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Batsmen Drop Season Finale

First-Inning Errors Lead to 4-3 Loss to Bentley at Soldiers

By Eric F. Brown

Yesterday's game presented a chance for redemption for the Harvard baseball team. After losing the Ivy League Championships to Princeton last weekend in a two-game sweep, a season-ending non-conference matchup with Bentley would have allowed Harvard to close out its very successful season with a win.

Would have.

Sloppy defense in the first inning spotted the Falcons an early 2-0 lead, and though the Crimson (23-17, 14-6 Ivy) briefly tied the game at three runs, Bentley (19-16) won out in the end by a 4-3 margin.

Harvard's best chance for victory came in the seventh inning, after a one-out double by freshman third baseman Peter Woodfork tied the game and advanced another runner to third.

But Bentley closer Mike Mason came in and shut the door, striking out captain Marc Levy and forcing senior Dennis Doble to pop out to end the threat.

"That was the ballgame right there," Harvard coach Joe Walsh said. "Levy needs to make contact to put the ball in play and get us going, and [Doble got] a lot of curve balls, and he got underneath one a little bit and flew it out. That was a big opportunity for us to bust open the ball game. Every game you get an opportunity, and we just didn't take advantage of it."

Bentley, on the other hand, took what it had. The Falcons stranded only four runners on the day--none on third base--and made do on only eight hits, one fewer than the Crimson.

At no time was this more evident than in the first inning. With one out, Falcon Steve Patten drew a walk off of freshman Andrew Duffell--one of only three he allowed, though two of them scored. Patten moved to third when Duffell's pickoff throw got past senior first baseman Scott Parrot, and then Steve DeMartinis drove him in with a double just past a diving Levy in left.

DeMartinis scored on a single by Dave Tallent when Doble couldn't handle the throw from sophomore centerfielder Brian Ralph, and although Harvard ended the inning by nailing Tallent when he tried for second, the damage was done.

"I started to get behind hitters a little bit," Duffell said. "That's basically it--when you get behind hitters, you have to throw your fastball over, and they'll probably hit it. [Walsh] has been telling us all year that you gotta get ahead of the hitters--so they have to hit my pitch. But they were hitting the pitches that they were looking to see."

Duffell settled down well after that, with a single run in the third inning being the only Falcon scoring until the eighth. But the Harvard offense didn't fare much better.

The Crimson did get runners on base. However, that's where they were likely to stay, as Harvard stranded eight on the day.

It also didn't help when two Harvard runners were picked off in the first two innings. Freshman Hal Carey led off the game--and a 3-for-5 day--with a double down the left-field line, but took off for third on a pickoff move and was tagged out in the rundown. Ralph had a similar fate befall him at first base next inning.

Thanks to these mental errors, Harvard was held scoreless through the first three innings. But in the fourth, freshman Brett Vankoski drove home Doble with a double and later came home himself on a single by junior Mike Hochanadel, cutting the lead to 3-2.

Three innings later, the Crimson equalized the game on Woodfork's double. But Mason came in, and the only base runner the Crimson got in the next 2 2-3 innings was on an error.

"Their kid out there on the hill [Thom Serra] did a pretty good job against us, and I thought that their closer was one of the better kids we've seen all year," Walsh said. "He came in and had a pretty good fastball and a curveball. We just didn't do enough things throughout the ball game."

It only took another half-inning for Bentley to retake the lead, this time for good. With one out, Duffell walked DeMartinis, and with the Falcons' big gun at the plate--19-homer man Mike Hill--Walsh didn't want to take any chances and sent for the bullpen.

Sophomore Mike Marcucci entered the game, and though he let DeMartinis score, it really wasn't his fault. Hill reached on an infield single off the end of his bat, and a fielder's choice grounder by Tallent put runners at first and third with two out.

It wasn't a good time for a passed ball. DeMartinis came home, and the day's last run came home.

All in all, it was a good, close game--but one that Harvard really could have won. With two first-inning errors and eight left on base, the Crimson did not put its best foot forward.

"The first inning we were not playing the game that well," Walsh said. "We made a couple of mistakes early--it is a nine-inning ballgame, but what you do in the first inning is the same thing as in the ninth. A run there, and a run gets on the board."

Notes

Yesterday was the last game for Harvard's three seniors--Levy, Doble and Parrot.... Counted in the attendance was Harvard men's basketball coach Frank Sullivan, who coached at Bentley before coming to Cambridge. Bentley  4 Harvard  3

BENTLEY, 4-3 at Soldiers Field   R  H  E Bentley  201  000  010  -  4  8  2 Harvard  000  200  100  -  3  9  2 BENTLEY  AB  R  H  BI  BB  SO Peters cf  4  0  1  0  0  1 Patten 2b  3  1  0  0  1  1 DeMartinis 1b  2  3  2  1  2  0 Hill if  4  0  2  1  0  0 Tallent ss  4  0  1  1  0  0 Pedroli rf  4  0  0  0  0  0 Hayes dh  4  0  1  0  0  0 Begley 3b  4  0  1  0  0  1 McGreenery c  4  0  0  0  0  0 TOTALS  26  4  8  3  3  3 HARVARD  AB  R  H  BI  BB  SO Carey 2b  5  0  3  0  0  0 Woodfork 3b  4  0  1  1  0  0 Levy if-cf  4  0  1  0  0  2 Doble c  3  1  1  0  1  0 Parrot 1b  3  0  0  0  1  0 Vankoski rf  4  1  1  1  0  1 Hochanadel dh  4  0  1  1  0  0 Ralph cf  2  0  1  0  0  0 Kessler ph (8) if  2  0  0  0  0  0 Forst ss  2  1  0  0  1  1 Huling ph (9)  1  0  0  0  0  0 TOTALS  25  3  9  3  3  4

E: Tallent, McGreenery; Doble, Parrot. DP: Patten-Tallent-DeMartinis. LOB: Bentley 4; Harvard 8. 2B: DeMartinis, Hill, Hayes; Carey, Woodfork, Vankoski. CS: Peters; Carey, Ralph. BENTLEY  IP  H  R  ER  BB  SO Serra  6.1  9  3  3  3  3 Mason, W  2.2  0  0  0  0  1 HARVARD  IP  H  R  ER  BB  SO Duffell, L  7.1  7  4  2  3  3 Marcucci  1.2  12  0  0  0  0 PB: Doble.

BENTLEY, 4-3 at Soldiers Field   R  H  E Bentley  201  000  010  -  4  8  2 Harvard  000  200  100  -  3  9  2 BENTLEY  AB  R  H  BI  BB  SO Peters cf  4  0  1  0  0  1 Patten 2b  3  1  0  0  1  1 DeMartinis 1b  2  3  2  1  2  0 Hill if  4  0  2  1  0  0 Tallent ss  4  0  1  1  0  0 Pedroli rf  4  0  0  0  0  0 Hayes dh  4  0  1  0  0  0 Begley 3b  4  0  1  0  0  1 McGreenery c  4  0  0  0  0  0 TOTALS  26  4  8  3  3  3 HARVARD  AB  R  H  BI  BB  SO Carey 2b  5  0  3  0  0  0 Woodfork 3b  4  0  1  1  0  0 Levy if-cf  4  0  1  0  0  2 Doble c  3  1  1  0  1  0 Parrot 1b  3  0  0  0  1  0 Vankoski rf  4  1  1  1  0  1 Hochanadel dh  4  0  1  1  0  0 Ralph cf  2  0  1  0  0  0 Kessler ph (8) if  2  0  0  0  0  0 Forst ss  2  1  0  0  1  1 Huling ph (9)  1  0  0  0  0  0 TOTALS  25  3  9  3  3  4

E: Tallent, McGreenery; Doble, Parrot. DP: Patten-Tallent-DeMartinis. LOB: Bentley 4; Harvard 8. 2B: DeMartinis, Hill, Hayes; Carey, Woodfork, Vankoski. CS: Peters; Carey, Ralph. BENTLEY  IP  H  R  ER  BB  SO Serra  6.1  9  3  3  3  3 Mason, W  2.2  0  0  0  0  1 HARVARD  IP  H  R  ER  BB  SO Duffell, L  7.1  7  4  2  3  3 Marcucci  1.2  12  0  0  0  0 PB: Doble.

E: Tallent, McGreenery; Doble, Parrot. DP: Patten-Tallent-DeMartinis. LOB: Bentley 4; Harvard 8. 2B: DeMartinis, Hill, Hayes; Carey, Woodfork, Vankoski. CS: Peters; Carey, Ralph. BENTLEY  IP  H  R  ER  BB  SO Serra  6.1  9  3  3  3  3 Mason, W  2.2  0  0  0  0  1 HARVARD  IP  H  R  ER  BB  SO Duffell, L  7.1  7  4  2  3  3 Marcucci  1.2  12  0  0  0  0 PB: Doble.

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