The Harvard baseball team's recent slide continued yesterday courtesy of a slider.
University of Rhode Island pitcher Steve Murphy added a slider to his pitching menu only three weeks ago. But yesterday, Murphy's new-found pitch helped cook the Crimson.
Murphy surrendered only four hits en route to leading his team to an 11-4 triumph in front of 100 spectators at Soldiers Field.
"Everything was working," Murphy said. "I used sliders, fastballs and a few curves in spots. The slider has really helped me a lot."
The Crimson, a loser of five of its last seven games, could not get on the board until the seventh inning. By that time, the Rams owned an 11-0 lead.
URI's big innings were the third (three runs on three hits) and the fourth (four runs on one hit). Rhode Island (10-28 overall) jumped on Harvard starter and loser Jon Biotti (2-2) and continued its hitting display against relievers Will Mercer and Jay Jakimczyk.
"We really didn't know much about Harvard," Ram Coach Dave Morris said. "We have to worry about ourselves. We've been struggling. It was good to get some runs on the board early."
Harvard scored its first run in the seventh inning when Casey Cobb tripled home Tim Hurley. The Crimson added three runs in the eighth.
"I got a little tired near the end," said Murphy, who improved to 5-5 on the year. "But all I had to do was hit spots, throw strikes."
"A couple of the players on my team played with [Harvard outfielders] Frank Caprio and Dan ***, and told me they are pretty good. I was a little weary of them," Murphy said.
Harvard (12-14 overall) will play doubleheaders against Cornell and Princeton at home this weekend.