This was supposed to be it. The Big One. Superfreshman Ronnie Perry and his Holy Cross baseball mates staging a diamond tug-of-war with Loyal Park and his Kiddie Korps. Plenty of fans, oodles of sunshine, buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks.
Somehow it just didn't work out that way. Perry made three errors, there werent' enough people in the stands for a bridge game, the sun was off vacationing somewhere, and Park's boys totally humiliated the Crusaders, 9-3, for their thirteenth win of the season.
Timmy Clifford took over for starter Steve Baloff in the fifth with the score 5-3 in favor of Harvard and proceeded to shut the door on Holy Cross in his first northern pitching appearance of the year. In five shutout innings the sophomore gave up only two hits while fanning six.
"I felt real good overall. I hadn't pitched in a game since the last Friday in Florida and I was a little erratic at first. Then I started getting my pitches down and my curveball in and I was fine," Clifford said.
Harvard jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning when Dave Singleton led off with a single to right, moved to second on Rick Pearce's sacrifice bunt, and scored on a 325-foot double to left field by Mark Bingham.
Holy Cross second baseman Pete Columbo then let Paul Halas' grounder cruise through his legs, and Bingham scored on his wild throw to first. Columbo's miscues were the first and second of six Crusader boo-boos on the day which led to four unearned runs for Harvard.
Still in the first inning, Charlie Santos-Buch's infield hit was heaved into the stands by Perry, allowing Halas to score the final Crimson run of the inning. Harvard got two more unearned runs in the second, thanks mainly to another botch job by Columbo on a Singleton grounder.
Baloff was rolling along until the fourth when four Holy Cross hits, among them a long two-run homer by Dave Bisceglia, and a wild pitch brought home all of Holy Cross's three runs on the day and forced the hurler's eventual departure.
After that it was Clifford who stole the show, although round-trippers, in the fifth by Halas and in the seventh by Singleton, were strong contenders for co-starring roles. Both blasts went up the left-center field power alley, falling about 370 feet from home plate.
Harvard got its final two runs in the seventh after Singleton's homer, with successive base hits by Pearce, Mike Stenhouse, and Bingham, and a sacrifice fly to center by Halas doing the damage.
Lost in the shuffle of homers, runs, and strong pitching was the fine defensive game turned in by catcher Rich Trembowicz. Trembowicz "had a whale of a ballgame" according to Park, and his diving catch of a foul pop near the Harvard bat rack in the top of the eighth was the big play in the field for the Crimson yesterday.
Park will send Larry Brown (3-0) out to face M.I.T. this afternoon at Soldiers Field. The Crimson have already beaten the Engineers this seaso , 5-1, on April 12.