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Dartmouth's varsity nine will be seeking revenge today when it plays Harvard in an Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League game scheduled to start at 3 p.m. at Soldiers' Field.
Last season the Crimson traveled to Hanover to face an undefeated Indian squad that led the EIBL. Ray Peters struck out 12 batters and the Harvard nine had its finest day of the year, getting 20 hits for a 17-3 slaughter. Harvard went on to win the EIBL title by a one-game margin over the Indians.
Dartmouth has virtually duplicated its fine record of last year. The Indians are 5-0 in league contests and are aiming toward a season finale with Cornell, also 5-0, next weekend.
Harvard has not repeated its championship performance of last season. The Crimson is 11-8 for the year and clinched the Greater Boston League title Monday with a 7-4 victory over Northeastern. In the EIBL standings however, Harvard is only 2-4.
One of the reasons, perhaps the only one, that today's game does not parallel last year's is that Coach Loyal Park has failed to find a replacement for Peters. Throughout the season, Park has said, "We could win any game we play if we get the pitching."
Starting this afternoon's match is sophomore left-hander J. C. Nickens. Although the southpaw's statistics are not impressive, 4-4 for the season with a 3.18 earned run average, his last two performances have been encouraging. Against Brandies, Nickens struck out seven and allowed just two hits in a six-inning shut-out. At Brown last week, he limited the Bruins to two hits in seven innings of relief pitching.
Dartmouth faces a similar problem with pitching. Earlier in the season Coach Tony Lupien said, "Pitching is everything in this league. If we get consistent pitching, we can be a pretty good team. If we don't, we're in trouble."
The Indians have succeeded mainly because of the combined efforts of Chuck Seelbach and Jim Bell. Seelbach has two victories and leads the pitching staff with a 1.55 ERA. Sophomore Bell picked up two wins in relief against Brown and Princeton and preserved another victory with a clutch performance against Penn.
Supporting Dartmouth's pitchers, Indian hitters have driven in 31 runs in their first four contests. Rightfielder Bruce Saylor walloped a grand slam home run in both the Penn and Princeton matches. In league games, sophomore Jim Chasey leads the team with a .500 batting average.
Second to Ignacio
Chasey is second to Crimson captain John Ignacio in the race for the Charles H. Blair Bat, symbolic of hitting supremacy in the EIBL. Ignacio is hitting at a .571 clip and is only one double away from the Harvard record for most doubles (nine) in a season.
Today's game could decide the invitation of teams to the NCAA District 1 playoffs. Dartmouth, 12-9 for the season, and Harvard are likely candidates for an open spot against B.U., the University of Massachusetts, and a fourth New England squad.
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