Three days ago, the Harvard baseball team was living in the EIBL basement. But over the weekend the Crimson had a change of address.
Harvard went on a road rampage, blasting Cornell, 4-1, 8-5, Saturday in Ithaca, N.Y., and then shocking second-place Princeton, 6-2, 8-5, yesterday in Princeton, N.J.
The weekend odyssey pulled the Crimson (14-17 overall, 7-9 EIBL) out of last place in the league, and knocked both the Big Red (15-18, 6-10) and the Tigers (25-14-1, 10-8) down in the standings.
Three days ago, the struggling Crimson had been hoping for consistent pitching. Hoping for comebacks. Hoping for big hits. Hoping for big innings. Hoping for wins.
Simply put, the Crimson had been hoping just to get out of the first inning without getting behind like it has in its last 10 games.
Harvard got everything it had been hoping for--and more.
Yesterday, the elusive comeback became reality, as the Crimson rallied from a 2-1 deficit with two outs in the top of the seventh for five runs.
With the bases loaded, freshman Nick Del Vecchio doubled to leftcenter off Princeton hurler Gary Waslewski for three RBI. The Tigers brought in Dan McPhee, but he didn't bring them any relief. After walking his first batter, McPhee met Crimson shortstop Dave O'Connell, who greeted him with a two-run single. McPhee dug himself out of the inning, but the Tigers couldn't dig themselves out of their hole.
Del Vecchio and O'Connell didn't save their stuff for just the big hits in the big innings. Del Vecchio went 4-for-6 in the two-game series at Princeton, while O'Connell had a six-hit weekend.
Harvard took a two-run lead in the first inning of the second game, but the Crimson gave up four runs during the next three innings to trail, 4-2, heading into the fifth.
Could the Crimson come through with another big inning?
Junior Tom Konjoyan doubled in two runs, senior Rich Renninger walked with bases loaded, and sophomore Ted Decareau sacrificed to left field, as Harvard turned two hits and four walks into four runs and a 6-4 lead.
Harvard practiced up on first-inning leads, big hits and big innings Saturday, taking a 1-0 advantage after the first inning of the first game. In the sixth inning, Harvard racked up three runs on three hits, including a Decareau homer.
But the real story of the day was righthander Mike Dorrington.
Dorrington went the distance--and then some. The junior pitched three-hit ball in the first game, as the Red scored its lone run on a fielding error. Dorrington came back to start the second game as well, but was relieved by Pete Rau after allowing four Cornell hits in the bottom of the first inning.
Rau didn't have better luck. The Red erased Harvard's 1-0 lead with four more hits that inning, eventually posting a 4-1 advantage.
After the Crimson chipped away at the deficit, John Boyer led off the fourth with a homer to knot the score, and then Jim Mrowka blasted a three-run homer as Harvard scored four runs on two hits in the top of the sixth.