UMass Clipped By Harvard, 7-4
April 21, 2004
BROCKTON, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts baseball team (13-12) rallied from three runs down to tie it, 4-4, in the top of the seventh inning, but it was not enough as Harvard (15-14-1) answered with a three-run home run in the bottom of the frame to win it, 7-4, in the consolation game of the Baseball Beanpot Classic, held at Campanelli Stadium.
Putting a run on the board in the top of the first inning, the Minutemen packed the sacks, and knocked Harvard starter Javier Castellanos out of the game after allowing five of the first six batters to reach base, all five of which were singles. But UMass left the bases loaded, scoring just the one run, as reliever Jay Brown, entered the game and threw four pitches to end the first frame.
The Crimson would throw up a four spot in the second inning using three hits, one UMass error and back-to-back two-run doubles.
UMass sophomore right handed starter Jeremy Demers (Easthampton, Mass.) found a groove after the shaky second inning retiring the minimum three batters in the third and fourth frames. He also had some tremendous defense behind him that turned three double plays, including a strike-em-out, throw-em-out combination to end the third.
Trailing 4-1 heading into the top of the sixth inning, UMass got a two-out RBI-single from sophomore John Toffey (Barnstable, Mass.), who was making his first collegiate start at third base. That run brought the Minutemen within two, 4-2.
As Harvard went hitless in its half of the sixth, UMass mounted a one-out comeback in their last inning at bat, beginning with a Crimson throwing error allowing senior shortstop Mike Athas (Holyoke, Mass.) to reach first base. Sophomore catcher Frank Curreri (Weymouth, Mass.) followed and ripped a 2-2 pitch into left center field allowing Athas to score all the way from first. The stand-up double was Curreri's second RBI-hit of the game as he also knocked home Athas in the first inning.
Senior first baseman Matt Reynolds (South Boston, Mass.) followed Curreri, and whacked the second pitch he saw down the left field line, plating Curreri, and knotting the score at 4-4, all with just one out. A ground out to the third baseman moved Reynolds to third, but a looping fly ball to right field, held up in the air just long enough for the outfielder to make the catch, ending the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Harvard sent up a pitch hitter who was hit by a pitch, and was promptly lifted in favor of a pinch runner. The next batter hit a hard shot at freshman third baseman Devin Barnett (New Orleans, La.), who had just entered the game at third following the hit batter. Barnett knocked down a screaming line drive, and whipped a throw across the field, but according to the first base umpire, just missed an out on the Harvard player running down to first base. Demers, who had gone over 100 pitches at this point (65 for strikes) was lifted in favor of junior righty Anthony Gallo (Peabody, Mass.). Harvard followed by hitting Gallo's second offering over the left field fence, ending the game.
UMass baseball returns to action this weekend at home against Atlantic 10 rival Fordham. The Minutemen have won three consecutive conference contests, and will host the Rams beginning Saturday, Apr. 24, at 12:00 p.m. on Lorden Field. A pair of seven-inning double headers will be followed on Sunday, by a single nine-inning contest.