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Near-freezing temperatures failed to chill the arm of Ron Stewart or the red-hot bats of the Harvard baseball team as the Crimson smoked to its ninth straight win, 11-2 over Boston College.
For six innings it looked like the Greater Boston League opener would be as big a nail-biter as the Red Sox-Indians premier last Thursday. But in the top of the seventh, with Harvard on top 3-2, the batmen put the game away for keeps.
Catcher Rich Trembowicz popped a hanging curve for a 300 foot double to left field with one out and went to third on Dave Singleton's base-hit. Singleton took second on the throw home as Trembowicz held on third. Third baseman Rick Pearce struck out to leave the two bags filled with two out.
An intentional walk to Mike Stenhouse left the bases loaded for massive Mark Bingham. Bingham, already with two hits promptly stroked a two-run single to make it 5-3. Paul Halas then followed with his second double of the contest and forced home two more runs.
Still with two outs, Billy Blood was intentionally passed to stuff the sacks again, and shortstop Burke St. John singled and went to third thanks to the frozen hands of B.C. center fielder Steve Johnson. St. John's hit and Johnson's boo-boo pushed across the final three tallies of the six-run seventh and found the Crimson in control, 9-2.
Poor relief work by the B.C. pitching staff in the ninth saw the bases walked full, and Singleton's two-run safety rounded out the scoring for Harvard.
But the day, despite frosty winds, belonged to freshman hurler Stewart. The young righthander went the distance, and feeding on the momentum of Harvard's seventh inning outburst, was strongest in the final innings.
Stewart scattered seven hits and yielded one earned run during his nine-inning stint, but most impressive was his 11 strikeouts, six of which were tossed in the last three innings.
The Eagles got their two runs in the second and third innings. In the second, Gary Stewart walked with one out and a faulty pickoff attempt by pitcher Stewart balked him to second base. After Kevin McDonald fanned, Bob Santilli singled to left to score B.C.'s Stewart. In the next inning an error by St. John eventually led to B.C.'s other score.
Harvard jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning when Singleton got the first of his four hits, stole second, went to third on a fielder's choice, and, along with Stenhouse, came home on Halas's two-bagger.
Halas then hustled in on Blood's single to right, sliding just ahead of the tag.
Halas knocked in three runs on the day with his two doubles, while Bingham (3 for 5) and Singleton (4 for 6) each had warm weather days at the dish, and both knocked in a pair of runs.
The Crimson will travel to MIT tomorrow in an attempt to derail the Engineers for its tenth win.
123 456 789 R H E
HARVARD (9-0) 300 000 602 11 13 3
B.C.(3-2) 011 000 000 2 7 1
Batteries: H-Stewart and Trembowicz, Joyce (9).
B.C.-Meara, Paulsen (8), Dunn (9) and Dachos.
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