The following is play-by-play from the Harvard baseball team's April 29 game against Boston College at Fenway Park. The contest was the last of the Crimson's 2013 spring campaign, a number of Red Sox players "joined in" on the action (see the third inning), and all three Harvard seniors saw playing time.
It's a beautiful day for baseball here at Fenway Park at the Beanpot consolation game. The Harvard baseball team takes on Boston College, with the Crimson (10-31, 7-13 Ivy) representing the home team in the first base dugout. The two squads met earlier this season in Chestnut Hill on April 3, and the Eagles (9-35, 2-21 ACC) stole a tight 8-6 victory.
After both teams line up for the national anthem, Harvard runs out into the field, with sophomore Matt Timoney on the bump. On a 2-2 pitch, Timoney strikes out the first batter of the game on the outside corner. After an HBP, the Boston College three hitter lines a single into left. With runners on first and third and no outs, Timoney gets the cleanup hitter to go down swinging on a curveball in the dirt. An unearned run crosses the plate as sophomore Tanner Anderson cannot handle a bouncing ball at second base. With two outs and a full count, Timoney walks the batter to load the bases. After falling behind 2-0, Timoney gets to two strikes and forces a pop out to first base in foul territory.
Junior LHP Steve Green takes the mound for Boston College. Junior left fielder Carlton Bailey leads off for the Crimson and rips a line drive right at the shortstop for the first out. Sophomore Mike Martin follows him up with a soft line drive to second base for out number two. Sophomore right fielder Brandon Kregel grounds out to shortstop for the third out of the inning.
After 1: BC 1, Harvard 0
In the top of the second, Timoney bounds off the mound to field a weak tapper and fires to first for the first out. After a Joe Cronin single and a hit batter, Blake Butera flies out to freshman Matt Sanders in center. With two outs, the Boston College third hitter lines a ball to first base, and sophomore Nick Saathoff makes a nice leaping grab to retire the side.
Anderson strikes out looking to begin the top of the second on a borderline pitch on the outside part of the plate. Freshman Mitch Klug makes the second out on a hard ground ball right at the third baseman. Saathoff gives Harvard its first baserunner of the game by drawing a walk on a 3-1 count. Freshman Dj Link hits a Texas leaguer into right center and the BC center fielder makes a shoestring catch.
After 2: BC 1, Harvard 0
The weather could not be any more perfect, with sunshine and a light breeze contributing to an awesome day for baseball. Timoney returns to the mound for the top of the third. After a walk, a pop out, and a groundout, Dowdell lines an RBI single to left before a groundout to Anderson at second ends the threat.
During the top of the third, as live play was going on, several members of the Red Sox ventured into right field and began tossing back and forth on the warning track. A few Harvard players turned around to briefly watch the action, which expanded to as many as five players and at one point included Boston outfielder Shane Victorino.The Crimson later learned that Red Sox officials had asked both coaches before the game whether this would be alright with their respective teams.
Sanders begins the inning with a groundout to shortstop. Ranging to his left, the BC second baseman makes a nifty pickup to retire the second batter. Bailey gets the Crimson its first hit of the game with a bounder back up the middle. Martin follows him up with a single to right, and Bailey advances to third on the play. But Green forces Kregel to pop out to third base to end the two-out rally.
After 3: BC 2, Harvard 0
Cronin lines a base hit to center for his second knock of the game to start of the fourth. Martin makes a beautiful, leaping over-the-shoulder catch on a blooper into left field for the first out. After a hit puts runners on first and second, Timoney throws the ball into center field as no one covers second on a pickoff attempt and the runner advances to third. John Hennesey hits a single through the hole on the right side to score a run. With runners on first and third, Timoney forces a ground ball for a 6-4-3 double play, aided by a nice scoop by Saathoff at first base to help hold off the BC rally.
Anderson goes down looking on a curveball that scrapes the black on the outside. Klug notches the first extra base hit of the game, ripping the first pitch he sees over the head of the left fielder, and scooting into second base as the ball takes a one-hop of the monster. Saathoff flies out to center field for the second out. Link rips a single back through the box, and the throw from center field is off as fellow freshman Klug races home to score Harvard's first run of the game. Sanders softy lines out to second base to end the inning.
After 4: BC 3, Harvard 1
Junior Peter Kaplan replaces Timoney to start of the fifth. Kaplan forces a groundout, and Sanders makes a nice running catch on a ball that nearly takes him back to the triangle in deep right center field. Kaplan temporarily loses his control, walking three straight batters to load the bases, but he maintains his composure and gets a strikeout to escape with zero runs allowed.
Freshman Sean O'Neill strikes out swinging, and Bailey makes the second out by popping out in foul territory. Martin legs out an infield single on a grounder to shortstop to bring Kregel to the plate. Martin swipes second base to move into scoring position, but the umpire rings up Kregel on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
After 5: BC 3, Harvard 1
Kaplan plunks the first batter, forces a fly ball, and then hits one more. A called third strike records the second out of the inning. But a fly ball down the right field line falls as Kregel has trouble around the right field foul line, and two runs score on the play (the foul line runs up against the wall in right field at Fenway). Kaplan strikes out the next batter for the third out.
John Nicklas in to pitch for the Eagles. With Harvard down four runs entering the bottom of the sixth, Anderson can't get the inning started and strikes out swinging. Klug hits the ball hard for the third time, but the BC third baseman makes a leaping catch on a live drive, robbing the freshman of a hit down the line. Saathoff draws a two out walk, but Link lines out to left field.
After 6: BC 5, Harvard 1
The Eagles catcher rips a double down the left field line off Kaplan to begin the seventh. Cronin fails to lay down a sacrifice bunt and strikes out looking. After a walk, Harvard head coach Bill Decker opts for freshman Sean Poppen from the bullpen to replace Kaplan. Poppen throws his first pitch into the dirt as the runners move up to second and third, and a sacrifice fly to Kregel in right brings home BC's sixth run of the game. With two outs, Dj Link makes a beautiful throw to second base to backpick the runner who was too aggressive in his secondary lead.
The shadows have crept up above home plate, likely making offense much more difficult to come by in the later innings. Sanders grounds out to third base, and O'Neill flies out to right. Carlton Bailey dribbles a tapper down the third base line, as good as a bunt, for an infield single. Martin rips another line drive, but it goes directly to the left fielder to end the inning.
After 7: BC 6, Harvard 1
Senior Jordan Haviland enters the game for Harvard in the top of the eighth. An error by Klug at third base allows Hennessy to reach base, and he takes second on a steal. Haviland fans the next batter on a full count, and Link guns down Hennessy at third on a stolen base attempt. A flyout to right field ends the top of the frame.
Harvard gets off to a fast start in the bottom of the eighth after Kregel draws a walk and Anderson is hit by a pitch. Klug hits another ball hard, but it goes to the left fielder for an out. Saathoff pops up to shortstop for the second out, and Link grounds into a fielder's choice to second base.
After 8: BC 6, Harvard 1
Senior Matt Doyle, who has been coping with a leg injury for the majority of the season, enters the game to pitch the final defensive half inning of the season for the Crimson. Doyle walks the first batter on four straight pitches, and a steal followed by a groundout puts a runner on third with one out. Doyle throws a wild pitch, plating the Eagles' seventh run of the game. Doyle gets two of the next three hitters to strike out, both on 1-2 counts, to prevent further damage.
Nate Bayuk enters to pitch for BC. To begin the bottom of the ninth, freshman Michael Loughlin pinch hit for Sanders but struck out after falling behind, 0-2. Freshman T.J. Laurisch also enters as a pinch hitter and gets himself on base with a single up the middle. At this point, senior Rob Wineski, having suffered a broken jaw during batting practice just over a week ago, enters to pinch run for Laurisch. Wineski is on the field for one pitch before he is replaced by another pinch runner in junior Sam Dodge, and the senior exits to the applause of his teammates and the fans behind the dugout. Bailey lines a single to right center field to put men on first and second with one out, and Martin walks to load the bases. Kregel falls behind 0-2 before he lifts a fly ball to center field for the RBI. Down to its last out of the season, Anderson hits a ground ball to the shortstop who throws to first to end the game.
Final score: BC 7, Harvard 2. Both teams amass eight hits, but the Crimson commit four errors to BC's zero.