In a tuneup for today's crucial doubleheader against Pennsylvania, Harvard's baseball squad raised its record to 24-9 yesterday with a tight 8-7 victory over the Chiefs of Springfield College.
The Crimson got going early, jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning. After leadoff hitter Ed Durson had walked, red hot Ric LaCivita (five for six in Tuesday's game against UMass) singled, and DH Joe Mackey reached on an error to load the bases.
Dave St. Pierre then plated Durso with the Crimson's first run on a single, and LaCivita scored soon after on a fielder's choice. Mackey then scored on Don Driscoll's base hit, and sophomore Leon Goetz drove in two more with a single to cap the rally.
Scored in Clutch
A five-run Chief outburst in the fifth knotted the game at 7-7, but first baseman Leigh Hogan's clutch single in the ninth scored Durso with the game winner.
Bob Larsen, in relief of starter Mark Linehan, picked up the win for the Crimson.
In today's decisive twinbill, the Crimson batmen will be tackling a Penn squad which is 9-2-1 in the EIBL. Princeton has concluded its season with a 10-4 league record, and Harvard currently stands at 8-4.
The possibilities are as follows: If the Crimson sweeps the doubleheader today, it will tie Princeton for the championship and a playoff game will be necessary. If Penn wins one or both of the contests, the Quakers will claim the title.
A double victory today would give Harvard a shot at an unprecedented fourth straight Eastern League title. A split would give Penn its first championship since 1943. The Eastern title carries with it a bid to the NCAA playoffs.
Expected to be on the mound today for the Quakers is junior sensation Andy Muhlstock, who currently boasts an 8-0 record. Muhlstock was 9-2 with an ERA of 1.69 for the Quakers last season.
Coach Bob Sedden will probably send sophomore John Petit to the mound in the other game. Petit is cruising along this season with a 4-1 log, including an anemic 1.45 ERA in the EIBL.
Ed Boone, an all-EIBL first baseman last year, is currently pacing the Red and Blue offensive troops with an EIBL leading .511 batting average. Boone is also the pacesetter in hits in the Eastern League, with 23 in 45 at bats.
Power at the Plate
Quaker backstop Bill Tuman is also one of the top men this year in hitting, banging out hits with a .389 regularity. Glenn Partridge, at .341, is another of Penn's big offensive threats.
Crimson coach Loyal Park will probably go with pitchers Milt Holt and captain Mike O'Malley today. Holt is currently 6-1 overall, with a 2.92 ERA. O'Malley is 3-3, but is one of the leaders in ERA in the East with a 2.02 average.