It wasn't exactly like playing under the Florida sun, but the Crimson batmen aren't complaining. They opened the real part of their schedule (the part against teams located north of the Mason-Dixon line) with a 5-4 victory over Boston College at Soldiers Field yesterday, and although there were no palm trees adorning the foul lines, a win is still a win.
In improving its overall record to 12-2, Harvard called upon seven men to produce the nine hits it collected, with sophomores Paul Halas and Bill Cote (two singles apiece) accounting for the disparity in the arithmetic.
The recipient of this "one for all and all for one" offensive strategy was freshman righthander Tim Clifford, who replaced starter Jamie Werly in the fifth inning with the Eagles clinging to a 2-1 advantage.
The Crimson had led first, 1-0, on a bases-loaded walk to designated hitter Dave Knoll in the opening inning, but Boston College took the lead for the first and last time in the third when Werly wild pitched two runners across the plate.
After a double play took Clifford out of a potential jam in the top of the inning, the Crimson regained control with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth.
An Eagle error, Halas' second single, a sacrifice and a walk loaded the bases with one out for Jim Peccerillo, so the sophomore shortstop took advantage of the situation and lined a double to right, scoring two runs.
Two innings later, with the Soldiers Field lighting decreasing by an f-stop per minute, the Crimson struck twice more, scoring the eventual winning run in the process.
Singles by Peter Bannish and Knoll sandwiched a Peccerillo sacrifice (currently on sale at Elsie's for half price) to put runners on first and second, and preceded base hits by Tommy Joyce and Cote, which gave Harvard a three-run lead and a seeming lock on victory, as Clifford was getting stronger as the game progressed.
In the top of the eighth, though, the Eagles' last chance (it's dangerous to play under the lights when the field doesn't have any lights), Clifford lost his touch, and before you could say Harry Ohanesian, the latter hit a two-run homer to tighten matters up.
And when the next batter, Tom Songin, followed with a single, it was time for Clifford to exit in favor of Mark Linehan. "I just didn't have it in that last inning," Clifford said last night. "You can't really explain it, because I wasn't really tired, and I had had a few good innings, but Mark pitched really well."
Which he did, inducing, after a sacrifice bunt had moved Songin into scoring position with just one out, Kevin MacDonald to pop to short, and striking out Brian McCann to save the game for Clifford and the Crimson.
With one northern victory thus secured, the batmen travel to Penn and Columbia this weekend, with the knowledge that Florida is just 51 weeks away