UMass Defeats Harvard To Claim Sixth Beanpot Title!
April 18, 2012
LOWELL, Mass. - On the back of an 8-0 start and 11 strikeouts by freshman left-hander Conor LeBlanc, the UMass baseball team claimed its sixth Beanpot Championship with an 8-7 win over Harvard at LeLacheur Park on Wednesday afternoon. The Minutemen, who take home the title for the first time since 2008, move to 12-13 on the season with the victory, while the Crimson falls to 8-26.
LeBlanc was stellar in his start, improving to 3-0 on the season with the win. He worked into the seventh, throwing six shutout innings, and struck out 11, while walking just one and scattering nine hits with three runs allowed. The 11 Ks matched the highest total by a UMass pitcher ever in a Beanpot game as Scott Barnsby fanned 11 against Northeastern in 1996.
Redshirt freshman Adam Picard paced the Minutemen offensively with a 3-for-5 day at the plate, including his second home run of the season and a double. He drove in four and scored three, factoring in all but two of the squads eight runs on the day.
UMass was quick to score, putting up runs in each of the first three innings. Junior Rich Graef began the contest with a bunt single and came home for the team's first run on a sacrifice fly by senior Tom Conley. Then in the second, sophomore Nik Campero drew a leadoff walk and later crossed the plate on a RBI sacrifice bunt by sophomore Nick Sanford.
The Minutemen pushed the advantage to 4-0 by scoring a pair in the third with two outs. Conley singled through the left side before Picard ripped a 0-1 pitch off the scoreboard in left for a two-run homer.
In the top of the fifth, UMass once again scored with two away. Picard and Campero's back-to-back doubles yielded the team's fifth run.
Following a scoreless sixth, the Minutemen put up three runs in the seventh. Sophomore Kyle Adie drew a walk and Conley was hit by a pitch with one down. A successful double steal then set up a two-RBI single into left center by Picard. After moving to third on an error, Picard came home to increase the lead to 8-0 on a ground ball by Sanford.
Harvard threatened to make a comeback, though, batting around in the seventh and scoring six runs on five hits, including three doubles, to cut the deficit to 8-6. UMass worked out of the inning by throwing Jack Colton out at third as he tried to stretch his RBI double into a triple and inducing a groundout off the bat of Ethan Ferreira to end the frame.
The Crimson pulled to within a run after three singles in the bottom of the eighth. Jeff Reynolds sent a two-out single into right center to plate Kyle Larrow, but with Tanner Anderson, the potential tying run, attempting to move to third on the play, the Minutemen were able to record the out and escape further damage.
Senior Leif Sorenson worked the final 2.1 innings and allowed one run on four hits with one strikeout en route to his sixth save of the season. Harvard starter Danny Moskovits took the loss (0-1) as he let up four runs on six hits and walked one in three innings on the hill.
Conley and Campero both finished the contest 2-for-2 with an RBI as the duo combined with Picard put up seven of the Minutemen's 11 hits.
For the Crimson, Larrow and Anderson both went 3-for-4, while Reynolds was 2-for-5 with three RBI.
UMass will be back in action this Friday in St. Louis, Mo., facing Saint Louis in game one of the teams' Atlantic 10 series at 5 p.m.
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