By Joshua Kummins
BROOKLINE, Mass. – The Boston College Eagles and Harvard Crimson each came away with victories in the Baseball Beanpot’s opening round on Wednesday afternoon at Northeastern University’s Friedman Diamond in Brookline, Mass. However, the fashion in which each team did so was the polar opposite.
As a result, the Eagles and Crimson will oppose one another in next Tuesday’s championship game at Fenway Park. These teams last met in the 2006 title game when BC, the defending Beanpot champion, came away with a 10-2 win.
Wednesday’s games were originally scheduled to be played at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, but an overcast forecast and possibility for rain forced the move to NU’s turf field.
Game 1: A five-run sixth inning paced the Eagles offense to a 6-1 win over the host Northeastern Huskies in the opener of the doubleheader.
BC opened the scoring in the second as freshman catcher Nate LaPointe hit an RBI single that dropped in front of the outfielder, bringing home Marc Perdios from first base.
LaPointe, who advanced a pair of bases on the relay throw, must have misjudged the play as he was gunned down at home plate after trying to stretch the hit into an inside-the-park home run. NU center fielder Aaron Barbosa fired a great throw to home plate to cut down the runner and end the inning.
Huskies starter J.T. Ross suffered his fourth loss in as many decisions on the season and was tagged for five runs, including four in the five-run sixth inning for the Eagles.
A pair of two-RBI hits from starting pitcher/DH Andrew Lawrence and LaPointe highlighted the inning, while center fielder Tom Bourdon drove home the final BC run on a sacrifice fly to left field.
Northeastern’s lone run came in the third inning when catcher Jon Leroux grounded into a 6-3 double play, but left fielder Jeff Dunlap came through the back door.
BC used one pitcher in every inning with senior Nate Bayuk earning the win in a scoreless sixth.
The Eagles will be vying for their tenth title in 15 Beanpot championship appearances, which is a tournament record. With a win next Tuesday, the baseball team could make it a Beanpot trifecta as both men’s and women’s hockey teams took home Boston’s top prize.
Game 2: In a classic pitcher’s duel, the Harvard Crimson walked off with a 1-0 win over the UMass Minutemen to earn the other spot in the championship game.
Each team mustered one runner past second base through the seven innings, but the only runner that went past third was the most important as Harvard’s run in the bottom of the ninth.
The Crimson scored the game’s only run with one out in the ninth as sophomore first baseman Danny Moskowits hit an RBI single through the infield that scored left fielder Jack Colton.
UMass center fielder Rich Graef came up with a strong throw, but catcher Tom Conley knocked down the relay throw to the plate and was not able to recover in order tag out Colton.
The loss was UMass’ sixth by one run this season, but was the first shutout loss of the season. The Minutemen pitched one shutout earlier this season, a 15-0 win over Hartford on Mar. 31.
Even in defeat, senior Charlie Benson made a big statement in his first start of the year as he tossed 116 pitches in eight innings. The game set new career-highs in both categories for the lefthander, as he hurled 5.1 innings in the Beanpot semifinals against BC two years ago.
Another bright spot in the loss is scorching third baseman Matt Gedman, who extended his Atlantic 10-best 16-game hitting streak with two singles on the afternoon. He now ranks fourth in the entire NCAA with his .449 batting average.
Senior Andrew Hatch earned his second win of the year for Harvard as he allowed four hits in the final three innings. Senior starter Daniel Berardo and junior Jonah Klees each whiffed three, while combining to allow just one hit over the first six innings.