It was get-even time for the Crimson nine yesterday at Boston College. The batsmen went up against nemesis George Ravinas, who had three-hit them in a 12-strikeout performance a few weeks ago, and came away with a 9-7 victory.
This one could have featured the Greater Boston League's answer to the Hank Aaron-Sadaharu Oh home run contest, with Harvard slugger Mike Stenhouse taking on B.C. strongman Greg Stewart. Stenhouse provided his share of heroics during the game, banging out three hits, but Stewart's bat remained relatively quiet.
The Crimson got to Ravinas early. With two outs in the first, Stenhouse and Mark Bingham crashed back-to-back home runs. Ravinas left the game soon after, complaining of elbow trouble with two men out in the second.
Bingham was not finished mauling Eagle pitching, though, as he knocked in a total of four runs in a four-for-five afternoon.
Three consecutive singles in the third tallied one run and set the stage for Bingham's second circuit clout of the day, a three-run shot. Jim Peccerillo made it two sets of back-to-backers for the Crimson with a blast of his own, upping the score to 7-1.
Harvard starter Paul McOsker surrendered one run to the Eagles in the first and gave way to Ron Stewart after two innings, who pitched two scoreless frames before being relieved by freshman fireballer Jim Keyte. Coach Charlie O'Malley explained the pitching changes: "We're gearing our pitching for the Eastern League rather than the GBL, and Ronnie and Paul needed the work."
The Crimson scored two more in the fifth as Stenhouse singled, Bingham doubled (those names again!) and Peccerillo walked to load the bases. Stenhouse came around on an Eagle miscue and Bingham followed him around on a single by Rick Pearce.
The Big Blow
B.C. began to surge back as Keyte experienced control problems. The hardthrowing lefty allowed seven walks and five of these eventually came around to score. Greg Stewart struck the big blow in the seventh after Keyte had walked the bases full. Stewart's single to center bad-hopped past Charlie Santos-Buch and three runs scored.
Keyte fanned nine Eagles in his five innings and impressed O'Malley in spite of his wildness. "Jimmy's going to be all right. He did very well today and just needs a little more experience," O'Malley said last night.
The coach is also optimistic about the rest of the season. "The kids are coming around. They're really hitting the ball well," he said.
THE NOTEBOOK: The batsmen are idle until Friday, when they resume their Eastern League schedule against the Bruins at Brown. Crimson ace Larry Brown is expected to put his 8-0 record on the line.
Tim Clifford and Steve Baloff are slated for duty in next Wednesday's big doubleheader against Yale. The Crimson seems to have a lock on an Eastern playoff spot if it can win at least five of its six remaining league games.
With the two home runs yesterday, Bingham's total for the season now stands at five, one less than Stenhouse's.
After only two seasons, Stenhouse is closing in on the Harvard career RBI record of 80 set by Pete Varney, now a catcher for the Triple-A Richmond Braves.