The statistics were truly impressive, if a bit macabre from the Harvard point of view.
Sixteen Tufts batters strode to the plate in the fateful second inning of yesterday's-baseball game. Five of them walked. Two reached base on errors. An additional half dozen singled, and three, of course, made outs.
When Harvard finally trotted in to face Tuft's Pete Nangeroni. the brand new electric scoreboard--with lots of little lightbulbs--bleakly shone the tally.
Gulp. And it was only the bottom of the second.
That's not the way it ended, naturally. The Crimson made a brief run at the Jumbos, closing the gap to 12-9 in the bottom of the eighth.
That's not the way it ended either. Tufts stomped all over Harvard in the last inning as well, scoring four times on three hits to preserve a 16-9 Greater Boston League win.
"It was just errors, errors of omission, plus some timely hits." Crimson coach Alex Nahigian said after the game. "And bases on balls. Yes, walks, errors, errors of omission, and a few timely hits. That's what beat us."
That just about says it all. What beat the Crimson were mostly mental mistakes, or what Nahigian calls "errors of omission." Like in the disastrous second, when Danny Skaff (rightfield) and Bruce Weller (center) circled under what should have been a routine fly-ball, only to have it drop between them.
There were throws to the wrong base, and one instance of lack of communication in the infield, which almost turned a major-league pop-up behind second base into a two base hit. (It didn't).
In all, the Crimson made several form, errors--including three passed balls and two overthrown pick-off attempts--and an equal number of costly mental mistakes. At least the sun was shining.
The Crimson went through a succession of four pitchers. Starter Greg Brown--who pitched an impressive three hitter to shut out Princeton last week--lasted just an inning, while Mike Smerczynski stayed on the hill for just a third.
Sophomore Brad Zlotnick--who came on with one out in the second and nine runs already in--proved the most effective of the Crimson hurlers. He gave up just seven hits and two hits before John Sorich came on with two down in the eighth.
The Crimson will try to reverse its fortunes at home this afternoon at 2:00, when Nahigian sends ace Bill Larson against the Northeastern Huskies.