Ask the typical Harvard jock "what's been going on that's big in sports a Harvard this Spring" and the average response will be something like "Satch Sanders is the hew hoop coach, Don Gambril has deserted to Alabama, Princeton broke the varsity lightweight crew's winning streak, and the varsity heavyweights lost the Sprints again this year to Northeastern."
So what, you say. Those are the big stories this Spring. But somewhere lost in all that shuffle, the Harvard baseball team has been winning just about everything in sight. Oh yeah, you almost forget about them.
Granted baseball at the college level doesn't exactly keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole game, and most folks don't even enjoy the sport no matter who's playing, but the fact is that the Crimson nine is one of the most successful teams at Harvard and certainly one of the best in the east.
Monday's game against the University of Massachusetts didn't quite draw any phone calls from the White House as Harvard won 5-4, but it was a record breaking victory for the Crimson, their 31st in a single season. The previous record was set by last year's squad. Harvard's baseball squad is not the only the winningest in the history of the sport here but it is also the Eastern Collegiate Baseball League champion and the winner of the Greater Boston League, going away.
With two more games remaining in the season against Brandeis and Springfield this week, the team has a chance to fatten its record as well as get in some practice for the winning the Eastern League, the second straight year it has done so. The other contenders are UMass, the Yankee conference champ, and either Providence or Northeastern.
The Crimson's chances of advancing are excellent as the squad has already beaten both UMass and the Huskies. Providence remains a question mark, but Harvard should get past Friars if the team continues to play as it has all season.
Pitching has been a key factor in Harvard's success. The staff without a doubt is one of the deepest and strongest in the East. Even the loss of number two man Don Driscoll earlier in the year has not stopped the club.
But what has been often overlooked is the club's overall depth. The Harvard bench could make up a better squad than most of the GBL contenders. For example when Larry Barbiaux, the starting second baseman at the season's start, quit the team, Ric LaCivita was there to fill in more than amply. When LaCivita injured his knee before the UMass contest, Jim Thomas came in to play the bag.
The offense has come through in the big games as well as evidenced by the fact that three of the top four sluggers in the Eastern League--Kevin Hampe. Ed Durso and Jimmy Stoeckel--play for the Crimson. Aggressive base running and clutch hits have won a lot of close games.
So the next time someone asks you about the big news this Spring in Harvard athletics, don't forget the baseball team.
ON DECKTODAY Baseball at UMass, 3 p.m. TOMORROW No events.
SCORE BOARDYESTERDAY M. LACROSSE 13, UMass 12 BASEBALL 8, Holy Cross 3 TUESDAY BASEBALL 9, Boston College 8 BASEBALL 9, Boston
ON DECKTODAY W. Lacrosse vs. Brown, 4 p.m. M. Lacrosse at UMass, 3 p.m. TOMORROW Baseball vs. UMass (Beanpot), 2 p.m.
SCOREBOARDYESTERDAY UMass 3, SOFTBALL 2 UMass 2, SOFTBALL 0 WEDNESDAY M. LACROSSE 13, UMass 12 BASEBALL 8, Holy Cross 3
A Day in the ParkBOSTON--In the past two years, the University of Massach usetts has been putting on an offensive clinic. Last season, the
SCOREBOARDWEDNESDAY BASEBALL at UMass, cancelled SATURDAY BASEBALL at Princeton, noon