Batsmen Tan Foes in Florida
Squad Romps With 8-0 Start
The Harvard baseball team journeyed once again to Sanford, Florida over spring break, and, as has become something of a tradition in this honky-tonk town every spring, romped over eight other college teams during its ten-day stay there.
The Crimson went 7-0 in a round-robin tournament in Sanford, in addition to beating Jacksonville in a non-tourney contest, bringing a perfect slate up north in preparation for the serious competition starting Wednesday at UMass.
Besides the various college squads, Harvard got some difficult challenges from minor league squads. The batsmen tied the Red Sox farmhands 5-5 on March 24 and beat the Pirates' minor leaguers 7-0 the following day before being put in their place by the Twins bushers and Dodger Triple-A stars, 10-0 and 17-0, respectively.
The rough affairs with the pro clubs seemed to prime the Crimson for the round robin, which started on March 27. On that day Harvard defeated Wisconsin-Oshkosh 17-15 and Jacksonville, 8-7.
In the first game the Crimson came back from a 6-3 deficit with ten runs in the seventh and four in the ninth to successfully fend off the Oshkosh offense. Harvard used four pitchers, but righthanded ace Larry Brown finished up and got the win. Mike Stenhouse provided most of the plate punch, going 3 for 6 with six RBIs on a three-run homer and a triple.
Two unearned runs helped Harvard to its win over Jacksonville in a game in which the Crimson never trailed. The pitching began to come around, as Steve Baloff worked a strong seven innings, giving up four earned runs and striking out nine before yielding to Ron Stewart, who hurled a one-hitter over the last two to notch the save. Again it was Stenhouse who starred at the dish with a 2-for-3 performance with two RBIs.
From March 28 on the Crimson realized the caliber of competition that it was up against and handled it accordingly.
Harvard dispatched Binghamton College, 6-1, on the 28th, as Paul McOsker made good use of the six runs in the first three innings to complement his complete game triumph. The lanky lefty gave up one run on five hits and struck out four, while captain Paul Halas took over Stenhouse's hitting chores with a double and two RBIs to spice the win.
Later that same afternoon the Crimson felled Central Connecticut easily, 5-1. This time it was Brown who tossed the complete game, a one-hitter, mesmerizing Central Connecticut with ten strikeouts without giving up an earned run. Halas's two-run homer in the sixth was the big blow, and all that Brown needed.
March 29 was Pitching and Defense Day at Sanford, and the batsmen set the tone with a 4-2 win over Northwood and a 1-0 nipping of hockey power St. Lawrence.
In the Northwood clash the Crimson got two runs in the sixth to break a 2-2 deadlock. Stewart scattered seven hits and gave up an earned run in going the distance, while Stenhouse was 2 for 3 with a double.
The nightcap with St. Lawrence was the Crimson's closest and perhaps best outing of the trip. It was a scoreless affair until the bottom of the seventh inning when first baseman Mark Bingham walked and then scored on reserve slugger Dave Knoll's double.
Freshman southpaw Jim Keyte hurled a no-hitter through the first five innings, but after he yielded a single to lead off the sixth, Timmy Clifford came in to shut the door on the Larries for the final two frames.
Harvard rounded out the sunshine sweep with a pair of shutouts on the final two days. The Crimson blanked tourney runner-up Delaware, 3-0, and then detonated Mt. St. Mary's College 17-0 in the final game of the round robin.
Against Delaware Brown recorded his third and most encouraging victory. The junior fired a one-hitter and fanned four to clinch a share of the tournament Most Valuable Player award with teammate Stenhouse.
Harvard managed only three hits in the contest, and got all its runs in the third when designated hitter Bobby Jenkins reached on an error, Stenhouse walked, and then Bingham hit a triple to score them both before coming home himself on a throwing error by the third baseman immediately afterward.
Harvard scored in every inning except the last during the St. Mary's devastation, which was mercifully called after six innings.
Knoll, who replaced Stenhouse early in the game (Sten batted .428 in the tourney), literally took his place, as the junior went 3 for 3 and blasted two round-trippers. The other hitting star in the Crimson's 15-hit barrage was Halas, who popped another two-run homer. On the mound Baloff got his second win, going only four innings and giving up one hit.
The fun's over now, though, and it's time to play some baseball. That task should be no problem for Harvard.