The Crimson will face off with Northeastern on April 22 in Fenway Park. (Gil Talbot)
AMHERST, Mass. – With a trip to the Beanpot Championship on the line, Harvard and UMass squared off at Earl Lorden Field on Monday, but the Minutemen (9-11, 7-5 A10) exacted revenge on the Crimson (16-16, 5-7 Ivy) for last season's meeting with a 6-5 victory.
Both Drew Reid (2-for-5) and John Fallon (2-for-5) had multi-hit games and an RBI, while Tanner Anderson (1-for-2) also drove in a run in the losing effort. On the mound, a trio of freshmen toed the rubber on Monday. Noah Zavolas earned the starting nod, going 3.1 innings, giving up four runs on five hits with three strikeouts and a walk. Three of his four runs came on one swing of the bat in the fourth inning. Dylan Combs took the loss on the day, giving up two runs on three hits in 3.0 innings of work. He did not issue a walk and struck out a pair of Minutemen along the way. Garrett Rupp closed things out, going 1.2 innings of scoreless work, issuing just one walk.
After the Crimson was set down in order by Andrew Grant in the first inning, all on strikeouts, the offense lit up the scoreboard with two runs. Anderson popped a one-out single to center and advanced to third during the ensuing Matt Hink at-bat. A wild pitch from Grant moved each up a station as Anderson came across as the first run of the game. Shortly after, Fallon made it 2-0 with a seeing eye single through the left side, plating Hink with ease.
Zavolas struck a pair of batters out in the bottom of the second, before another wild pitch went in Harvard's favor in the top of the third frame. Mike Martin, who drew a leadoff walk and stole second, eventually came across to score after a groundout and the wild pitch.
But even though the Minutemen were held in check in the bottom of the third, they finally got things going with a three-run shot in the next inning. A single and successful bunt put two on with one out for Adam Picard, who took Zavolas deep over the left center wall to instantly knot things up at 3-3. A double steal ensued, and John Jennings stole home to make it 4-3.
In the next inning, Anderson drew a bases-loaded out that scored D.J. Link to tie things up yet again. Then Reid went yard to give the Crimson its first lead in four innings with a leadoff effort to make it 5-4. But UMass used three one-out hits to plate two runs in the bottom of the seventh to regain a 6-5 lead. The Minutemen eventually held on by the same margin to secure its bid for a Beanpot title next Wednesday.
Up next, the Crimson heads to Chestnut Hill to take on Boston College on Wednesday.