For 7 1/2 innings yesterday the Harvard baseball team prevailed against hostile elements and the uninspired opposition of Holy Cross, and when the game was finally called on account of rain, the Crimson was on top, 5-2. Rain is scheduled for today as well, but if the sky is clear, Harvard will host North-eastern at 3 p.m. in a game that will probably decide the Greater Boston League championship.
Barry Malinowski went all the way for the win over Holy Cross his third, against two losses. Harvard's overall record is now 22-4.
The Crusaders got a run on their first time at bat, and Al Clapton led off the sixth inning with a home run. But Malinowski gave up only four hits in the entire game, and he had seven strike outs.
The weather made it look as if every inning would be the last, and when Holy Cross added the second run to its lead, the Crimson finally woke up with four runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Larry Barbiaux started the rally with a single to center, and Art Serrano, filling in at shortstop for Jim Stoekel who had left the game with an eye irritation, reached base on an error. Captain Mike Thomas singled in the first run, and Hal Smith followed with another single. An overthrow allowed two runs to score, and Smith ended up on third. Kevin Hampe executed a suicide squeeze play to bring in the fourth run.
Barbiaux drove in the final Crimson run with a triple to the opposite field in the seventh inning.
Sandy Weissant will be on the mound in today's showdown with the Huskies. He will be facing Mark Whittemore, a righthander with a 2-2 record and a 2.66 ERA Malinowski had trouble getting loose against Cornell on Saturday, and he lasted only 2 1/3 innings in a game that Harvard eventually lost, 14-8. However his record remains at 5-0, and his ERA of 1.68 is the second lowest on the staff.
The Huskies have won their last nine games, and if they beat Harvard today they will eclipse the old Northeastern record set in 1966 by a team that made it to the College World Series.
Notheastern's greatest strength has been its pitching. The team's ERA is 1.33, and if the Crimson manage to knock out Whittemore, it will have to face Steve Umbro, who has not allowed an earned run in eighteen innings of relief.
Northeastern's leading hitter is center fielder Tom Rizzuti, a little All-American safety who bats clean-up. In a game against Boston University, Rizzuti put a home run into the nets at Fenway Park, and, with a .415 batting average, he has attracted the attention of nine major league scouts.
Harvard leads the Greater Boston League with a record of 4-0, while Northeastern is in second place at 3-1. Since the Huskies play three more league games than Harvard, a victory over the Crimson would probably give them the GBL championship.
The outcome of the GBL race will not affect Harvard's chances for a trip to Omaha. In order to qualify, the Crimson must win the Eastern League. Dartmouth has a game advantage in the loss column, and can clinch the championship this weekend with a sweep over Yale and Brown. In order to keep its hopes alive. Harvard must beat Brown on Friday and then take a doubleheader from Yale on Saturday. If Dartmouth should lose a game, the championship will be decided in a make-up game between Harvard and Princeton, which will probably be played on Sunday.