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Crimson Nine Face Navy and Penn

By Eric Pope

Tied with Brown for the Eastern League lead with a 3-1 record, the Harvard baseball team has an opportunity to move into undisputed possession of first place as it plays three league games at home this weekend. Penn comes in for a doubleheader on Saturday, but the big game will be today at 3 p.m. when the two best pitchers in the league, Roz Brayton and Navy's George Keriek, face each other.

Keriek and Brayton are tied for the lowest E.R.A. in the NCAA with the flawless mark of 0.00, and both have 2-0 record in league play. Brayton is 5-0 overall, and last Saturday he had his string of 40 consecutive scoreless innings broken when Dartmouth scored two unearned runs in the fourth.

Navy was a preseason favorite for the EILB title, but so far this season it has a 3-3 record, and is tied for fourth place with Columbia. The Midshipmen's greatest strength is at two, three and four in their batting order, but Steve Ogden and George Voelker both bat lefthanded, and they should have a tough time against Brayton. Bruce Aukland bats third in the lineup, and last year he hit a home run to beat the Crimson, 2-1.

Keriek is a righthanded pitcher with good control who likes to move the ball around the plate. Harvard will have to utilize its hit-and-run style of attack if it is to win what promises to be a low-scoring contest.

Pitchers

On Saturday coach Loyal Park will pitch Mike O'Malley and Sandy Weissant, while Penn coach Bob Seddon will go with Carl Sayko and Gary Shue, the football team's quarterback in the off-season.

Penn's pitching has been unimpressive so far this year, and seven of the regulars are sophomores. But the Quakers have an infield full of hitters--shortstop Jack Walters is 22-for-33 so far this season, and John Harwood and Harry Boyd are both batting over .300.

Penn has a 1-1 record in league action, and is 7-4 overall. In their last two games the Quakers topped Philadelphia Textile, 4-1, before losing to Temple, 12-3.

"We have a lot of young players and our pitching has been hot and cold." Seddon said. "And to be realistic about it, we won't be there as a team until next year. But on a good day we will be hitting the ball, and I'm hoping for two out of three against Harvard and Dartmouth."

Teams to Beat

Seddon ranks the Crimson and the Indians as the two teams to beat in the Eastern League, with Brown as the darkhorse contender. Harvard split a doubleheader with Dartmouth last weekend, and it won't play Brown until May 12.

Harvard has several players among the league leaders in individual departments. O'Malley has the fifth best E.R.A. with 2.77, and combined with Brayton, he gives the Crimson the best righty-lefty pitching combination in the league. Catcher Tim Bilodeau is sixth in batting with a .385 average, and Vince McGugan is third in the country with 18 stolen bases in 19 games.

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