Things looked pretty grim in the first inning, but the varsity baseball club managed to overcome a bad case of the jitters and smash highly touted Navy 10-3 yesterday at Soldiers Field.
For a while it appeared the Crimson was headed for disaster. Starter Paul Del Rossi walked the first man to face him in four straight pitches. In an attempt to rectify the mistake, he wheeled towards first suddenly with a beautiful pick off peg. He caught the runner--and first sacker Phil Bernstein--off guard. Bernstein missed the throw and Navy had a man on third.
Shaken slightly, Del Rossi promptly issued another free pass. Bob St. George made a nice catch of Chuck Galloway's fly to right, and quickly rifled the ball home, surprising the runner and third baseman Mike Drummey. Drummey let catcher Dick Diehl's peg glide into the outfield, and Navy had a run.
Del Rossi, shaken a little more, was about ready to sue his mates for non-support. Instead, he gave Ray Snyder just what he wanted, and Snyder homered to right field.
The whole complexion of the game changed in the bottom of the second. Bernstein redeemed himself with a single, and Curly Combs worked Bruce Gunkle for a walk. A few baters latter stocky Dick Diehl rambled up to the plate and shocked the Middies with a 380 foot blast to dead centerfield. Diehl rumbled around the bases and tied the score.
The real fireworks, however, took place a frame later, when the Crimson exploded for seven runs on nine bits, chasing two Navy pitchers. It was one of Harvard baseball's finest hours.
Terry Bartolet poked a single into center to begin the fun, and Dave Morso moved him to second on a sacrifice. Then Bernstein, still sore about his two first inning errors, tripled to deep center. Combs bounced to second, and the 300 fans sat back.
But Harvard was just beginning. St. George singled up the middle, and Gavin Gilmor lined a single to left. That ended the career of Gunkle and ushered in the Ill-fated Charles Spadafora.
Spadafora made an encouraging start--with a wild pitch. He then setled down and allowed four straight hits, including a single by a very happy Diehl and a triple by Del Rossi.
The home crowd really hated to see Sapadafora leave for the showers, but his successor, Tim Myers looked promising: his first pitch was drilled into center by Dave Morse. But all good things must end, and Bernstein concluded the party with a screaming liner to short.
Action cooled off after that as Myers got tough (allowing only three hits) and Del Rossi got toughter (fanning 11). By 6 p.m. the Middles were on their delapidated Navy bus, and the Crimson congratulated Del Rossi for his fifth straight win.
The Princeton Tigers will commence growling this afternoon at 3 p.m. Dick Garibaldi (2-0) is coach Norm Shepard's nominee to tame the savage beasts.