What the heck does Yale need a win for anyway?
In case you just joined me, I was just ranting and raving to myself over the Harvard baseball team's split with Yale yesterday afternoon. The 6-4 win and 6-5 loss puts Harvard's record at 19-4 overall and 4-3 in the Eastern League. The latter slate means that the team is now in a must-win situation for its seven remaining games in the EIBL if it wants a chance to take the championship.
The good news first. The batsmen came from behind in the opener to win, 6-4. After taking a 1-0 lead in the third (Dave Singleton scored on Charlie Santos-Buch's basehit to right), starter Paul McOsker cruised along with a two-hitter until the fifth, when two hits and a walk loaded the bases and waited for a Bob Davis homer to clear them.
Davis's grand salami made the score 4-1 in favor of the Bulldogs, and set the stage for some Harvard heroics by some unlikely Harvard heroes. Peter Bannish came on for McOsker in the sixth, and his one-hit scoreless stint kept Yale at bay and eventually earned him his first win of the season.
"Eventually" came in the bottom of the sixth when Harvard got five runs on four hits to win it. Mark Bingham led off with a walk, and Paul Halas moved him to third on a single to left. Burke St. John walked to load the sacks and Tommy Joyce sacrificed Bingham home with a fly to left.
Enter hero number two. Bobby Jenkins, a seldom-used freshman outfielder, pinch hit with two outs and stroked a single to right to load the bases again, this time for Singleton. "The General," four for four in the first game, promptly lashed a two-run single up the box to tie the game at four.
Jenkins then glided home from third with the winning run on a passed ball. "I've been in pressure situations before during the year, but I usually walked. Today I felt real good. I had a bat in my hand the whole game and I was ready. The guy threw me a lollypop and I knew I had it," he said.
After Santos-Buch walked, Mike Stenhouse singled in Singleton for the sixth run.
Too bad they all can't be like that. In the second game Crimson pitching walked nine batters and a gallant come-from-behind victory was foiled as Yale took it, 6-5.
Harvard took a 2-0 lead after the first on runs by Singleton amd Santos-Buch for a change, but Jamie Werly's long-awaited northern starting debut seemed fated from the outset. The big righty at last yielded to Larry Brown in the fourth after giving up five runs, five walks, and hitting three batters.
Brown came in with the score 5-3 and pitched well (despite walking four), but made one mistake in the sixth to Davis, who clocked his second homer of the day, a solo smash to right. Three runs down, two innings to go.
Harvard was shut out in the sixth, but in the seventh Stenhouse singled, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on St. John's pop to right. Before and after this, walks to Halas and Joyce loaded the sacks for a pinch hitter. Would you believe Peter Bannish?
A single would almost certainly mean two runs and a tie game. Not today. Bannish got the single all right, but for some unknown reason, St. John was held up at third.
THE NOTEBOOK: The Crimson has its toughest weekend of the season starting today. In three away Eastern League tilts, it will probably be Timmy Clifford (3-0) at Army today, and Ron Stewart (5-2) and Brown (4-1) in a crucial doubleheader against league-leading Cornell Saturday.