Marshall Plan: Baserunning, Birthdays and Clutch Homers

For Chuck Marshall, the sophomore whose dramatic ninth-inning homerun defeated Penn yesterday afternoon, the affair with the Quakers ran the gamut of emotions.

The catcher-turned-outfielder had donned anything but a hero's togs through the first eight-and-a-half innings, as a base-running blunder in the sixth inning had spoiled Harvard's chances to increase its lead.

Ahead 6-5, Marshall singled to right to lead off the sixth. Then, on the next pitch. Mike Stenhouse ripped a deep drive to center. Penn's Gary Ciccatiello caught up with the shot and threw to first to double off Marshall, who had been off with the pitch and was then standing on third.

"That kind of thing should never happen, and I was a little upset about it for a while," Marshall said after the game. "But you've got to put those mistakes out of your mind, especially in this kind of a game where a lot of runs are scored. You know you'll get a chance at the plate later on," he added.

But there was no chance or luck involved in Marshall's ninth inning moonshot. "I wanted at least to get an extra-base hit and drive in Bobby (Kelley) with the winning. I was thinking fastball and it was right there. I swung hard, but down"

"This has got to be the most exciting thing that's ever happened to me, because I'm definitely not a home run hitter," Marshall said.

Though Marshall's four-bagger gave Harvard its third Eastern League win against one loss, it also served as a unique gift for his father, who had flown in from Chicago that day to celebrate his 50th birthday.

Marshall did not go gift-less, though. After the game, his baserunning manuever received the annual "Pin Head Award," Harvard baseball's version of the Gong Show "dirty sock." "It's a unique honor to win the game and the Pin Head," Marshall noted.

Recommended Articles