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Crimson, Errors Leave Varisty Baseball Squad Out in the Cold

By Danny Su
Sports staff

The MIT baseball team's record dropped to 3-4 after Harvard University overpowered the Engineers 13-1 on a cold and windy Saturday afternoon last weekend. Four Harvard pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts while limiting MIT to only six hits. The Crimson pounded out 12 hits while shortstop Mike Giardi made a diving catch on a blooper hit to left field to rob Brian Pendleton `94 of a base hit and an RBI in the fifth inning.

Although Harvard looked like the better team, MIT did not help its own cause, giving away five runs courtesy of four errors. MIT has 17 errors in seven games and has committed at least one error in every game but their first.

After a 7-5 victory over Western New England College on Wednesday and a 17-2 lost to Tufts University on Thursday, MIT got off to a promising start as Eric Hopkins `92 (1-1) retired nine of the first ten Crimson he faced. The Engineers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning when John Mueller `94 and Dan Sabanosh `94 hit back-to-back doubles with two outs.

After Harvard tied the score at 1-1 in the fourth inning with a triple and a single, MIT self-destructed. In the fifth inning, center fielder Jeff Olson `94 made a nice running catch in deep right-center for the first out. Harvard then loaded the bases with two singles and a walk. It looked like Hopkins was going to escape the inning without any damage when he got the next batter to hit a tailor-made double-play ball. But the shortstop booted the routine grounder, giving Harvard a 2-1 Harvard lead.

Hopkins didn't lose his concentration, striking out the next batter. With two outs, the next batter hit a routine fly ball into left field for a apparent third out. As runners were rounding third and heading toward home, I heard the Harvard third base coach yelling, "Come on! Run hard! You never know!" Well, the strong breeze blowing in from right field must have done something weird to the ball, as the left fielder dropped the fly ball for a two base error. Three runs scored on the play.

MIT never recovered from the dreadful fifth inning. With the help of two more MIT errors, Harvard scored two more runs in the sixth inning and batted around the order in the seventh for five more runs.

There were a few bright spots for the Engineers though. Mike Purucker `92 received a leadoff walk in the first inning, and he has reached base by a hit or walk in all seven games. Sabanosh extened his hitting streak to six games with his RBI double in the third inning. Brian Christensen `94 and Mueller both collected two hits in the game.