A four-run ninth inning comeback--capped by junior center fielder Scott Carmack's three-run home run--turned out to be just a stay of execution, as the Harvard baseball team lost 6-5 to URI in 11 innings yesterday in Kingston, R.I.
Trailing 5-1 entering the ninth, the Crimson (8-12, 3-1 Ivy) scrapped four runs thanks to walks to tri-captains Jason Larocque and Jeff Bridich, a key pinch-hit double by Scot Hopps, and a muffed grounder by URI first baseman Jason Chamsarian that scored a run. Carmack then took Rams reliever Rudy Bulgar deep to right to tie the game at 5-5.
But Bulgar (2-0) recovered after allowing the tying runs to score and worked three innings, striking out two to earn the win.
"It's a frustrating game to lose where we come back and Carmack gets the big hit and then we can't seal the deal," said tri-captain Erik Binkowski, who was 0-for-5 with a run scored. "The frustration is getting to the point where it's going to explode and I hope it explodes with a four-game sweep soon."
The Rams (14-13-1) broke the 5-5 tie in the 11th against Harvard closer Mike Dryden (0-1), when left fielder Steve Lemieux singled with the bases loaded and two out to score second baseman Justin Lamboy. Lemieux finished 3-for-6 with two RBI and a run scored.
It was the second straight loss for the Crimson, which played its 20th road game of the season. Harvard opens its home schedule Saturday with a doubleheader against Columbia.
Harvard had chances to move ahead in the 10th, when Binkowski popped out with runners on the corners and two out, and again in the 11th, when sophomore Mark Mager popped out with a runner on third.
"The hits aren't falling at the right time," Binkowski said. "A two-out single is nice, but it's nicer when there's a guy on third. That's something I didn't help out with today."
After Harvard scored a run in the first, URI put up a four-spot in the third off Crimson starter Brendan Reed. The freshman righthander worked 6.1 innings and allowed five earned runs on five hits in his second collegiate start.
"I throw a knuckle-curve and I had that working, even though it was pretty cold" Reed said. "I felt good about the fact that I went deep into the game. We've been going to our bullpen a lot lately so that was definitely something the team needed."
Reed hung around, getting 11 groundball outs with his curve, but gave up RBI hits to each of the first five batters in the Rams lineup.
Freshman T.J. Sevier, who retired all five batters he faced in last Sunday's nightcap at Princeton, pitched scoreless ball again, going 2.1 innings and allowing three hits while striking out two after picking up for Reed in the seventh.
The Rams stole five bases in six tries off sophomore catcher Brian Lentz, who was named Ivy Rookie of the Week Monday after going 9-for-17 with six RBI in doubleheaders at Cornell and Princeton.
Jon Scullin, who leads URI with 14 steals, had a pair and Lemieux had another. URI now has an Atlantic-10-best 82 stolen bases in 28 games.
"We tried to neutralize their running game," Reed said. "But they were aggressive. They go pretty crazy on the basepaths."
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