Even though yesterday's contest at Boston College was essentially meaningless for the Harvard baseball team, you can be sure it was an affair the Crimson circled on its calender far in advance. Harvard 5 BC 7
After all, Harvard's 12-3 pasting at the hands of the Eagles in the April 19 opening round of the Beanpot still looms as the worst loss of a season filled with ugly defeats.
"The Beanpot was a disaster," said junior pitcher Frank Hogan. "We wanted to show that we could play with them."
While the Crimson may have achieved that modest goal yesterday, the end result was nevertheless all-too familiar: a frustrating loss, 7-5, in a game which Harvard appeared to have firmly in its grasp.
For six-and-a-half innings, the Crimson (10-23,6-14 Ivy) looked like the warm weather had melted away all of its weaknesses.
Harvard started the scoring early, exploding for three runs in the second inning off Eagle starter Mark Bettencourt.
Senior right fielder James Crowley started the surge with a leadoff double, and was subsequently singled home by junior catcher Dennis Doble.
The sequence then repeated itself when sophomore shortstop Mike Hochanadel ripped a double that scored Doble, and junior first baseman Scott Parrot drove him in with a single.
Boston College (19-22) managed to scratch out a run off Crimson starter Hogan in the bottom of the third inning.
After a leadoff double by second baseman David Bingham, Hogan got two quick outs before third baseman Craig Katz (three hits, three RBI) hit a bouncer up the middle that Hochanadel could only knock down.
Harvard struck back in the next frame, however. After Parrot (two hits, one RBI) sent a booming double to right-center field with two outs, freshman left fielder Aaron Kessler punched a single to right to plate the run.
Hogan, meanwhile, cruised through the first six frames, striking out six and allowing just the single run on three hits. He also retired seven consecutive batters at one point, baffling Eagle batters with a mixture of curves and fastballs.
When the Crimson stranded a pair of baserunners in the seventh inning, however, one got the sense that it might pay dearly for its missed opportunities.
It didn't take long for this scenario to play itself out. After a pair of soft singles put runners on first and second in the bottom of the inning, Eagle left fielder Chang Choe ripped a gapper to right-center field that plated the two runners. He then took third base when freshman center fielder Brian Ralph bobbled the ball, and scored on a single by Bingham.
When the next batter laid down a sacrifice bunt, Hogan tried to force the runner at second but was too late. Doble then added to the comedy of errors when he threw an attempted pick-off throw into center field, sending the runner to third.