The Crimson claimed its third ever Beanpot Championship on Patriots Day. (Harvard Athletics)
BROOKLINE, Mass. – For the first time since 2005, the Harvard baseball team claimed the Beanpot Championship on Monday afternoon as the Crimson (11-24, 5-11 Ivy) stifled the Massachusetts Minutemen (8-23, 6-9 A10), 3-0 at Northeastern's Friedman Diamond.
Mitch Klug (3-for-4) played hero at the plate, driving in what was to be the eventual winning run in the bottom of the fourth, and scoring on a wild pitch in the sixth. He and Carlton Bailey (2-for-3) both reached base three times for Harvard. Bailey also had a fine day in the field, serving as a catalyst for a pair of double plays as the Crimson's second baseman, filling in for Kyle Larrow who was running the 2014 Boston Marathon.
On the arms of starter Greg Coman and reliever T.J. Laurisch, the Crimson yielded just five hits to UMass on the day, while belting out eight of its own at the plate. Coman earned the win for Harvard in his first career start as a freshman, going 5.0 innings and giving up a meager two hits while walking one and striking out four. Laurisch picked up his first save of the season with a 4.0-inning showing, giving up just three hits while also fanning four Minutemen.
Neither club could get things rolling in the early going, both combining for just three hits through three full innings off the starting hurlers. But after Coman got the Minutemen to sit down in order in the fourth, the Crimson went to work. Matt Hink sent a shot up the middle with two outs on the board, then proceeded to steal second to move into scoring position. From there, it didn't take long for Hink to cross the plate as Klug sent a deep shot to center field, bouncing over the wall at the 370 mark for an RBI ground rule double to make it 1-0.
In the sixth, the Minutemen had two on the base paths with just one out, but Bailey snagged a blooping ball out of the air and doubled up Yanakopulos at second in the process to end the inning quickly. From there, the Crimson stepped on the gas in the bottom half of the frame. After Ethan Ferreira drew a hit-by-pitch, Klug moved him up a station with a single up the middle to put two on with two outs. After a change in UMass pitchers, Steve Dill sent a long single to right, pushing Ferreira across and moving Klug to third. On the very next pitch, Klug came home himself thanks to a wild pitch in the dirt, extending the Crimson's lead to 3-0.
With a comfortable advantage, Laurisch settled in on the mound and got himself out of a couple of jams to eventually end the day as the Crimson took a late 3-0 lead and turned it into the program's third-ever Beanpot Championship.