Going, Going...

Bassackwards

It had the rhythm of the Flamenco. Something like "Da-da-da-da-da... BOOM' Da-da-da-da... BOOM!" "Get set, wind-up, pitch... BOOM' Get set, wind-up, pitch... BOOM!"

Harvard hurler Bill Larson just kept firing the ball to the plate in the second inning of Saturday's second game against Navy, and the Midshipmen just kept turning it around and sending it many leagues away.

With one out, third baseman-oracle Jon Mullican lined sharply to left fielder Chris Schindler, a shot that missed leaving the park only because it didn't get up high enough into the wind, which, in the understatement of the year, was blowing strongly and straight-out.

Then the real barrage started: Midshipman Steve Acalin hit a long home run to left. Bob Dishman followed with a triple deep into the alley in right center. Left fielder Tom Kiser banged one over the 375 sign in left that Schindler didn't even bother to try for, giving the Midshipmen a 3-1 lead.

After Rick Wilson reached first safely (questionable) with a bunt single, leadoff batter Rick Loferski blasted another one over the head of Schindler, who by this time must have been wondering which direction to face.

Larson struck out Andy Ponsiego to end the air-sea battle, but the damage was already done. Or was it? On this bizarre baseball weekend, where the fans and their beer were efficiently chilled by the unrelenting wind, and the Harvard baseball team went hot and cold and hot and cold and then mostly cold, the game was far from over.

The one high point of an otherwise dismal 1-3 weekend was the comeback in the second Navy game.

In the fourth inning, still trailing, 3-0, the Crimson punched across three runs, the key blow a two-run double by the second baseman Gaylord Lyman. In the fifth, Harvard tied the game up on rbi-singles by Captain Paul Chicarello and Schindler. And finally, in the bottom of the sixth frame, Crimson catcher Vinnie Martelli scored the winning run after doubling, moving to third on a Don Allard single and coming home on Chicarello's sacrifice fly.

Larson, incredibly, survived that one horrendous inning to pitch a complete game and gain the win. Outside the fateful second, he gave up only two hits.

In the first Princeton game yesterday, the Crimson made another valiant comeback attempt, getting a run in the fourth and three more in the fifth to tie the game at seven. But the Tigers did some bouncing back of their own, scoring a run in the top of the seventh to win the game, 8-7.

Harvard's big baseball weekend, as quick as a crack of the bat, was gone with the wind.