Pictured: Andrew Ferreira threw 5.0 hitless innings Wednesday against Boston College (Gil Talbot).
BROCKTON, Mass. – Boston College's Dave Laufer struck out Harvard's Kyle Larrow with the bases loaded as the Eagles survived the Crimson with a 10-9 victory in the first round of the baseball Beanpot at Brockton's Campanelli Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
Next Wednesday, Harvard (11-18) and Boston College (16-17) will square off against the loser and winner, respectively, of tonight's game between Northeastern and Massachusetts.
Harvard, which out-hit BC by a 13-7 margin, is back in action this weekend as the Crimson hosts a four-game set against Brown on Saturday and Sunday at O'Donnell Field.
Trailing by six in the ninth inning, Harvard put together an impressive two-out rally against BC closer Matt Brazis but came up one pitch short as Laufer got a strikeout on a low 1-2 changeup.
It was a game of momentum swings as Harvard starter Andrew Ferreira threw five hitless innings only to see Boston College come up with a six-run sixth inning to chase him from the game and get into the Crimson bullpen.
Harvard jumped on top in the third inning. Sean O'Hara singled sharply up the middle to score Chris Rouches (single).
The Crimson threatened in the fourth as singles from Jeff Reynolds and Tyler Albright put runners on the corners with no outs. The bottom of Harvard's order could not produce a run however and BC starter Chris Kowalski worked out of further trouble.
Ferreira (0-2), making his seconds start, was untouchable in the early going as he struck out four straight at one point as he held BC hitless through 5.0 innings while recording seven strikeouts in all. Things changed in the sixth as the strike calls did not come as easily.
Number nine hitter Brad Zapenas led off the bottom of the sixth with a seeing-eye single through the left side. A dropped throw on a pickoff attempt moved him to second and he went to third on a sacrifice bunt. Matt Hamlet followed with a double inside the third base bag and past a drawn-in infield to tie the game. Consecutive walks loaded the bases for Matt Watson who was hit with a 3-2 pitch. Mike Sudal followed with an RBI groundout for a 3-1 lead and Garrett Smith doubled to left for a sudden 5-1 lead to chase Ferreira in favor of Dan Berardo. After a walk, Zapenas scored the sixth BC run with a single through the left side.
After Harvard touched Kowalski for six hits in the first five innings, reliever Kevin Moran shut down the Crimson, only allowing one hit over three innings while striking out a batter. Moran earned the win to even his record at 4-4 on the season.
BC added to its lead as John Spatula hooked a 2-1 changeup over the right field wall in the seventh for an 8-1 lead.
Harvard pushed three runs across in the eighth against Brazis, eventually touching the Eagle's closer for six runs in 1.2 innings. O'Hara led off with a single and came around on a Brent Suter fielder's choice. Suter and Marcus Way came around on an RBI single from Sam Franklin that saw Franklin stand up at third base after an error in right field.
BC got two important insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth against Jonah Klees on run-scoring doubles from Rob Anston and Hamlet to make it a 10-4 game.
In the ninth, Harvard pushed BC to the limit in the ninth with a two-out rally. Way launched a deep double to the right-center gap to score Dillon O'Neill (walk) and make it a 10-5 game. A single from Reynolds, his third of the game, put runners on the corners and chased Brazis from the game in favor of Kyle Prohovich.
Albright greeted Prohovich with a hard single up the middle for a 10-6 score. After a walk loaded the bases, Franklin delivered a run with a single to right and a bases loaded walk to Rouches on a full count made the score 10-8 as BC went back to its bullpen in favor of Dave Laufer. Facing O'Neill, Laufer issued a wild pitch to make it a 10-9 game before walking Harvard's leadoff batter to set up the final at bat against Larrow.
O'Hara, Way, Albright and Franklin all had two hits apiece to join Reynolds' three-hit game.