The University nine, favored with a longer period of outdoor practice than has been possible before any opener in years, will oppose Boston University in the initial encounter of the season this afternoon at Soldiers Field at 3 o'clock
Coach George Gaw of the visitors believes, that he has the strongest team to represent Boston University since the war. Seven of the starting line-up played against the Crimson last year.
Carlson Is Leading Hitter
Carlson, captain of football this year and baseball last season, is the leading slugger of the Boston team. W. Murphy, football captain-elect, Captain Sessler, and Higginbotham, a three year veteran, are other headliners. MacDonald, who pitched the last half of the 1924 game, is scheduled to start in the box today.
Carlson, who has been an outfielder for three years has been shifted by Coach Gaw at the last minute to replace Crocker behind the bat. Carlson has had experience as a backstop, and with the recovery of Lawless, who has been out of the game with an injured shoulder, it was decided to have Carlson catch this afternoon instead of Crocker, a Freshman. Lawless will take Carlson's place in the outfield.
The starting line-up as announced last night by Coach Mahan, unless last minute changes are made on account of one or two lame arms among the potential starters, will include four Sophomores, three of them in the infield. Zarakov, 1927 Freshman captain, has in the last few days passed Slayton in the fight for the third base berth. He will lead off in the batting order.
Howard has also come to the fore in the past few days after being kept out of the line-up for over a week on account of illness. He was the individual star of the 1927 infield and an effective hitter of the slugger type. His batting eye has developed slowly this spring, presumably because of his enforced vacation from practice, but his fielding has been of a high order. Coady has seemingly clinched the first base position. He did not play on his Freshman team last year on account of scholastic troubles, but he has already distanced his competitors this spring.
The fourth Sophomore in the line up is Bennett in center field. He boasted the highest batting average on his Freshman team and is a steady fielder. His outfield mates are Todd and Rogers, both veterans of last season. Todd, leading hitter last year is setting the pace again this spring. Captain Hammond, the only infield veteran, is also hitting well.
Spalding and Toulmin will divide the pitching today. Coach Mahan does not think it wise to attempt to work one pitcher through a full game at this stage of development. Gehrke and Gordingley are other possibilities for mound service Spalding pitched the whole game against B. U. last year holding the Terriers to three scattered hits and winning 10 to 3 Hoffman, who was on the squad last year, will receive Spalding's offerings.