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Now that the season is halfway over, Coach Fred Mitchell has had a chance to see how his Varsity baseball is shaping up. Just what Mitch thinks of his proteges would be impossible to say. Fred's conversation with the Press is monosyllabic, to say the least. But a few facts do stand out. One is that Captain Eddie Loughlin is bearing the brunt of the pitching burden. Despite his heavy assignments, Loughlin has done a beautiful job, and the chances are he'll be asked to do just as much work in the future as he has hitherto.
The only men in sight to relieve the skipper are Fred Allan and Drib Braggiotti. Allan has pitched victories against Cornell and Pennsylvania. Both games were loosely handled. In both Allan got into holes, but showed the ability to pull himself out again. Braggiotti, on the other hand, in the small amount he has been used, has shown a deliberate, steady style of work. He has yet to be fully tried and has never started a League game. These three men are of vital importance if the Crimson is to emerge at the top of the League. Just how good Harvard's changes of taking the pennant are has been thoroughly covered in Bill Chipman's weekly review, which is given here with the thanks of TIMEOUT.
The closest college baseball race ever known in the East swings past the mid-way mark today with six of the seven league teams still in the running, and with the probable winner just as much in the dark as it was before a ball was pitched--if not more so.
The pre-season consensus favored Columbia, the champion, even though Ray White was missing. With Columbia's early misfortune, Yale, original season choice, clipped into high regard and into the second division with almost the same motion. First one team and then another has been favored in the last two hectic weeks, but they're all still in a scramble and seem likely to remain there.
In this battle royal where even a slight advantage is tremendous. Cornell enjoys whatever benefit accrues to a team half a game in the van. The Ithacans head the list with a record of three games won and five lost as a result of having subdued Yale by 6 to 4 in New Haven last Saturday n a game where timely hitting and the steady pitching of Captain Tuure Pasto carried the verdict.
Cornell now faces the real test. Yale and Dartmouth tumble into Ithaca on successive week-ends to meet a Cornell nine gaited to rapid moving. Yale will be there next Saturday before the biggest and happiest Spring Day baseball crowd since the early twenties. If Coach Paul Eckley's boys can beat both Yale and Dartmouth, they probably will have arrived at a point from which they can coast to the championship on even division of their final games in June--at home with Pennsylvania and in Hanover with Dartmouth.
Harvard and Pennsylvania, trailing the Big Red nine by half a game, each with a mark of four victories and three defeats, are in a strategic position hardly less favorable than that of Cornell. They exchanged jolts at Cambridge two days ago, Pennsylvania winning the opener, 3 to 1, and Harvard the nightcap, 5 to 3, and so prevented each other from stepping into the lead ahead of Cornell.
Pennsylvania's path is easier than Harvard's for the rest of the route. The Red and Blue next plays Princeton two games--one at Philadelphia next Saturday and another in the Jungle a week later. But the Tigers have been known to be tough on Penn, as they were tough on Dartmouth's Indians last Saturday, Dartmouth eased the Bengals out of the championship picture by winning the opening game, 8 to 4, but the Tigers repaid this unkindness by shading the Indians, 5 to 4, in the nightcap, and so prevented Jeff Tesreau's men from swinging to the top of the standing.
Harvard must not be forgotten in the championship survey. The Crimson now faces nothing but its annual series against Dartmouth and Yale and the possible play-off of a tie game with Princeton. The replay will be arranged only if it seems that Harvard can win the little or tie for it by adding that game to its victory column.
Champion Columbia must win every game to remain in the hunt; Dartmouth has the advantage of having lost fewer than anybody else, but has by far the longest route to travel; Yale must take six out of seven even to think of victory; Princeton--must wait another year.
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