Pitching Staff Turns It Around

The Harvard pitching staff entered the weekend with the Ivy League’s second-worst ERA.

But chances are it’ll be moving up in the rankings.

Led by strong performances from all four of its starting pitchers—seniors Trey Hendricks, Mike Morgalis and Jason Brown and sophomore Frank Herrmann—the collective staff ERA fell from 7.39 to 6.63. In 32 innings of work this weekend, they surrendered only seven earned runs, good for a 1.97 ERA.

“We came into the weekend at the bottom of the league in pitching,” said Crimson coach Joe Walsh. “But we played some good teams early and those number…well, we’re a lot better than that and it showed I think in how we did this weekend.”

The Harvard staff has now allowed two or fewer earned runs in six of its eight Ivy League games.

MUSICAL INFIELD

With sophomore third baseman Josh Klimkiewicz sidelined with an injured hamstring, Walsh moved Hendricks—last year’s all-Ivy first baseman—to third base for this weekend’s games. In his stead, junior Marc Hordon—who split time at first with Hendricks and Josh San Salvador ’02 during his last season two years ago—played first base.

In the middle of the infield, there were even more shakeups. Freshman Brendan Byrne started three of the weekend’s four games at second base, while sophomore Zak Farkes started at shortstop. Twice, however, Byrne—who batted ninth—was pinch hit for in his first at-bat, then replaced by sophomore Morgan Brown.

Brown entered both games at shortstop, pushing Farkes back to second base, his usual position.

When Hendricks took the mound for Game 2 against Penn on Saturday, Farkes again showcased his versatility, starting at third base, the third infield position he started at on the weekend.

“Zak’s been great back there,” Herrmann said.

WINDY CITY

Senior centerfielder Bryan Hale showed once again why he’s so valuable to the Crimson.

Long valued for his range in the vast outfield of O’Donnell Field, the co-captain made 13 putouts in the doubleheader with Penn on Saturday—a day when swirling winds made more than one outfielder look silly—and 21 on the weekend.

“Today’s one of those days,” Walsh said, “that if you don’t have a centerfielder who can fly, you’re in trouble.”

CLOSER BY COMMITTEE

Three different pitchers closed games for Harvard this weekend.

Hendricks picked up his second save of the year when he pitched a perfect ninth to seal the Game 1 win against Columbia on Friday.

Then in the second game, sophomore right fielder Lance Salsgiver made only his second pitching appearance of the season, allowing a leadoff home run before striking out two batters in one inning of work.

Ambidextrous sophomore Matt Brunnig—who is usually one of the squad’s weekend starters as a right-hander—was suffering from a sore elbow, and didn’t make an appearance until the final out of Game 2 against Penn on Saturday.

Walsh brought in Brunnig to throw left-handed against the left-handed Nate Moffie, Penn’s all-Ivy candidate and top hitter. Brunnig got an easy flyout to end the inning.

SHORT HOPS

After blasting his seventh home run of the season on Saturday, Farkes remains atop the league standings in home runs. Tied with Farkes is Penn centerfielder Nate Moffie, who hit two homers in a doubleheader against Dartmouth on Friday….Speaking of Moffie, the All-Ivy candidate was held to a dismal 0-6 showing against the Crimson on Saturday, including an 0-4, two strikeout performance against Hendricks in the second game….Despite sweeping all four games this weekend, the Crimson only has a two-game lead in the Red Rolfe standings. That’s because each of the other three Red Rolfe teams went 3-1 on the weekend. Overall, the Red Rolfe was 13-3 against the Lou Gehrig this weekend….Klimkiewicz, who didn’t see any action this weekend save for one pinch hit at-bat in Game 2 against Penn, could see a return to the lineup in one of the Crimson’s two midweek games. Brunnig (right elbow) should be back in the rotation as a right-hander this weekend.

—Staff writer Lande A. Spottswood can be reached at spottsw@fas.harvard.edu.

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