Irving's final appearance for the Crimson was brief--the Minutemen got to the Miami native for three more in the fourth, chasing the ambidextrous hurler.
With one out and runners on first and second, senior reliever Lee Mancini was greeted with a double by UMass shortstop Mark Pileski, knocking in both inherited runners.