But then the umpire signaled safe, and suddenly, instead of an enraged Walsh storming off the field from his third base coach’s box, it was enraged Yale skipper John Stuper storming onto it, barking all the way.
“You can’t make those mistakes in a close ballgame,” Stuper said. “Bear down!”
The advice may have been meant for the umpire, but it was the Crimson (12-17, 6-6 Ivy) who was busy following it.
Moments after Mann was declared safe, it was clear that Harvard was, too. Mann brushed himself off and came around to score on a two-base error by Yale outfielder Chris Elkins, helping the Crimson to an 11-1 win to sweep the doubleheader day. Just like that, after running into two costly outs and failing to defend a double-steal play in a 9-8, 11th-inning loss on Friday, Harvard had taken three of four from the Bulldogs and seized a full-game lead atop the Red Rolfe Division standings.
“We got a break,” Walsh said about the Mann call. “Hey, it’s nice to get one once in a while.”
In truth, plenty of breaks went Harvard’s way against Yale (13-18, 4-8). On a weekend when freshman pitcher Matt Brunnig made his return from injury and junior centerfielder Bryan Hale (9-for-16, 7 runs scored) made his return from oblivion, one of the only mars was a flare-up in junior Trey Hendricks’ knee that forced him to leave the field Saturday on a cart.
Though generally satisfied with the weekend’s developments, Walsh couldn’t help but think about the one that got away Friday.
“I just hope that game doesn’t come back and hurt us,” he said. “That’s one we’re going to look back on all season.”