These are the kinds of games of which good teams are made.
And in case you weren't sure just how good a team the 1978 edition of Harvard baseball is, yesterday's come-from-behind 3-2 win over UMass at Soldier's Field could've been just the thing to convince you.
And although the Crimson bats seemed to have left most of their voltage down in Sanford, Fla., for almost the entire game, the batsmen managed to bunch three of their four hits and all of their runs in the sixth inning.
The bunchmeister on this day was first baseman Mark Bingham, whose three-run homer to right field in the sixth pushed home all the runs that starter Larry Brown needed to buoy the victory.
Down 2-0 because of some opportunistic baserunning by the Minutemen, centerfielder Charlie Santos-Buch led off the inning with a long double to straightaway center. Leftfielder Mike Stenhouse moved Santos-Buch over to third with a single back up the box; and then three pitches later, Bing did his thing.
"I just wanted to hit it up the middle and get one, maybe two runs in. The pitch came in waist high and a little inside, a perfect pitch for me," Bingham said afterwards.
The ball scooted high to right field, motored by traditional Soldier's Field spring breezes, and came close to being Bingham's personal donation to the new indoor track facility.
Brown proceeded to dispatch the Minutemen with a series of ground balls and strikeouts over the final three innings, with only a mild threat by UMass coming in the eighth.
After Minuteman leftfielder Doug Aylward had singled to left and been sacrificed to second, first baseman Dale Stone came up with one out and drilled a line drive to center. Santos-Buch corralled the shot and proceeded to double up Aylward, who was then somewhere in the vicinity of the third base coaching box.
Brown pitched quite well, giving up eight hits and walking but one on his way to win number four and complete game number three already.
His style and strategy yesterday on the hill was different from the tactics which brought him success in Sanford. "I didn't have my good fastball out there. I was pacing myself because I wanted to make sure I could go nine innings. My curveball helped me out a lot," Brown said yesterday.
In spite of some of the "mental mistakes" and "lost concentration" on the mound that Brown admitted to, only one of the UMass runs was earned and both could have been prevented.
UMass got its first tally in the second. A one-out single by John Gallagher was the first hit of the ball game. Catcher Charlie Ciccone followed with a solid double down the right field line that Peter Bannish handled well, but his throw sailed over the first cutoff man's head and bounced in front of Bingham.