Sunday, March 13, 2005

Clicking On All Cylinders, Crimson Leave Minnesota 2-1

The Harvard Crimson are leaving the Metrodome with a winning record and a great deal of confidence about how they’re playing. Living up to Coach Walsh’s statement that they may be the best indoors team in New England right now (all the credit goes to the mini Metrodome -- Lavietes Pavillion), the Crimson played well on the astroturf, knocking off the snow belt teams (St. Johns and Minnesota), losing only to Louisiana Lafayette (which had played 16 games before facing the Crimson).

The bats came out with full force today, jumping on top of the Minnesota Golden Gophers early and coasting to a 9-1 victory. All but two Crimson hitters had at least one hit, with four Crimson hitters picking up multiple hits. Schuyler Mann was a machine at the plate – he went 5 for 5, with 2 RBIs and 3 runs scored. Coach Hyde was busy at first today, wheeling around multiple Crimson players on their way to extra-base hits – Mann (one double), Josh Klimkiewicz (2 doubles), and Steffan Wilson (double, triple). The fleet-footed Rob Wheeler also had two hits.

Meanwhile, pitching in the home of the Minnesota Twins (whose season opener in the Dome is on April 8th against the Chicago White Sox), right-hander Frank Herrmann played the part of Twins ace Johan Santana. He was almost flawless, going six complete innings, 0 runs, 5 Ks, 4 hits allowed. Matt Brunnig came in to relieve Herrmann and did an equally fine job, yielding a run only because rightfielder Lance Salsgiver lost a fly-ball in the Teflon roof (don’t say I didn’t warn you).

Coach Walsh has to be pleased with the all-around effort by the Crimson today. The pitching was excellent (perhaps another weekend starter spot has been nailed down), and the offense was tenacious -- scoring in the second, third, fourth, seventh, and ninth innings.

There were few Crimson blunders, but you always have to find something to build upon, so here are my nominations. Early in the game, the Crimson weren’t able to execute a suicide squeeze. Deuce will be counting on that being there next time. Also, the Crimson committed a pair of errors, but it was on the whole a solid defensive effort.

The Crimson go back to classes and practice this week and then fly off at the end of the week to Daytona Beach, FL for a game Friday night against Bethune-Cookman as part of a four game set.

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