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Harvard's varsity baseball team returns to the friendly pastures of Soldiers Field (affectionately known to the diamond faithful as Splinter Stadium) this afternoon for its final game of the 1962 regular season. Northeastern, which twice before has tried to come to Cambridge, only to be halted by traditional local rains, will be the opponent.
After today's scrap, the team will have two chances to avenge Saturday's defeat to Yale in the annual graduation playoffs.
The team should be happy to be home, where they remain undefeated, as recent road trips have been quite disastrous. Like the Red Sox, the local heroes make great guests: they have lost all three of their recent away games. Two of those setbacks--to second division Dartmouth and to Yale--may very well cost them the Eastern League pennast. This is a shame, for the Crimson is obviously the best team in the league.
Today's encounter with Northeastern won't prove anything, since Harvard has already sewed up the Greater Boston League crown, but it may be a good game anyway. The so-so Huckles would like nothing better than to improve a drab season by drubbing Harvard, and the Crimson needs a solid victory to recover some of its lost dignity.
Coach Norm Shepard's pitching strategy is at yet unknown, but chances are Al Yarbro will return to action. Yarbro, a fastballer, has been having his troubles this year, but if he is in good form, that should be the ball game. In the event Shepard passes over Yarbro, Dick Garibaldi (5-1) will probably get the nod. Garibaldi had won five in a row before running into the demolition crew at Holy Cross last week.
Despite the recent catastrophes, no major juggling of the Crimson lineup is expected. Phil Bernstein, the sometimes gimpy but powerful clean-up hitter, should be at first, Terry Bartolet at second, captain Dave Morse at short, and the wolf man, Mike Drummey, at third. Holler-man Dick Diehl will do the back-stopping.
Bartolet, Morse, and Drummey, top hitters all season, are good bets for the GBI all-star team which will be announced Wednesday. Ace sophomore hurler Paul Del Roesl will probably join them on the all-star rooter.
Although we won't know for sure for a few weeks, chances are that Drummey, who is hitting just a shade under .500, will emerge as the Eastern batting champion, with Bartolet pressing him in second place.
The outfield today should be the same regular trio of Curly Combo, Gavin Gilmor, and Bob St. George. The three probably would like to do well today, as they all will be back competing for jobs next season.
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