At the same time as most of the major league baseball teams are finishing up a month of training in sunny southern climes and preparing to head north, Harvard's varsity nine is rounding out its sunny spring training--all one week of it--and getting set to head in the opposite direction. Sunday morning will find Coach Adolph Samborski's squad on the way towards Dixie for its annual spring tour.
The twenty-man entourage has a gruelling schedule cut out for it. A solid day of travelling will find the team in Baltimore, where it meets Johns Hopkins on Monday. From then on, it's one game a day for six days, until Sunday, when it reembarks for Cambridge. After its opener come contests with the University of Maryland, George Washington University of Delaware, Villanova, and Temple, in close order.
While Samborski doesn't seem too worried about the tour, he's not too happy about it, either. The team has been handicapped by a late start in out-of-door practices, and is not as well oriented as some of its opponents. And if lack of practice is not too big a handicap, a week of constant travel, most of it by bus, will not be much of an aid to smooth ball-playing either.
Ira Godin, fireman of the 1947 Varsity squad, will probably get the nod for the first pitching assignment of the season against Johns Hopkins. On the basis of his performance yesterday in an inter-squad practice game Godin has the speed and control which Samborski seeks to develop in the rest of his mound staff. Other hurlers on whom Samborski will rely are "Reds" Connolly, John Hansen, and Barry Turner.
Samborski has narrowed the search for catcher down to Web Durant and Clif Crosby. The two seem even at the moment, and it is almost a tossup as to who will start next Tuesday's game.
Outside of the man behind the plate, the other starting positions seem pretty nearly decided upon. Big Walt Coulson will start at first base, "Sully" Sullivan will take the keystone sack, Ernie Maninno will handle shortstop, and Captain John Coppinger will take his old position at third.
To the outer reaches of the diamond, Samborski will probably send Len Lunder in right field, Jim Kenary in center, and Caulfield in left. But reserves in these positions are pretty deep and Coach Samborski will have no trouble in finding replacements, should anything unforeseen develop.
If the too-few days of practice out on Soldiers Field have proved anything, it is that the squad will have to show a lot more power with a bat than it has so far if it wants to win games. Hitting has been weak, and intensive practice at the plate will be the order of the day from now until the Sunday embarkation.
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