Batsmen to Battle Princeton, Cornell; League-Leaders Take Show on Road
The Harvard baseball team, riding high on a five-game winning streak, takes to the road this weekend, playing Princeton today and Cornell tomorrow in a pair of Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League (EIBL) doubleheaders.
The Crimson stands atop the EIBL standings with a 9-1 mark (12-3 overall), but Dartmouth (10-2) and Navy (11-3) are just percentage points behind.
Due to a measles epidemic at Dartmouth, the Big Green has postponed today's meeting with Cornell but will travel to Princeton for tomorrow's contest.
Heading the Tigers' offensive attack today against the Crimson will be Captain Todd Tuckner, who leads the squad with an overall .362 batting average and 33 walks. Jim Devin (.315), Mike Reid (.310), Mike Lutz (.306) and Sean Welsh (.280, three homers, 32 RBI) round out Princeton's threats.
Greg Hamilton (1-2, 4.76 ERA) and Steve Holland (4-3, 2.64 ERA) are the likely starters for the Tigers, who are in fifth place in the EIBL with a 6-7-1 mark.
In the Crimson's doubleheader tomorrow, Cornell (4-8 EIBL, 9-22 overall) will rely on Rob Deans and John O'Connor to keep a tough Harvard line-up,--featuring keeping players batting over .300--off the bases.
Although Deans is only 1-5 overall with a 7.05 ERA, O'Connor posts a 3-1 record and a 0.33 ERA in the EIBL.
Paul Kisslinger (.305), Joe Toscano (.300) and Mark Smith (.295) are the Big Red's top hitters.
Harvard Coach Alex Nahigian probably will counter with the same four pitchers that started in last weekend's sweeps of Army and Columbia: Chris Marchok, Jim Chenevey, Bob Baxter and Kevin Curtin. In its collective 27-2/3 innings last weekend, the starting foursome allowed only 10 hits and 3 runs.
Marchok hurled a one-hitter against the Cadets, and Baxter threw a two-hitter the next day against Columbia.
Harvard centerfielder Dan McConaghy overtook Captain Mike Pakalnis as the squad's leading hitter after going 3-for-4 against the University of Rhode Island on Thursday.
McConaghy is now batting .418 overall, while Pakalnis follows with a .393 mark. Pakalnis leads the EIBI though, with a .516 batting average Jim DePalo (9-for-21, .450) is the EIBL's fourth-leading hitter, and he is batting .353 overall.
First baseman Rich Renninger brought his average up from .304 to .346 (9-for-26) by batting 2-for-3 against URI.