The temperature hovered around 40 degrees yesterday at Soldiers Field as the Harvard baseball team met Northeastern in a doubleheader.
But the Crimson's bats were far below the freezing point.
Harvard managed but seven hits--five of those singles--yesterday while dropping a pair to the Huskies, 3-2 and 9-3. The batsmen fell to 4-2 on the season.
In the opener, Harvard's junior hurler Chris Marchok was superb, stringing together eight scoreless innings after surrendering a pair of runs in the first, while allowing only four hits.
But Northeastern's Brian Baldwin was equal to the challenge, holding Harvard to a single over eight innings after Crimson designated hitter Jim DePalo's two-run homer in the first.
Huskie Jerry Nelson led off the game with a walk and second baseman Jim Mealey followed with a single, both runners moving up on the throw. With runners on second and third, right fielder John Griffin bounced out to second, scoring Nelson. Cleanup hitter Paul DiPillo followed with a single, driving in Mealey.
Harvard struck right back in the bottom of the first. Leadoff hitter Paul Vallone drew a walk and was forced at second by sophomore Frank Caprio. Captain Bob Kay bounced a 2-1 pitch back to the mound, and Baldwin fired to second to try for two. Caprio beat the throw, but the relay nipped Kay at first.
With Caprio on second, Harvard slugger DePalo tied the game two pitches later with a blast over the fence.
Both hurlers then settled down and the game became an extra-inning duel of the mound. Marchok retired 14 of the next 15 batters--and picked off the only baserunner. Baldwin nearly duplicated Marchok's effort, retiring 11 consecutive Crimson hitters before third baseman Paul Rooney singled with two down in the fifth.
Harvard threatened in the bottom of the ninth when Caprio led off with a walk, stole second, and moved to third on a grounder by Kay. The Huskies intentionally walked Jim DePalo, putting runners at the corners. The Crimson wasted the opportunity, however, when right fielder Chris McAndrews fanned and Pakalnis flied out.
The Huskies made the most of their reprieve with a two-out rally in the top of the tenth. Crimson reliever Jim Chenevey walked d.h. Tony Carter, who promptly stole second. Juan Craft took Carter's place at second as a pinch runner. Catcher Ed Field singled, with Carter holding up at third, but the dam finally broke when shortstop Mulry lined an RBI single to right for a 3-2 lead.
The Crimson put the tying run on second but failed to bring him home when Vallone flied out to end the game.
In the second game, the Husky hitting doomed the batsmen as Northeastern pounded Harvard pitching for 13 hits, 10 in the last three innings.
DiPillo led the way with a double, a triple and two sacrifices for four RBI.
The visitors jumped on Harvard starter Kevin Curtin for a run in the first, two in the third, and three in the fifth.