WALTHAM--It may not have been the best Harvard baseball game in recent years, but it certainly was the most embarrassing.
Embarrassing first for the Greater Boston League, which sanctioned that so-called contest. Embarrassing for Pete. Varney, former Harvard star and major leaguer and now the first-year Brandeis coach, who suffered through the longest three-hour game he will ever watch.
And most of all, embarrassing for the Brandeis players who not only lost the most one-sided major college game this season but were subjected to the dishonor of fielding drills and laps around the field before the Harvard squad was even on the bus.
Harvard beat Brandeis, 25-2, yesterday, In baseball.
And, believe it or not, it was a game for six innings. Starters Jeff Pokorny and Billy Doyle hooked up in a fine pitching duel, the latter--who is slated to pitch Saturday at Columbia--departing after his scheduled five innings with a 5-1 lead and a five hitter.
But after a Kevin Lennon homer upped the margin to 6-1 and the Judges retaliated once in the bottom of the sixth off reliever Jeff Musselman, things quickly disintegrated for Brandeis.
Eddie Farrell, who tied the modern Harvard record with six hits on the day, led off the seventh with a double. Paul Chicarello, who rapped out four safeties, all after the sixth inning, scored him with a single. Gaylord Lyman then walked, but Scott Vierra hit into a force play, with Pokorny throwing Chicarello out at third. One out.
Mickey Maspons then pupped to second two pitches later, and the runners held. Two out. Pokorny never got the third.
Paul Scheper walked. Bruce Weller singled home two runs and Brad (six RBIs) Bauer lofted a homer over the right-center field fence. End of serious ballgame; beginning of shambles.
Before the inning ended, five more runs had scored, and after Musselman took care of the Brandeis seventh, he rested while Harvard scored him nine more.
Rollie Nadesu had finally replaced Pokorny after the Crimson had sent 14 men to the plate in the seventh, and after a walk to Chris Schindler, Weller had bounced to second base to retire the side.
This time, Nadesu picked up the first out early, forcing Bauer to fly to right on the inning's third pitch. Six hits and three walks later, however, he still didn't have another one, and before Elliott (Bombo) Rivera skied to Guillermo Caeser in center. Harvard had a 24-2 lead. Chicarello doubled home Farrell two batters later for the quarter century mark.
With those two aberrant innings amply rehashed and discarded, we can turn to what was really significant about the ballgame--the tight, five-hit effort by Doyle and the squad's finest fielding to date (marred only by a pair of catchers' interference calls, both, suspiciously, with Caeser at bat).
After fighting off initial control problems. Doyle picked up the pace, started to throw strikes and turned in the best start of any Crimson hurler this year.
This, naturally, helped the fielding. "When you have a fast-moving game like that and the pitcher is throwing a lot of strikes, it keeps the fielders on their toes," said Doyle, now 2-0 on the year.