Scrambling Navy Nine Hands Crimson 5-3 Loss
With an offense that had all the sting of a wet noodle, Navy scraped up enough runs to beat Harvard 5-3 on Saturday and hand the Crimson its second straight loss in the Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League.
In the eighth inning, Navy broke a 3-3 with the deciding runs, but, they did the trick without the benefit of a single hit. Harvard starter Bob Lincoln walked the first man he faced, will pitched him to second, and then walked the next batter. Coach Norm Shepard, who had Larry Melfa warming up for much of the chilly afternoon, pulled Lincoln and called for the sidearming lefthander.
Melfa promptly plunked At Lemerande with a pitch, loading the bases. He walked John Naye on a 2-2 count, forcing in the first run, and then compounded the misfortune by walking Warren Spaeth to drive in another. Navy had their two runs -- on four bases on balls, a wild pitch, and 'a batsman.
Harvard had taken an early 2-0 lead, largely through the heroics of Dan Hootstein. In the first. Jeff Grate singled to center and took second on a wild throw by the center fielder. Hootstein followed with another single to center to drive Grate across. In the third, Hootstein led off with a long home run up the alley in left center that the Navy outfielders didn't retrieve until he was rounding third.
But the Middles erased the margin in the sixth, as untidily as always. Naye blooped a single into right, and Grate booted Spaeth's hard grounder at shortstop to put men on first and second. Bill Dukiet hit a hopper to Jim Tobin at third that took a crazy bounce for an infield hit, loading the bases. Lincoin fanned the next man, but Bill Sorenson's single to right scored two runs.
Bob Welz's single in the sixth drove Hootstein to give the Crimson the lead again at 3-2, but Navy got the run back in the seventh on three singles sandwiched around Welz's error on a sacrifice.
One Harvard fan, happily bear-besotted, climbed onto the roof of the Navy dugout in the fifth inning and began to bellow Hamlet's "To be or not to be" Soliloquy. A Navy player retaliated by dousing him with several cups of water. The orator wobbled back to his seat and contented himself with spraying passages from Shakespeare indiscriminately at the Middics and the umpires.
Lincoin, who gave up only one hit over the first five innings, took the loss for the Crimson. Rick Buchanan, who relieved Rick Miller in the sixth for Navy, stopped Harvard on one hit for the rest of the way and got the win.
Harvard's record now drops to 7-3, with an 0-2 EIBL mark. Navy, 2-0 in the EIBL, has five wins against a single defeat.