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This is a crucial weekend for the Harvard baseball team. Sure, the squad boasts an Eastern League-leading record of 5-0. Sure, if they win today's game against Princeton and sweep Saturday's double header against Navy, they'll be 8-0 and way out in front.
But it's not as easy as that. Princeton, even with its mediocre 2-3, seventh place record, is going to be tough.
Tiger ace Mark Lockenmeyer, who went into this week as one of the league's leading pitchers, will take the mound this afternoon at Soldiers Field.
Lockenmeyer, who doubles as Princeton's starting quarterback on the gridiron, has been clocked at 90 miles per hour and boasts a 1.17 ERA against Eastern bats.
Facing him for the Crimson will be Bill Larson, who is rapidly developing as the ace of the staff and is currently the best pitcher in the Eastern League, having given up no runs in 14 innings.
With any luck, the Crimson should come alive against Lockenmeyer, who depends on overpowering his opposition. So far this year, most of the Harvard hitters have been having trouble with "junk" pitchers, so they should hit the Princeton ace hard.
Sink or Swim
The doubleheader against Navy, currently 3-2, could be just as difficult. Bill Kelleher, currently 1-1 with a 1.46 ERA, will surely challenge the Crimson bats in one end of the twin bill.
Backing up the Navy pitching staff will be the midshipmen's nearly-airtight infield, featuring the highly touted double play combination of Rich Seiler and Mike Mulliken. Seiler last year was fifth in the nation in hitting and is now batting at a .400 clip, while Mulliken has been rapping out hits to the tune of a .500 average.
The Crimson will depend on the pitching of Ron Stewart in the first game, followed by Billy Doyle in the nightcap. Both pitchers have ERAs hovering around 3.0.
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