Baseball Silences MIT, 9-1, at Soldiers
Crimson Reach .500 for First Time in a Month; Will Face BC For 'Pot Title Today
With a 9-1 victory over MIT (13-7) at Soldiers Field yesterday, the Harvard baseball team (15-15 overall, 9-7 Ivy) reached the .500 mark for the first time since March 28.
The Crimson got solid play from every part of its game--pitching, defense, batting and base-running, a combination that should boost its confidence when it takes the field today against Boston College at Fenway Park in the Championship of the 1993 Beanpot tournament.
"We just have to play solid defense and make the big plays," Captain Mike Hill said. "[Today's win] put us at .500, and we don't want to go under it again."
Yesterday's game started out dangerously for sophomore pitcher Scott Davidson, who loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first. But Davidson struck out the final two batters to retire the side in an inning that saw him throw 33 pitches.
Davidson also got himself out of another jam in the fourth, when he struck out the side after loading the bases with no outs.
It took the Crimson an inning-and-a-half to adjust to a harsh and cold 30-mile-per-hour wind that was blowing in from right field--a wind that made Soliders Field feel and look like San Francisco's Candlestick Park.
After Hill and sophomore James Crowley hit rockets that died in the wind, Harvard decided to hit the ball on the ground and run like crazy.
The strategy worked, as the Crimson scored two runs off three stolen bases and three singles, with RBI's coming from junior Bill Madden and senior Juan Zarate. The Crimson had a season-high six stolen bases for the game.
Madden, who has seen a lot of action at third base in the past week, led the batting attack, going 2-for-5 with 3 RBI's.
"I've been working hard all season." Madden said. "I want to contribute, help the team the best I can."
Harvard Head Coach Leigh Hogan had to shuffle the line-up in order to rest sophomore second baseman Bo Bernhard.
Bernhard pulled his right quadricep in Sunday's first game against Brown but hopes to be ready for action today. Junior Eric Weissman filled in at second, Madden played third and Zarate made his first appearance at shortstop.
Sophomore catcher Bryan Brissette also got a rare start and, like Madden, made the most of it, going 2-for-4 and scoring two runs.
"I'm seeing the ball well," Brissette said. "The more you play, the better you get."
Davidson struck out nine Engineers in four innings, and senior Chip Poncy got the win in relief, allowing one run on three hits in four innings, while striking out five.
Sophomore Tim Vanech struck out two in the ninth in his first outing of the year.
NOTEBOOK: Junior Dave Morgan was named the Ivy League and the ECAC Player of the Week for his performances against Boston University and Brown.
Morgan went a combined 14-for-21 (.667), with two homers and 11 RBI's in five games.
Morgan will look to continue his Fenway magic today against BC. In five Beanpot games over three years, Morgan is 9-for-18 (.500), with three home runs over the Green Monster and 13 RBI's.
"Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better": Two weekends ago, sophomore Jamie Irving started and won two games against Yale. He was victorious with his right hand on Saturday and with his left hand on Sunday, a feat that made this week's USA Today Baseball Weekly.
This past weekend at Brown, senior Ray Desrocher showed that Irving wasn't the only pitcher that could hold the fort down twice in one weekend.
Desrocher won two games in a row last Sunday at Brown, pitching the last four innings of the 10-inning first game and hurling the first six innings of the nightcap.
When asked whether Irving's feat ever entered his mind, Desrocher said, "Jamie and I were kidding each other. I told him I only needed one hand to win both games. He needed two." WP: Davidson (2), Poncy. PB: Somerville, Brissettle. BK: None. HBP: Ofson(Venech).
WP: Davidson (2), Poncy. PB: Somerville, Brissettle. BK: None. HBP: Ofson(Venech).