Would you believe softball? Yesterday's doubleheader between Columbia and Harvard hardly resembled an Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League game, as the Crimson ripped into the Lions, 7-1, and 14-4.
A quarter of the Columbia squad couldn't make the trip to Cambridge because of exams, so as a result, Lion mentor Dick Sakala had to play 'musical pitchers,' throwing outfielders, first basemen and second basemen on the mound. None of them could pitch very well.
Set the Mood
Harvard set the mood of the afternoon in the first inning of the opener, coming up with three runs off Frank Gordon, the only Lion player who even resembled a starting pitcher. Kevin Hampe tripled, Leigh Hogan singled him home then stole second, Jimmy Stoeckel tripled to drive Hogan across the plate, and an out later Hal Smith singled in the third run.
Hogan was the big man with the bat in the first game, as he hit a sacrifice fly in the second scoring Harvard's second run and doubled to score Ed Durso and Hampe in the sixth. Hogan went three for three in the game.
Roz Brayton's shutout was spoiled with two outs and two strikes in the seventh and final inning when erstwhile Lion quarterback Don Jackson belted a home run over the left field fence. Brayton allowed only four hits in the game while striking out eight.
Believe it or not, the nightcap, which Harvard ended up winning by ten runs, was actually exciting for five innings. Harvard went ahead, 3-0, on a RBI single by Stoeckel in the first and a two-run triple by Ric LaCivita in the third. Columbia tied it in the fourth with a two-run single by Jackson and a wild pitch that sent starter Sandy Weissant to an early shower in favor of reliever Norm Walsh.
But Lion starter Ray Nawrocki, who played left field in the opener, fell apart in the sixth, allowing the first six Crimson batters to reach the base. Ten more batters and three pitchers (I use the term loosely) later, Harvard had come up with 11 runs on a scant five hits. Ten different players scored.
Nawrocki loaded the bases by hitting LaCivita, walking Rick Bridich and giving up a bunt single to Walsh. This was followed by scratch singles by Ed Durso and Kevin Hampe and a line single by Hogan. Three runs had scored and the bases were still full.
Nawrocki was sent back to left field and Glenn Erickson, a pinch hitter in the first game, came on to walk in three more runs on thirteen pitches. This wouldn't do, so Sakala brought Bill Ebner over from first base and he managed to get an out, but he also threw three incredibly wild pitches and walked two, allowing three more runs.
John Gill ended the embarrassment, getting the final two outs, but not before giving up the final two runs on a single by Durso, his second hit in the inning. Needless to say, Columbia's seventh inning rally fell short, by ten runs.