UMass defeats Harvard; reaches Beanpot final

By Eli Rosenswaike, Collegian Staff

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The Massachusetts baseball team will play at Fenway Park for the 13th straight season in the annual Beanpot Tournament on April 16.

For the first time in seven years it will be taking part in the championship game, rather than the consolation.

UMass defeated Harvard, 3-0, last night in the first round of the Beanpot in Lynn behind stellar pitching from junior Mike Dicato to advance to the championship where it will face Boston College.

The Minutemen (9-12, 3-6 Atlantic 10) last won the Beanpot in the 2000 season, when they defeated the Huskies, 13-8.

Last night’s game against the Crimson (2-23, 1-7 Ivy League) was scoreless through five innings, but that changed on a run-scoring single by Mike Donato in the sixth, scoring Adam Tempesta. Tempesta led off the inning with a double and was moved over to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Jim Macdonald.

That one run was all that UMass and Dicato needed. The right-hander allowed just three hits in 6 2/3 innings of shutout work, and the first hit didn’t come until the start of the sixth inning. Matt Rogers led off with a single, but Jeff Stoeckel immediately lined into a double play, eliminating any possible threat.

Dicato came out for the seventh inning but ran into serious trouble, allowing a double, walk, single and a hit-batsman while recording just one out. He caught a break when Taylor Meehan tried to extend his leadoff double into a triple but was thrown out. With the bases loaded and two outs, UMass coach Mike Stone summoned junior reliever Nathan Monroy into the game.

Monroy needed just two pitches to end the inning and the only real threat by the Crimson all game long, inducing Sean O’Hara to ground out to second base. Monroy also pitched the final two innings for the Minutemen, allowing just one hit and one walk.

UMass added two insurance runs in the eighth inning, one on a Tempesta sacrifice fly (scoring Brian Baudinet, who doubled and advanced to third on a Ryan Franczek bunt single) and another when Bryan Garrity singled home Franczek with two outs.

Dicato earned his first win of the season and struck out six, walking two. Monroy recorded his second save.

Baudinet, Tempesta and Andy Tuetken all had two hits for UMass. Taylor Meehan had two of the four hits for Harvard. Crimson starting pitcher Anthony Nutter allowed nine hits and three runs in seven innings.

The Crimson entered last night’s contest with a victory in their previous game against Cornell, which ended a 17-game losing streak.

Eli Rosenswaike can be reached at [email protected]