Herald columnist George Frazier wrote yesterday morning that "Harvard's baseball coach is strictly bush," but in Splinter Stadium in the afternoon it was the varsity that was strictly bush. Harvard lost 2-1 to Holy Cross (in the top of the ninth, naturally) on a mighty home-run blast through the legs of short-top Tom Bilodeau.
The ball just kept on rolling, past the left-fielder, past the center-fielder, and on; by the time it got back to the in-field, the Crusaders had their two runs. That was enough for the win, as Holy Cross hurler Dick Joyce held the Crimson to five hits and struck out 15. Only three varsity players made it to second.
If the top of the ninth weren't bad enough, the bottom was worse for the sports fans. Gavin Gilmor opened the inning with a blooper that dropped between the second baseman and the center fielder for a single. Gilmor, however, didn't stop at first, and when he reached second, he met the ball in the glove of the Crusader second-bagger.
The rally wasn't over, though. Mike Patrick picked up his second hit of the game, beating out a long throw from short to first; but he was out at second on a fielder's choice when captain Dick Diehi knocked the ball down the third-base line. Jim Mullen then came in to pinch-hit for third-base Lee Sargent who had gone hitless. Mullen went hit less, striking out.
Harvard's moment of glory came in the third inning. Sophomore hurler Tom Rucker walked and took a long lead off first. Curly Combs got set to bunt, the Crusader pitcher got the message, and picked off Rucker.
Combs saved the day, however, with a Texas Leaguer, advancing to second when left-hander Joyce walked Bilodeau. Terry Bartolet next smashed a hard grounder at the Holy Cross third-bagger, who let it get through him. Combs scored, Bilodeau went to third, and Bartolet made it to second. Tom Stephenson struck out on three straight curves and Gilmor was out short-to-first to end the inning and the Crimson's scoring.
Between the third and eighth innings Royce retired 16 Crimson batters in a row, nine by strike-outs. The big lefty twice struck out four men in a row.