And the hits just kept on coming. The Crimson nine banged out two homers, two doubles, a triple and eight singles yesterday, enough to give Harvard 17 runs as they laughed their way past Tufts, 17-3.
The game, scheduled to go nine innings, was called after seven as Tufts was hopelessly behind and the contest was already three hours old. Harvard sent nine men to the plate in the second and fourth innings and ten in the fifth. The parade of hitters, combined with three pitching changes by the Jumbos and the delay caused by Jumbo reliever Rick Taylor, who took time out to take off his undershirt in the fourth, effectively slowed up the game.
Starter Barry Malinowski and reliever Tom O'Neill, on the other hand, kept Tufts's halves of the innings moving at a rather swift pace as they combined for a four-hitter. A near gale wind blowing out toward center field helped the hitting on both sides. Tufts collected two of its three runs on a wind-blown homer in the third off the bat of Jumbo starting pitcher Mitch Shaw.
The four bagger put Tufts within three runs, the closest it came all day. The Crimson had already struck for five runs in the second on a triple by Ric LaCivita that scored Hal Smith, a two-run homer by 'Rico' Bridich and a pair of walks to Malinowski and Kevin Hampe, both of whom scored later on an error and a wild pitch.
Shaw headed for the showers in the fourth after he walked Malinowski for the second time and gave up a double to Ed Durso which brought in Harvard's sixth run. On came the undershirted Taylor who was victimized for three more runs on a pair of errors and a pair of RBI singles by Leigh Hogan and Jimmy Stoeckel.
Taylor didn't get much rest before the fifth as Malinowski struck out two while facing only five batters. Taylor tired after just two batters, giving up a single to pinch hitter Jim Thomas and walking Durso. Tufts reached into their bullpen once again and came up with Steve deMoraes, who allowed another six Harvard runs to come across the plate.
A Tufts rally in the sixth produced one run. The run came on a double play after O'Neill, who was in to get some work, walked the first three batters. By then it was hopeless for the Jumbos, but to add insult to injury, Dave St. Pierre, who came in to pinch hit in the fifth (coach Park was using his bench freely by then) bopped a two-run homer over the left field fence.
The coaches and the umpires got together before the seventh and did the only merciful thing--gave Tufts their last ups. O'Neill put the Jumbos out of their misery quickly, retiring the side in order.
Malinowski pitched a strong five innings in unfavorable conditions, giving up two runs on four hits while striking out ten. The win put the Crimson well on its way to capturing the mythical Greater Boston Championship. Although this doesn't help Harvard in gaining a berth in the NCAA regional playoffs, coach Park likes to be "the best in the local area as well."
While Tufts was a mere stepping stone to local prestige, the coming Saturday doubleheader with Dartmouth will be crucial to Harvard's chances for national fame. The Big Green is a serious contender in the Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League and stands a good chance of knocking the league leading Crimson off the top.