Some would have called yesterday's Harvard-MIT baseball game a pitchers' duel, others would have called it boring. The two squads combined for six hits (three singles apiece) as the Crimson yawned its way to a 3-1 victory.
The pitching was nearly flawless, with the exception of Engineer starter Dave Yauch. Yauch handed the contest to Harvard in the first inning, as he had problems (to say the least) finding the strike zone. The junior Engineer's trajectory was faulty as he launched the spheroid erratically toward the first three Harvard batters, walking Ed Durso, Jimmy Thomas and Leigh Hogan.
One out later, with the bases still full, designated hitter Joe Mackey reached on a fielders choice that sent Durso across the plate. Dave St. Pierre came to the plate and he too was issued a free pass from Yauch loading the bags again. Ric LaCivita then picked up a "Pyrric" RBI as one of Yauch's pitches hit the second baseman in the arm, sending him to first and Thomas home.
Sensing that Yauch might not be able to go much further, MIT coach Fran O'Brien got out the hook and hauled his starter to the showers. Mike Royal then ascended the mound to get the final out of the inning.
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From there on it was a duel between Royal and Don Driscoll, who was working his first game since a disastrous spring trip where he lost his two starts by wide margins. But yesterday, Driscoll was back to his form of last season when he was 5-1 with a 1.67 ERA before his injury.
The only run that MIT could muster against Driscoll was unearned, as was the only run Harvard picked up off Royal. Mike Dzieken scored the Engineer run in the seventh, reaching first on a single, second on a passed ball (Dan Williams' first of the season), third on a fly ball to right and home on an error by Thomas.
Dzieken's single was the last hit MIT came up with, as Driscoll retired nine of the last ten, and the final six in a row. The righthander struck out Dzieken and DH Dan Sundberg to end the game. He finished with eight strikeouts and issued only two walks en route to the victory.
Royal walked three, hit one batter and struck out three while hurling his three-hitter. With the exception of Williams, who scored Harvard's third run in the fourth on a sacrifice by Thomas, no Crimson runner got past second base after Yauch went to the bench.