Harvard's varsity baseball team, having won only one of its five Eastern Intercolegiate Baseball League games, travels to New Haven today to face the Elis in a head-on battle for a first-division finish in the EIBL.
Harvard coach Loyal Park will start right-hander Tom Kidwell against Yale. Kidwell, 1-1 for the season, leads the pitching staff with a 1.32 ERA. In his last apearance, he held Springfield to four hits, including just one search infield single over the last five innings, but Harvard lost, 3-2.
The Crimson broke its scoring drought (four runs in three games) on Wednesday when it slammed out 11 hits against M.I.T. in a 9-1 triumph. Pete Varney and Dan DeMichele, who had been in temporary hitting slumps, each collected two hits.
Yale's fortunes have been, the exact opposite of the Crimson's. After a dismal Spring tour in which it lost 10 of its first 12 games. Yale split six games in the EIBL. The Elis waloped Penn, 15-6 and then dumped Columbia twice last weekend, 3-1 and 4-1, Harvard split a doubleheader with Columbia two weeks ago.
Through its first 16 games, 13 of which the Elis lost. Yale's squad was perhaps the worst team in New England. Yale's pitching staff had a 5.48 team ERA. The Elis' two leading pitchers, Jim McNerney and Jerry Norris, had dropped eight straight games and had compiled 6.97 and 6.55 ERA's respectively.
But coach Ken MacKenzie has found a team leader in junior lefthander Jay Bryan, who has four of Yale's six victories. Against Columbia, Bryan held the Lions to five hits and did not yield an earned run.
Also, McNerney, after the dismal Spring tear, has regained last year's form. In his last two outings, he threw a five-hitter against Holy Cross and a two-hitter against Columbia.
Yale's batting attack has not been intimidating (a 220 team average), but with Bryan and MeNerney in top form, the Elis are capable of stopping any team.
The Crimson ran into trouble against strong pitchers from Spring field and Dartmouth, and unless Harvard can reach the Eli hurlers another top-notch performance by Kidwell will be in vain.