Batsmen Batter Brandeis
One way to kill a losing streak is to have three of your starting pitchers throw on the same day.
Another way is just to let the offense do some damage.
Yesterday, the Harvard baseball team did both.
The Crimson broke a three-game losing streak with excellent pitching and a nine-run seventh-inning eruption to rout Brandeis, 13-4, in Waltham.
Harvard (6-9-1 overall, 1-3 EIBL) led, 4-3, going to the top of the seventh when Vesuvius gave way. Second baseman Jim Mrowka greeted the Judges by driving the first pitch on to the softball field behind the left field fence. After the Crimson loaded up the bases, right fielder Ted Decareau doubled to the gap, scoring two more runs.
With runners on second and third and still nobody out, Brandeis brought in a righthander to face righty DH Tim Hurley. Coach Alex Nahigian went against the percentages and kept in Hurley. And the junior responded by lofting a high fly to left that just cleared the foul pole for a three-run homer that extended the Crimson lead to 10-3.
Ace lefty Bob Baxter pitched three strong innings, allowing only one earned run. Brandeis took advantage of a Crimson miscue to score twice in the first inning, but Harvard responded with four runs in the top of the second when first baseman Rich Renninger singled in two runs with the bases full. Renninger, who has been on a torrid streak at the plate lately, went 4-for-5 with 5 RBI.
Junior Mike Dorrington, who came in for Baxter, had an excellent outing, giving up two unearned runs in four innings of middle relief.
Captain Dan McConaghy said that Nahigian wanted to give his starters some work before this weekend. It looked like the Crimson coach made the right decision.
"Mike was really strong today. He really had his stuff," pitcher Todd Forman said.
Forman mopped up the eighth and ninth, allowing only one base hit. Although the Crimson gave up four runs, only one was earned. McConaghy attributed the handful of Crimson errors to the wet field conditions.
"We really needed a good win to get us up for this weekend. We had lost three straight and our hitting was spotty, but everything came together," McConaghy said.
The Crimson has two league doubleheaders this weekend against perennial power Navy in Annapolis, Md., on Saturday and defending champion Penn (undefeated in EIBL competition this year) in Philadelphia on Sunday.
"We are going to have to sweep Penn and Navy to get back in the race," McConaghy said.