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When one thinks of New England athletic powerhouses, the name of that Waltham institution, Brandeis, is hardly the first that pops into mind. But, surprise, surprise! Baseball is Brandeis's forte, and yesterday the Judges deftly captured the Greater Boston League title from favored Harvard, dealing the Crimson a sound 5-2 defeat in the last home game of the season.
Three home runs and superb pitching paced the opponent's victory, while the Crimson failed to spark an offensive fuse.
Both teams sported equally outstanding records going into the contest: 18-2 for Brandeis and 21-5 for Harvard. The starting pitchers, Crimson sophomore Paul McOsker and Brandeis senior Vincent Hillyer boasted identical 4-0 marks.
The first two innings were scoreless, with both pitchers swiftly retiring the sides.
The Crimson moved in front in the bottom of the third. Rich Pearce reached first and a force at second replaced him with catcher Steve Joyce. Centerfielder Dave Singleton knocked a solid triple into left, scoring Joyce to propel the Crimson ahead 1-0.
Harvard's predominance quickly and permanently vanished in the fourth frame, despite inept fielding by the Brandeis squad. Shortstop Mark Bonauito, leadoff man for the Judges, cracked the first of his two home runs of the afternoon to even up the score.
Although he allowed few hits, hurler McOsker was not particularly sharp. In the fifth inning, he hung a curve which second baseman Bob DiGrazia belted for another four bagger, to make the score 2-1.
The Crimson replied in the bottom of that inning. An error by the shortstop landed leadoff batter Tom Joyce on first. Pearce sacrificed Joyce to second and then Steve Joyce whacked a triple, evening up the tally 2-2.
Dave Singleton maintained the momentum, tapping a bunt single for his second hit of the day. But the sophomore was thrown out trying to steal, and the rally was crushed.
Brandeis added two more in the seventh, at which point Coach Loyal Park replaced McOsker with sophomore Tim Clifford. The reliever gave up a home run to Bonauito, leading off the eighth, but settled down to retire the next six batters, striking out three.
Harvard had a shot in the eighth to mount a comeback when Singleton reached on an error and freshman Mike Stenhouse, who went three for four on the day, singled to left field. But the combination of pitcher Hillyer's fast stuff, resulting in ten strike-outs, and the lack of an offensive, produced nothing for the home fans to cheer about.
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