Like a Soviet armored division trundling across the Polish border, a battalion of Midshipmen jumped all over a quintet of Crimson pitchers, piling up 17 hits to dump the Crimson in the Eastern League opener, 14-7 and blast the Harvard nine out of Annapolis.
And into the fire. The Crimson tangle with a perennially strong Princeton squad in a double header this afternoon. The first game should be a pitcher's duel, with Tiger ace Mark Lockenmeyer going for Princeton, and Bill Larson getting the nod for the Crimson.
The Crimson started off the fireworks yesterday afternoon, reaching eventual game winner Craig Gibson (3-0) for four runs on five hits in the first inning. After left fielder Paul Scheper led off with a strikeout, Danny Bowles and freshman centerfielder Bruce Weller hit back to back singles. Cleanup hitter Brad Bauer then slapped a Gibson delivery over the fence for a 3-0 Harvard lead. Bauer was the only big bat for the Crimson all afternoon, adding a single and a double to his first inning round tripper to go three-for-five for the day.
Following Bauer's homer, Vinnie Martelli reached first on the first of five Navy errors, and moved on to second on Danny Skaff's single. Martelli and Skaff then took off on a double steal attempt, but a snap throw from navy catcher Terry Deitz to third sacker Jim Roberts cut down a sliding Martelli. With Skaff perched on second, Chuck Marshall dropped a two base hit in the hole to bring in the fourth Crimson run.
Navy came right back in the bottom of the first but managed just one run after loading the bases with one away. Lead-off hitter Andrew Loferski grounded out to Bauer, but left fielder Steve Komlo singled and went to second when Bill Doyle walked Roberts. A Deitz single brought in the first Navy tally, and a walk to dh Bob Baldochi loaded the bases. Right fielder Steven Acalin hit into a 5-4-3 double play.
Gibson--who racked up 11 strike-outs in his eight innings--struck out the side in the second, and the Midshipmen scored three times in their half of the frame to tie the score. In the third, the Crimson scored a pair of unearned runs, combining a single, a three base error by the Navy shortstop, a walk and a sacrifice fly to go ahead by two.
The lead didn't last long, with Navy scoring four times off of the offerings of three different Harvard pitchers. Doyle headed to the bench after an Acalin double with one away, and Zlotnick was gone after a brief stint in which he gave up three straight singles and two runs. He was charged with a third run when John Sorich gave up a double to Loferski which scored Steve Schulte, the Navy shortstop.
Loferski hit for the cycle during the game, chalking up a single in the second, a two-sacker in the third, a three run homer in the sixth, and a triple in the eighth.