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BROCKTON, Mass.-—The left field wall at Brockton’s Campanelli field is not 30 feet high. And Boston College shortstop Ryan Leahy’s fourth inning line-drive homer over the left field wall probably wouldn’t have cleared the Green Monster. But when a team walks five, hits two batters and gives up 10 hits, it doesn’t have to worry about field dimensions.
Regardless, Leahy’s fourth inning missile to left proved to be the decisive run in the Harvard baseball team’s 11-6 Beanpot loss to the Eagles (15-19) at Brockton, Massachusetts’ Campanelli field, home to the independent Northeast League’s Brockton Rox.
Freshman Rob Nelson (0-2) made his first start for the Crimson (14-14-1), and after retiring the first four Boston College batters, appeared to lose a consistent windup. After giving up a hard-hit single to Eagles’ left fielder Jason Delaney, he couldn’t find his release point. Nelson walked the next three batters, the third forcing in a run. Eagles third baseman Jared McGuire served a single up the middle, driving in two, and Nelson was done.
“We got down early, and when you get starting pitching that doesn’t take you into the second inning, it gets tough,” said Harvard coach Joe Walsh.
Harvard did most of its damage in the fifth inning. Brendan Byrne lashed a hard hit single to center field that should have been scored a double. After Bryan Hale flied out to right field, Salsgiver singled, and Leahy’s error allowed Byrne to score. Salsgiver reached second, and moved to third on a wild pitch by Martinez, setting the stage for Trey Hendricks, who promptly tomahawked a three-run jack into one of Campanelli Field’s many parking lots.
BC’s Joe Martinez stymied the Crimson for four innings, in which he struck out six Harvard batters with a sweeping curveball.
“Anyone that goes out there with a breaking ball just seems to stuff us,” Walsh said. “
But there might have been something in the air in Brockton as Marrtinez, much like Nelson, got knocked out of the game in a hurry.
It wasn’t Trey Hendricks’ fifth inning monster shot that did it, however.
John Mackey roped a liner straight back at Martinez, who appeared to take the ball off his right hand and then lose sight of it. After throwing a few warmup pitches, he and the coaching staff decided he should leave the mound.
Boston College found a savior in Kevin Boggan (1-0), who took the mound for Martinez. The freshman pitched the next four and two thirds innings, limiting the damage to two runs.
Hendricks was the Crimson’s star, finishing 3-for-5 with a homer, two singles and four RBI. But the rest of the team couldn’t help out, leaving the bases loaded twice and striking out eight times.
“This is not a good ballclub when you come out and stink the joint up like that,” said Harvard coach Joe Walsh. “[We’re in the] consolation game tomorrow. Nobody wants to be in one of those games, but we deserve to be in it.”
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