There is no debating that there are a number of question marks heading into the 2013 season for the Harvard baseball team. Out of the squad’s six leading hitters last year, only one player is still on the roster – the team has lost over 50 percent of its offensive production in the quintet. The Crimson also loses two of its top pitchers, who collectively accounted for nearly 100 innings last season. Furthermore, the team’s coaching staff has undergone a complete turnover as Bill Decker, hired out of Trinity College in the fall, has assumed the position of head coach.
Despite all the uncertainty, however, Harvard began its season with a walkoff win in the tenth inning against Bucknell, which equaled the team’s victory total in its first 17 games last year. The squad went on to drop its next three contests, but the Crimson nevertheless gained valuable experience and a much-needed opportunity to see what some of its new talent could do. Here is an overview of a few of the Crimson’s top performers from the weekend, who will most certainly have an impact going forward.
As most of America turns its eye to Hollywood, The Back Page looks back at the year so far in Harvard sports and gives out its own Academy Awards.
Freshman point guard Siyani Chambers has been a sparkplug so far this year for the men’s basketball team. Chambers leads the team in assists and is second on the team in points. He plays nearly 38 minutes a game and has been a steadying force for the team, shooting 83 percent from the line to help it close out tough games all season.
You can’t count the Crimson out until the last whistle is blown. On Wednesday, the Harvard men’s hockey team orchestrated one of the finest comebacks in recent memory, coming back from a 5-2 deficit entering the third period to defeat No. 8 Boston University, 6-5, and snap a five-game losing streak.
In light of Harvard’s remarkable upset win, The Back Page takes a look back at some of the most memorable Crimson comebacks of the 21st century—so far.
The Game 2009: Harvard 14, Yale 10
After blanking their opponent for the first three quarters, the Bulldogs were in striking distance of an upset victory. But the Crimson—frustrated by a number of missed opportunities throughout the game—was not prepared to go quietly. With seven minutes left to play, Harvard quarterback Collier Winters found wideout Matt Luft with a 41-yard pass straight down the middle, putting the Crimson on the board and bringing the score to 10-7. Up by three, Yale chose a risky fake punt play on fourth and 22, leading to Harvard gaining possession at the 40. In crunch time, the Crimson would not falter. Winters found wide receiver Chris Lorditch on a 32-yard touchdown toss less than a minute later, cementing Harvard’s eighth win over Yale in nine years.
Baseball 2002: Harvard 13, Brown 12
Down 9-2 in the fifth inning, the game was all but over. Even after battling back to tie the game at 12 in the ninth, the Crimson’s chances of victory seemed slim. With a runner on second and one out, the Bears faced captain Ben Crocket, who was brought in as a reliever after throwing 140 pitches the day before. Crocket, who had limited relief experience, picked up back-to-back strikeouts and brought the Crimson to the plate. That’s when senior first baseman Josh San Salvador—previously sidelined with a partially torn ACL—stepped in, blasting a solo homerun to clinch the walk-off victory and keep the Crimson in the Ivy League title hunt.
Nearly six months after it went viral, the Harvard baseball team's "Call Me Maybe" video is still receiving national attention in unlikely places.
With Halloween around the corner, Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Nicole Bulcher tweeted a picture of herself with fellow cheerleader Katy Marie dressed up as—you guessed it—the Crimson baseball team in the middle of the now famous (or infamous) left-punch-right-punch-double-punch routine.