Pictured: Senior Dan Berardo got the Crimson off to a great start with three hitless innings (three strikeouts) against UMass on Wednesday
BROOKLINE, Mass. – Harvard's Danny Moskovits' one-out single up the middle in the ninth inning scored Jack Colton with the game's only run as the Crimson defeated Massachusetts, 1-0, in the first round of the Beanpot at Friedman Diamond in Brookline.
Harvard will play Boston College for the Beanpot championship on April 27 at Fenway Park. BC defeated Northeastern, 6-1, earlier in the day. Game time will be at 7 p.m. following the 3:30 consolation game between UMass and Northeastern.
Massachusetts' (12-18) lefty Charlie Benson (1-2), making his first start of the season endured eight innings of gutsy pitching as he bent but didn't break against the upstart Crimson. Benson scattered nine hits through the first eight frames but only allowed one runner to reach third base. He went back to the mound for the ninth inning having already thrown 111 pitches.
Colton led off the ninth and worked a full count walk, spelling the end of the afternoon for Benson. Leif Sorenson came out of the bullpen as the team's closer in an attempt to preserve the tie. The righty submariner threw one pitch to Sean O'Hara, who laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt, moving Colton to second. Sorenson then threw a 1-1 fastball to Moskovits, who muscled a grounder up the middle, just past a diving Josh Messier at shortstop. Rich Graef came up with the ball in centerfield and made a nice throw to the plate but Colton was able to break up the play at the plate, sliding to the inside of the diamond as catcher Tom Conley was unable to come up with the ball cleanly.
The hit made a winner of reliever Andrew Hatch (2-0), who threw 3.0 innings of four-hit baseball in which he struck out three.
The Crimson received tremendous pitching as Dan Berardo (3.0 IP, 0 H, 3 K) and Jonah Klees (3.0 IP, 1 H, 3 K) pounded the strike zone all game. The Crimson took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Graef beat out an infield single.
Harvard is back to its Ivy League schedule this weekend as the Crimson hosts Yale for a four-game set at O'Donnell Field on Saturday and Sunday.