UMass baseball falls short in second straight Beanpot final

By Tyler Fiedler

Sophomore shortstop Vinnie Scifo chases down a ball in the outfield during Saturday's game against Dayton at Earl Lorden Field. (James Jesson/Daily Collegian)
Sophomore shortstop Vinnie Scifo chases down a ball in the outfield during Saturday’s game against Dayton at Earl Lorden Field. (James Jesson/Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts baseball team and Harvard went into Monday’s Beanpot final looking to salvage otherwise disappointing seasons.

The Crimson were losers of three straight coming into the contest, while the Minutemen were losers of three of their last four games.

“We felt confident going into the game,” UMass coach Mike Stone said. “We have been playing good baseball and have lost some heartbreakers.”

The Minutemen suffered another heartbreaking loss on Monday, falling 3-0 to Harvard (11-24, 5-11 Ivy League) at Northeastern’s Friedman Diamond. It’s the second straight year that UMass lost in the Beanpot final, while its record plummets to 8-23 on the season..

Sophomore Mitch Klug played hero for the Crimson as he drove in the eventual winning run in the fourth inning on a two-out double to deep center. Harvard would plate two more in the sixth inning on a single and a wild pitch with two outs.

“Their two out hitting really hurt us,” Stone said. “We could not put them away in those two innings.”

Freshman Ryan Moloney (0-7) got the start for UMass going 52/3 innings, giving up all three runs on five hits. He walked one and struck out five.

“I thought (Moloney) pitched well (Monday),” Stone said. “He just could not finish those two innings and we could not get runners home.”

Greg Coman earned his first win of the season for Harvard, shutting out the Minutemen and only surrendering two hits with one walk over five innings. T.J. Laurisch closed out the final four innings for the Crimson giving up three hits with two walks and four strikeouts. He picked up his first save of the year.

“Both of Harvard’s pitchers shut us down,” Stone said. “We could not put anything together the whole game.”

The Minutemen got as far as third base just once throughout the contest on a two-out triple by redshirt junior Adam Picard. Picard registered two of UMass’ five hits for the game. Senior Nik Campero had the Minutemen’s only other extra base hit in the contest, which extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

The Minutemen struggled to get anything going but in the seventh they found themselves with the biggest opportunity of the game. Hits by Dylan Begin and Picard put runners on first and second with two outs. But John Jennings struck out swinging to end the threat. It was the only inning the Minutemen could get more than one base runner on at a time.

Klug finished the game 3-for-4 with a double, run scored and one run batted in. Carlton Bailey went 2-for-3 to contribute for the Crimson.

UMass will play host to Connecticut April 22 at Earl Lorden Field. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Tyler Fiedler can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter at @Tyler_Fiedler.