Saturday, April 30, 2005


The Dartmouth games have been postponed until Monday. The games scheduled to happen at O'Donnell tomorrow still will.

Given the real chance that something like this was going to happen, starting Castellanos in Game One instead of potentially wasting a Herrmann start now makes all the sense in the world.

Dartmouth Gamecast is working, that's just a rain delay.

The tarp is down in Hanover, with the Crimson up 4-2 but with Castellanos in trouble. The Big Green has runners on first and third with nobody out. We'll see who comes in after the rain lets up.

Yale/Brown Update

Yale and Brown played the first two yesterday and split them. With Yale's 8 losses, they'd need Harvard to get swept to even have a shot from here on in. Which means we can, for once, root unabashedly for Yale. We'll get that rare opportunity tomorrow, Sunday, as the second doubleheader has been postponed from today because of the rain.

Dartmouth radio apparently has two related stations. The one that's available isn't the one with the game, it seems, although we will keep checking.

4-0 Harvard in the 5th. Javy Castellanos has not allowed... well, he's been pitching well, anyway.

Dartmouth Gametracker

For those of you sitting around a computer this afternoon, Dartmouth is providing a live gametrack of the doubleheader. Click here. The web site says that the game is being carried on radio as well. If anyone finds a functioning web link to listen online, please post it here.

Castellanos got the start in Game 1 -- perhaps Coach Walsh is inverting the rotation this weekend.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Should be quite the weekend.

Image hosted by

Here, for the benefit of our small but loyal readership, are links to Brian Fallon's excellent scouting reports from the Dartmouth/Princeton matchup in Hanover earlier in the season:

Game One

Game Two

Meanwhile, Cornell is one game away from the Gehrig Division title after splitting with Princeton today in Jersey. After the Big Red took game one, Will Venable put the Tigers on his back (4-for-4, two homers, five RBI and a steal, for those of you in Ivy fantasy leagues) and extended their season. Games Three and Four will be played on Sunday. Yes, it takes that long to get to Ithaca. From anywhere.

As for the Crimson, questions abound. Will the rotation be the safe bet (Herrmann and Morgalis tomorrow, Haviland and Castellanos Sunday at home), or will Coach Walsh throw us yet another curve? Will Byrne DH, or will Farkes? Or could Morgan Brown get squeezed out somehow? Will Matt Vance lead off (please yes), or find himself in the sixth spot again for some reason? Wouldn't this be a great time to at least consider batting Ian Wallace second? What will Matt Brunnig do? Is the Big Green anywhere near this bad? (I can answer this one already: No, they are not). Will Dartmouth's Safety and Security Patrols lighten up on the infamous Loudmouth Brigade for Senior Day? Will they even get the chance, with rain forecast for Saturday? Will the fans show up at O'Donnell on Sunday, as they have managed to in what I'd call unusually high numbers all season long? Can Yale keep this a three-horse race going into Sunday? How many moonshots does Schuyler Mann have left in his collegiate career? If Brown and Cornell wind up playing for the Ivy League championship, should we all just start stocking up on canned goods and bottled water now?

Same Bat time, same Bat channel, friends.

Wes Cosgriff's Return

Coach Joe Walsh ordinarily eschews all ceremony. His pulling the plug on the walk-up music at O'Donnell halfway through the season has become an annual event, and he's not very big into Senior Day festivities. (The last home games of the season come during the pivotal Dartmouth series every year, and I'm told Walsh once answered the question "What are you doing for Senior Day?" with "Senior Day? We'll come here and win two games. Happy Senior Day!")

Despite all this, we're set for a very nice moment at the start of Sunday's games:
Right after Thanksgiving, sophomore Wes Cosgriff was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which proceeded to spread throughout his body.

On April 6, he underwent an operation and has since been declared cancer-free.

Cosgriff will be visiting Harvard this weekend for the first time since the operation, and the Crimson, Walsh says, will be playing for him.

Harvard plans to have Cosgriff throw out the first pitch to honor him and his successful recovery.

“Wes doesn’t know it, but he’s been with us every day,” Walsh said. “We’ve had his shirt with us at every game.”

“This is a bigger story than just the Ivy League Championship. When he steps on the field to throw out the first pitch, we’ll feel like we couldn’t have had a better season, regardless of how the games go.”

Thursday, April 28, 2005

More adventures in Rhode Island, and Joe Walsh unplugged

Oh snap, a tune-up. URI leads Harvard 9-1 in the 4th, Warren and Bruton have pitched. Farkes started at shortstop.

Also, I'm not sure how old this is, but here's a very colorful article with Joe Walsh. Some interesting stuff here, particularly concerning recruiting and dealing with the Admissions Department and what he looks for in a pitcher. Some of the details are a little iffy at points, but you know. And it's something of a throwback in its own right, since so much about the way this team goes about winning has changed since the late 90s.

Of course, some of it's very much the same:
Specifically, and with the ball player who’s a pitcher, I love the kid who throws the breaking ball. I am a guy that believes that a lot of college coaches are converting kids to the slider because its a quick fix pitch. The curve ball takes longer to develop. And the umpires are not calling curve balls for strikes, you have to get guys to swing at it.

I still think that it’s the pitch that separates the men from the boys. If I can get a kid here who throws two pitches for strikes and one of those is a breaking ball, he is going to win for me and I don’t care how hard he throws it if he can locate. I feel that if a kid works hard enough he can develop a change-up. The pitch that’s missing is whether or not a kid can throw a breaking ball or whether his mechanics and motion look like he can. I’m a breaking ball guy, I love the guys who can throw the breaking ball. We had a kid last year throwing 81-82 and he beat UCLA and Miami with a breaking ball. We have a kid who was a sophomore last year who was not recruited by any of the top schools around here and he has been all-New England 1st team for the past few seasons. The kid’s out pitch is a breaking ball.

I guess all coaches learn from each other and I read an article a few years back by Skip Bertman (LSU) , and he basically said if you get a kid who’s hitting on the HS level he is gonna probably hit on the college level. Then if you get a kid who’s not hitting on the HS level; is he gonna hit on the college level? I don’t know. Number one you look for the kid who has the ball jump off his bat when he swings. Statistics and averages do not mean much to me because the style of baseball we play is moving runners up, we hit and run a lot we play a lot of that type baseball.

I'd be interested in whether this is the same now, since Harvard's become more in love with the big inning.

Character guys:
I had a kid that I went to see this year, he’s a catcher, the ball got by him and he’s chasing the ball back to the back stop swearing his head off. He walks out and gives the pitcher a hard time and I was in my car before he got back behind the plate. I wasn’t gonna stick around. There are just certain things that you see. I have people telling me "Your not recruiting so and so" and I say "No, let somebody else deal with him for four years."

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Revisionist History?

The Brown Daily Herald and the Harvard Crimson seem to have two different accounts of what happened during a major turning point in yesterday's Game 2:

From Lande’s column in The Crimson today:

Sophomore Jason Brown relieved Castellanos, and the first batter he faced, Chris Contrino, lifted a fly ball that fell a few feet foul in front of right fielder Lance Salsgiver—one that the umpire called a fair ball. “I knew it was going to be close, but when I saw it bounce I almost stopped running.” Salsgiver said. “The guys in the bullpen were jogging to get the ball. We all saw the umpire point, and it was a definite moment of, ‘What the heck’s going on?’ It was definitely the wrong call.”

From Charlie Vallely’s column in the Brown Daily Herald:

With runners now on second and third, Harvard brought in side-armer Jason Brown to face co-captain Chris Contrino '05, who entered the game in the fourth when Bobby Wigington '05 was ejected for arguing a strike three call. Contrino delivered, hitting a flair to right that drew chalk from the third-base line. Lowe and Nichols scored to cut the deficit to 7-6.

First of all Charlie, that would be the first base line. Second, Lande doesn’t lie.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Back where we started...

Harvard lost the second game, 10-8, after leading 7-4 in the 6th behind Javy Castellanos. Apparently, a whole lot of Kutler, and a nightmarish conspiracy of errors, bad calls and just plain coughing up what should've been a safe lead. The Crimson remains a game ahead of the Bears heading into Dartmouth weekend. Brown plays Yale. As good as Yale's pitching can be, and as much as Yale is still in it mathematically, Harvard sure didn't want to give a frustrated, underachieving Dartmouth team a chance to ruin its season. But that's exactly what we're looking at this weekend.

If Harvard doesn't win the division, they'll have this game and the first one yesterday hanging over their heads for quite a while.

Harvard wins Game Three, 10-3...

...according to our Ivy League source.

How Big Is Tomorrow?

Let’s set up the various scenarios for you so everyone knows what’s at stake in the extremely huge matchups tomorrow (as a side note, one now realizes how extremely important it is to have 4 good starters in the Ivy League b/c both Brown and Harvard’s seasons may come down to their 4th starter):

Yale ended up taking 3 of 4 from Dartmouth and is sitting on the bubble with a 9-7 record. Dartmouth is out of it, with its 7-9 record, and would surely love nothing more than to take a title away from the Crimson next weekend.

If Harvard takes both tomorrow against Brown, it basically clinches the division. In order for them not to win the title, they’d have to lose every game to Dartmouth next weekend, and Brown would have to sweep Yale. So you see how big a sweep would be.

What if Brown takes both games tomorrow? They’ll go one-game up on Harvard in the loss column with four to play. This is where things get interesting. If Brown then takes 3 of 4 from Yale next weekend (or better), it’s safe. Harvard would have to sweep and pray for one Brown loss to get the tie-breaking game. If Brown split with Yale next weekend, then Harvard would have to take 3 of 4 just to force a tie-breaking game, or sweep to win it all. If all Brown did was win one game against Yale next weekend, we’d at least have to split with Dartmouth to force a tie-breaker. You can see how difficult a position it is to be a game back heading into the final weekend; it puts you at the mercy of others. [There’s also the wild scenario here that Yale could sweep Brown and put itself in a position to win the title if Harvard were to lose at least two games.]

What if Harvard and Brown split their games tomorrow? Harvard goes into Dartmouth with a game lead over Brown. So basically we get the inverse of the paragraph above – Harvard would need 3 of 4 to be absolutely safe (meaning, the worst-case scenario is a tie-breaking game). If Harvard split next weekend, Brown would have to take 3 of 4 to force the tie-breaker or sweep to win it all. This is a decent position to be in – at least we’d still control our fate.

It’s little things like losing an extra-inning game (like today) that can be a real dagger. One game is huge.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Harvard splits with Brown

Harvard lost the first game, 6-5 in 8 innings (this was the seven-inning game) before blowing out the Bears in the second game, 16-4. Our Ivy League source tells us that there had been some talk of shortening the second game due to the first game's length and darkness concerns. That apparently didn't come to pass, but didn't make much of a difference.

Brown got to Frank Herrmann better than any other team this year, including a two-run homer by Devin Thomas that tied it in the extra frame. Matt Brunnig hit the only batter he faced, and the inning only got messier:
Wilson to
p. Vance to ss. Mackey to cf for Meehan. / for Brunnig. Nichols reached on a
fielder's choice; Lowe advanced to second. Nyadjroh grounded out to 1b unassisted,
SAC, bunt; Nichols advanced to second; Lowe advanced to third. Tews intentionally
walked. Christian reached on a fielder's choice, RBI; Tews out at second ss to 2b;
Nichols advanced to third; Lowe scored. 3 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

I sense that onlookers would probably describe whatever happened there more colorfully than a "fielder's choice." A tough go for Steffan Wilson, who hadn't given up a hit. Josh Klimkiewicz homered twice in this game and, peculiarly, Zak Farkes' unpredictable season continued as Joe Walsh started him at second and batted him leadoff (he did get on base four times and score twice, and Vance went 1-for-5 in the 6-spot, but weird). Also of note: Brendan Byrne got squeezed out in all of this. He'd been hitting the ball very well for the Crimson this season. Would've perhaps been a strong DH candidate (and indeed, was put there in Game Two). He wound up coming in for Brown at short later on...

Byrne batted second in Game Two and went 3-for-5 with a 3-run homer in the 5th.

Game Three is tomorrow at noon. I assume we're looking at Castellanos there and Haviland in Game Four, but who really knows anymore?

Red Playing Big

Over in the Lesser Division of the Ivy League, Cornell swept UPenn and has snuck its way into 1st place, a game ahead of Princeton, who lost 3 of 4 to Columbia this past weekend. Cornell will play Princeton next weekend with the division title on the line.

The World According to Tarp

We're about a half an hour away from finally getting in some Brown-Harvard baseball.

Partway through yesterday, I looked out the window and thought, "You know, they really could've played today. I wonder why they were so quick to pull the trigger." This helps explain:
Although Sunday's weather was more cooperative, the storm on Saturday night blew off the tarp covering the field, rendering it unplayable.

"There's no way we could have played today," said relief pitcher Ethan Silverstein '07. "We spent an hour and a half just rolling the tarp back up. Basically, we desperately need a new one."

There is also this key injury note regarding Matt Kutler's protection:
The postponements also gave cleanup hitter Eric Larson '06.5 a chance to rest a groin injury. Larson has been out of the lineup since the second game of a doubleheader at Dartmouth on April 16. Despite a doctor's opinion to rest for 4-6 weeks, Larson will attempt to play today.

The Crimson today said that the games have been rescheduled for today and tomorrow. The Brown Daily Herald hedged a bit, saying this was the most likely scenario. Neither athletic department has officially said as much, and Brown's schedule still lists a game against Vermont tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


The start of the Brown series has been pushed back another day due to inclement weather. So much for catching Brown short-staffed. Both teams should have everyone available tomorrow rest-wise--hopefully there aren't any class commitments that will complicate matters for Harvard.

Those looking for a way to pass the time on this rainy afternoon should check out the NY Times Sunday magazine. The author of Moneyball has another must-read piece on two products of the Oakland farm system and the modern game's warped obsession with power stats. Somewhere there's a joke to be made about whizzinators, but it hasn't come to me just yet.

Saturday, April 23, 2005


As expected, today's doubleheader has been postponed. Sunday-Monday now, Monday time TBA. Brown catches a break.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Oh boy...

This amidst this morning's Beanpot coverage in The Crimson:
Anticipating a rainy weekend at division rival Brown (17-15, 9-3 Ivy)—before The Crimson went to press, the Weather Channel predicted an 80 percent chance of showers the entire weekend—Walsh said he pitched Haviland and ace Frank Herrmann against Northeastern to get them regular work.

“We’re counting on that [rain] a little bit,” Walsh said.

If the weather cooperates, Herrmann and senior Mike Morgalis will start games one and two against the Bears, who lost last night at Cornell, falling a game back of the Crimson.

Walsh said he had not decided who to pitch in Sunday’s crucial doubleheader, though he hinted that hard-throwing junior Javier Castellanos would be an option in Game 3.

“I think he’d be a guy that may be used the first day if we need to win,” Walsh said, “which is why I don’t want to say if he’s going to go the second day.”

As for the Sunday finale, Walsh remained tight-lipped.

“We may have a surprise for you for the fourth starter,” he said.

"Surprise" would mean "Haviland doesn't start any of them. Hmmmm. We'll take your bets for the full weekend rotation in the comments section, dear readers. Both of you.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Harvard Crimson: 2005 Beanpot Champions

Schuyler Mann holds the Beanpot trophy aloft. Image hosted by
Schuyler Mann holds the Beanpot trophy, representing Harvard's first outright Beanpot win since 1991 and the first outright win of the Walsh era.

Image hosted by
Frank Herrmann's teammates watch him close things out at Fenway.

Image hosted by

The Rest

Blogger is maintaining its server now. Perfect. Well, you will get this late.

Top 5th

Klimkiewicz lines right to the left fielder. Mann 4-pitch walk. Casey singles up the middle just past a diving shortstop. Wallace strokes another double down the left field line. I can't believe he didn't make the first trip. Mann scores, 2nd and 3rd. 5-2, Harvard. Byrne swings and misses at a 3-2 pitch. Brown flies out to shallow left. And because they're there, a shout-out to Harvard Crimson reporters Rebecca, Alex and Pablo.

Bottom 5th. Coke bottle guy strikes out looking. This is the best I've seen this particular Jason Brown, whose submarine-style arm action isn't a thing of beauty, but has been effective. Nutting takes Brown to a full count and walks. There's action in the bullpen, and a brief meeting on the mound. Haviland appears to be warming. Maher lines out to Salsgiver, who had a shot at another out at first but didn't get much velocity on his throw. Emanuele flyball should've ended the inning but between Salsgiver, Vance and Byrne, no one took command and it fell for a hit, 2nd and 3rd. They'll mark it down as a hit, but just a ghastly play, and Brown has to bear down for at least one more batter. Sidhu thought he walked and throws the bat away, but has to retrieve it. Now he walks for real, and the bases are loaded. Brown gets a HUGE strikeout with what appeared from here to be a high fastball.

Mound conference w/Jay Brown. Image hosted by

Top 6th.

Vance walks. He's gotten on four times now: 2-for-2, walk, HBP. Salsgiver doubled to center. 2nd and 3rd. Pitching change, Devin Monds in. And, in perhaps a gesture of contempt, they've started just running the Sox game on the Jumbotron during the pitching change. Wilson up. Monds gets Wilson swinging wildly at a couple, but ultimately walks him. Klimkiewicz up with the bases loaded and nobody out. Klimkiewicz skies one to shallow center, out, Vance scores, no other runners advance (nice throw). Mann up. Salsgiver out by three steps at third on a double steal attempt. Wilson to second. Mann strikes out looking.

Bottom 6th

Haviland in to pitch, which I guess makes sense. He wouldn't start an Ivy game until Sunday which, given the weather forecast, will likely be Monday, earliest. Bush walks. Paquette (with no shift this time) strikes out. Coke Boy GIDP.

Top 7th.

Casey 5-3.Wallace hit in the head. Byrne strikes out swinging. Brown grounds out. The Fenway organist plays "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." I wonder if they're charging the schools for it.

Bottom 7th.

Morizio flies out to right. Nutting walks. Maher dribbler up the third base line gets by Wilson, second and third with one out. Emanuele flies out to deep right, run scores, other guy to third. Sidhu strikes out swinging.

Top 8th:

Vance grounds to short. Salsgiver legs out a grounder. Salsgiver to second, Wilson makes no contact on hit and run, but ball pops out of 2B's glove. Wilson grounds to short, 6-3, Salsgiver to third. Double-barrelled action in the Harvard bullpen. Klimkiewicz (whose name has been pronounced correctly the last few at-bats) singles to left, Salsgiver scores, 7-3. Mann grounds out.
Image hosted by
Bottom 8th: Brunnig in to pitch (lefty), as two relievers throw lightly in the pen. Sweet Caroline plays. Five people assembled go "Oh oh oh." Heriot out, Bush flies out to right. Paquette strikes out.

Top 9th:
Casey grounds to short.Wallace grounds out. Farkes pinch hits for Byrne, flies out.

Bottom 9th:
This would be Joe Walsh's first true Beanpot victory, having been a co-champion once when a final with UMass was rained out. He must really want it, as here comes Frank Herrmann. The PA guy pronounces it, "Her-MAHN." Anyway, Herrmann gets the job done, and a borderline unceremonious awards ceremony lands Harvard the coveted Beanpot trophy. Celebration pictures to come.

Shifty business

Bottom 4th:

Heriot takes to on his liner to right, Salsgiver looked like he had a chance at second but the throw was off a shade. Bush 4-3, Heriot takes third. Paquette (Miguel Paquette is an awesome name, by the way). Shift's on against him, with only Wilson occupying the left side of the infield. It almost hurts the Crimson royally, but Wilson makes it out to shallow left and makes a terrific catch to get the out and hold the runner Heriot at 3rd. Milano (Coke bottle) grounds to short, 6-3, and Jay Brown's out of another one. Still no action in the Crimson bullpen. Top 5th, still 4-2, good guys.

4-2, Mid 4th

Jay Brown pitches. Image hosted by

Top 4th
Piryk in to pitch. Brown flies out to right. Vance HBP, although it's a dubiouds call. Meanwhile, there doesn't seem to be any real serious action in the Harvard bullpen at all, as Jay Brown has risen to the occasion. Salsgiver strikes out on a 3-2, Vance safe (but just barely) at second. Wilson up. Vance scampers to third on what the "official scorers" a few feet from me rule a passed ball. Wilson infield popout. Jay Brown retakes the mound.

Bottom 3rd

Bottom 3rd.

Maher flies out to right. There is light throwing in the bullpen, probably because it's cool. The PA guy here pronounced Klimkiewicz like it rhymes with Mientkiewicz. Emanuele strikes out looking. Sidhu flies out to right. Still 4-2.

More game. I hate blogger.

Brown steals second, Salsgiver flies out to center.

Bottom 2nd.

Bush singles to right. Paquette, who is incredibly slow, grounds to second, runner out at second, wide throw from Brown means Paquette is safe. Dan Milano, wow, homers off the Coke bottle. 3-2. Morizio strikes out looking. Nutting walks. Maher up, Nutting picked off by Brown.

Top 3rd

Wilson's hit to center eludes the centerfielder, who nearly makes another spectacular diving catch. Wilson to third. Klimkiewicz walk. Mann singles to center, run scores, Klim to second. Casey infield popout. Wallace flies out to the warning track in center, Klimkiewicz advances to third. Byrne flies out to left.

Blogger is messing up, but here is what we have so far.

CF Vance
RF Salsgiver
3B Wilson
1B Klimkiewicz
DH Mann
C Casey
LF Wallace
2B Byrne
SS Brown

And Jason "Jay" Brown playing the role of Hodge.


Top 1st Inning

Vance opens up with a liner down the left field line that hits the CVS sign, double. NU starter Jim Madison has started two games this year among his 14 appearances... Salsgiver, on a full count, grounds out 6-3, Vance to third. Stefan Wilson gets dinged on the head on a 2-1 count, 1st and 3rd.... Klim up. Wilson steals second, aided by a terrific slide if none-too-terrific speed. Klimkiewicz skies it to deep center, about ten feet shy of the warning track, runners advance, 1-0 Harvard. Mann lines a 2-2 pitch to left, run scores, Mann to first. 2-0 Harvard. Casey.pops a Madison curveball to right. End first. Sorry for the boxscore language, all, but I am also attempting to fix Blogger.

Bottom 1st:

Emanuele strikes out looking. Sidhu grounds to third. Heriot grounds out to first, Klim takes it himself and beats him to the base.

Top 2nd:

Wallace bloop to center, chased down by centerfielder and caught. Byrne skies one that should've been caught by the catcher next to the dugout, and it falls on the head of some kid who wasn't even looking up despite the charging infielders. Byrne hits the next pitch a ton, and NU's centerfielder makes a terrific diving catch. Brown extends to a full count, walks. Vance up. Brown steals second. Vance bloops one to shallow right, falls between CF/RF/1B, Brown scores.

Packed house, as always, for the Baseball Beanpot

Image hosted by

Fenway Live: Get ready.

BC has defeated UMass, 8-6.
Image hosted by

Harvard and the Huskies are warming up now, Harvard in their road grays.

Image hosted by

Live From Fenway Park

I'm currently in the Fenway Park press box, after some access adventures neatly resolved by the Harvard SID (thanks Kevin), and ready to attempt to live-blog the Beanpot Final between Harvard and Northeastern.

Right now, BC leads UMass in the bottom of the ninth, 8-5, pushing the start of the second game back some.

Brown Loses

Brown lost the second game of the doubleheader with Cornell. That gives the Crimson a one-game advantage in the loss column heading into this weekend's crucial match-up.

Regarding the Beanpot, it's not unusual to have the whole team travel to Fenway. In fact, back in the day when we used to play the Beanpot nearer to the end of the season, Coach Walsh would pull up some JV guys so they could have the opportunity to be a part of that experience. I'm guessing here, but maybe the Beanpot is exempt from the roster limitation of the other games (20 or 22 per Ivy rules and 25 for NCAA postseason if I remember correctly...maybe 27 for Ivy Champship?? -- does someone out there remember?) I think what's unique here is that we have a Beanpot game starting at 5 pm. Usually, the consolation game was in the morning, while the championship game was in the very early afternoon. The 5 pm start time ensures that a) class conflicts will be reduced and b) all the players will be able to travel.

So, Joe, it's the Beanpot final. Who are you starting?

As classic as it is predictable:

Walsh did not name a starter for today’s game against the Huskies, who last won the Beanpot in 2002.

With an important division showdown with Brown looming this weekend, he has to be extra careful with who he sends to the mound.

“Hodge and Podge,” Walsh said with a grin. “I think they’ll be pitching for us. We’ve got a big weekend coming up, but we certainly aren’t going to overlook [tomorrow].”

The Crimson also gave us this nice tidbit, something I hadn't realized:

With its first-round victory yesterday, the Crimson not only advanced to the Beanpot Classic final, but ensured that its entire roster will get to make the trip to Fenway.

For day games, Harvard only brings 20 players when it travels due to academic considerations.

“I’m pretty excited,” Mann said. “It’s nice we get to play at 5 p.m., so the whole roster will be there.”

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Harvard vs. Northeastern, Cornell vs. Brown (again, sort of)

Northeastern upset BC, ending the Eagles three-year reign of Beanpot terror and setting up a matchup with Harvard tomorrow evening.

Meanwhile, Brown beat Cornell in the first game of the doubleheader in Ithaca before the second game was suspended in the 8th due to rain as the teams were tied, 5-5. They'll wrap it up tomorrow at 12. We think.

Harvard Will Play for the Beanpot Championship Tomorrow

The Crimson has won today, 11-5, and will play for the title tomorrow at 5. I may or may not be there, pending press access issues.

Story on Jason Larocque, Sox Bullpen Catcher

Jason Larocque's hometown newspaper has a nice story on his new job as Sox bullpen catcher. Larocque comes off very humble and hard-working in the piece, plugging away in a job that sounds glorious but actually comes with a lot of work and few frills. Well, maybe one:

At the season opener in Yankee Stadium, he had the thrill of a lifetime when legendary Yankees public address announcer Bob Sheppard intoned, "And in the bullpen, Jason Larocque."

Some other highlights, on how Larocque got the gig:

The Methuen native, who played baseball for Central Catholic High School and Harvard, had an interesting winter, to say the least. He interviewed for the head coaching job at Methuen High School, hoping to follow in the footsteps of mentors Bill Blood, his stepfather, and Dave Bettencourt, a family friend, both veteran baseball coaches.

But Larocque was bypassed for a more experienced candidate.

The disappointment didn't linger. Within a week, Larocque received a call from the Red Sox inviting him to a tryout. He was recommended by Raquel Ferreira, the director of minor league administration who oversaw Larocque as an intern charting pitches for the scouting department in 2001.

Larocque flew to Florida in early February for his "interview," which consisted mainly of speaking to manager Terry Francona for 10 minutes, throwing batting practice to spring training's early arrivals, and keeping his head down like a good worker bee.

Peter Woodfork, a Swampscott native and a three-year teammate of Larocque at Harvard, works in the front office as one of General Manager Theo Epstein's most trusted aides. But Larocque didn't try to tap the Crimson connection to win the job.

"He didn't call me and I didn't call him," Larocque said. "We both wanted to let it play out. I wanted to get it on my own, and he wanted me to get it on my own. And that's what happened."

The full story is here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Loudmouth Brigade, Silenced!

Dartmouth baseball fans, notorious as the boil on the Ivy League sporting world's ass, have apparently been silenced.
The concerns stem from several incidents at Dartmouth baseball games this Saturday and Sunday against Brown. Safety and Security officers approached several students in attendance who were heckling members of the Brown baseball team from the bleachers.

Although College Proctor Harry Kinne confirmed that no students were ultimately removed from the game or asked to provide identification, several hecklers claim that they were threatened with ejection if they continued to yell at the players.

A bit of background. Every year, the season comes down to Harvard-Dartmouth. And every year, drunk, classless idiots from Hanover rain down insults about players' families, anything they can think of, in order to cheer their team to victory. Here's one example from the Dartmouth article:
[Associate Athletic Director] Austin also pointed out an incident from several years ago in which Dartmouth baseball hecklers found out that a player on an opposing team had a drug problem and made a number of references to his substance abuse over the course of the game.

"That's mean and it's targeted and it has nothing to do with the game," Austin said. Although that particular example is a clear-cut case of behavior that would not be tolerated, there are many times when there is a greater deal of ambiguity with regard to the appropriateness of the hecklers' material.

In 2002, our own Brian Fallon wrote this:

“There’s a reason why us and Princeton end up in the championship every year,” said Wahlberg, who pitched the final 5.2 innings of the series finale to clinch Harvard’s second straight Red Rolfe Division title. “We’re the better team.”

After seeing their team come within one win of playing for an Ivy title, Dartmouth’s fans might beg to differ. But they weren’t available for comment yesterday—Harvard (19-21, 11-9 Ivy) had shut them up.

With 19 hits on Sunday, the sound of the Crimson’s hitting parade drowned out the Big Green’s loudmouth brigade, whose merciless taunting of Harvard’s players had helped lift Dartmouth (17-19, 10-10) to a sweep of Saturday’s doubleheader in Hanover, N.H. Harvard coach Joe Walsh admitted that Dartmouth’s rude behavior on Saturday made yesterday’s victories all the more satisfying.

“After [Saturday’s] fiasco—we took a lot of grief from their fans—I thought the guys really wanted to win,” he said.

Apparently, Brian's writing there and in his columninadvertently gave the Dartmouth idiots a name:

The Loudmouth Brigade, a band of self-described "professional hecklers" composed largely of Dartmouth seniors, had been preparing all week, and in fact all season, for Saturday's match-up against the Princeton Tigers...

"It's not baseball when you're talking about people's mothers out there," the Harvard Crimson wrote of the hecklers in May 2003. Ironically, it was this article that gave the hecklers a name: "The Loudmouth Brigade."

Last year, the Brigade was strong even on the road,coming to O'Donnell with a new Loudmouth Brigade theme song and being generally obnoxious. But Dartmouth appears to have finally stepped in to stop the madness.
Many of the hecklers also said they fear Dartmouth will lose home-field advantage without their support, and point to Dartmouth baseball's four losses this weekend against Brown as an example of how the team can lose that advantage.

"I've even had members of the team come up to me after this weekend and ask why we weren't out there yelling," Edmonson said. "I had to tell them the answer, we were stifled by the administration in fear of getting kicked out of the game."

"I really can't begin to comprehend why the school's administration would use Safety and Security to stifle and suppress the voices of fans during baseball games," Bertran said. "Red Rolfe Field is the hardest place for opposing teams to play at because of the dedication of our fans."

So it's been figured out. Dartmouth Baseball: Absolutely ordinary when not fueled by idiot power.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Rule 8, Section 2

A follow-up to the catcher's interference call that set Stuper off yesterday. First, here is the Crimson's take:
With two runners on, one man out, and the Crimson leading 6-5, Harvard head coach Joe Walsh called for freshman Matt Vance to bunt junior Morgan Brown home from third base. But Vance whiffed at an outside offering from Bulldog hurler Jon Hollis.

“We put on the squeeze, and they knew it was coming, so they pitched out,” Vance said. “I threw my bat out there, and the catcher came out of his crouch early and hit my bat.”

After the home plate umpire initially declared the failed suicide squeeze attempt to be a foul ball, Walsh jogged out of the dugout to argue the call. The two umpires then conversed for several minutes before overturning the initial ruling and sending Vance to first base on catcher’s interference by Yale backstop Eric Rasmussen.

The real twist, however, came when the umpires also rewarded Brown with a trip to the plate from third—technically, a violation of the rules.

But was it? I checked in with Tyson Hubbard of the Ivy League office after initial online research suggested that since the squeeze was on, Brown may have had every right to jog home. And Tyson pointed me in the direction of Rule 8, Section 2 of the NCAA Baseball Rules:
Rule 8, Section 2 Batter Becomes Base Runner (Pg. 80)

e. If any defensive player interferes with the batter's swing or prevents the individual from striking at a pitched ball;

A.R, -- Catcher's interference on a batter should be called only on the batter's actual swing to hit the pitch. If a batter, during preliminary loosening-up swings, hits the catcher or the catcher's mitt during the backswing, the umpire should immediately call time and not interference. The pitch or swing should not be allowed since the batter's concentration or rhythm could be affected.

(1) If a play follows the interference, the offensive team may elect to ignore the interference and accept the play. However, if the batter reaches first base and all other runners advance at least one base, the interference is ignored.

(2) Any runner attempting to advance on a catcher's interference with the batter's swing shall be awarded the base the runner is attempting to reach.

If a runner is not attempting to advance on the catcher's interference, the individual is not entitled to the next base, if not forced to advance because of the batter being awarded first base.

So if Stuper had anything to rage about, it probably wasn't the final result. Maybe it's that they didn't get it right the first time. Or maybe it's simply that he's seen Joe Walsh do this to him before:
Monday, April 19, 1999
In the last lesson of a four-game clinic against Yale yesterday, Harvard Coach Joe Walsh did a very characteristic thing.
Senior righthander Donny Jamieson had just made his only serious jam of the afternoon a lot less sticky, starting a rare bases-loaded, 1-2-3 double play in the fifth by cleanly fielding Mike Kahney's come-backer to the mound and firing home for the lead runner. Senior catcher Jason Keck then turned and gunned Kahney out at first to preserve a 4-4 tie and leave runners at second and third with two outs.

Or so we all thought.

Pointing out that Kahney had, in fact, been called out for interfering with first baseman Erik Binkowski in the basepath, Walsh casually strolled out to home plate and correctly reminded umpire Rick Milner that runners may not advance on an interference call. Second and third quickly became first and second.

Though Jamieson made it a moot point by striking out shortstop Steve Dankof on a slider down and away to end the inning, it was a move symbolic of what Harvard did right all weekend--sweating the details.

In and of itself, Jamieson's double play was intelligent--it prevented the go-ahead run from scoring and got two outs for the price of one--but Walsh's spin made it that much better.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Our friends at ...

... are calling for rain both days next weekend. Mother Nature does seem to have an obsession with extending the Harvard-Brown series into the following Monday (sometimes even Tuesday). It's happened twice in the last three years. But as Faiz explains, this will probably be the first time that Walsh won't be hoping for it.

Big Week Ahead

The Crimson have played just about as well as they could have hoped for to this point in the season. The only problem... Brown's played just as well. Right now, the losses are the only things that matter -- both Brown and Harvard have 2 losses in Ivy competition.

The Crimson will face the Bears this coming weekend, but they may have a significant advantage. Brown will have to play 2 make-up games against Cornell on Wednesday. Because they're both Ivy games and because Brown has to keep pace with Harvard, you have to assume they'll throw their best available pitchers. That probably means they'll throw the 2 starters who pitched against Dartmouth on Saturday: RHP Bryan Tews and RHP Jeff Dietz.

That in turn probably means they'll come back with the 2 starters who pitched against Dartmouth on Sunday as the starters for the first 2 against the Crimson next Saturday: RHP Shaun McNamara and RHP James Cramphin. Taking that a step further, Brown's Sunday starters against the Crimson will probably be Tews and Dietz again, coming back off 3 days rest.

On our end, Harvard will play in the Beanpot, but Coach Walsh is likely to pitch the starters for very limited innings, if at all. The Crimson rotation (with the 4th starter still up in the air) should be fully rested and healthy by the time the weekend arrives.

All this means is that Brown will be stretched thin in terms of their pitchers. They had to go 11 innings to win game 2 against Dartmouth today so they've expended a few additional relievers. Thus, the early keys to next week's victories are: 1) the ability of the Crimson hitters to be patient and work the counts and hopefully 2) get deep into the Brown bullpen early. That said, Brown's a team that's hungry for a championship and is being faced with a difficult challenge this week -- you can never underestimate the kind of effect that has in getting a team up to play.

Stupefaction Live

A great job by Faiz putting that down, as the call was actually much less clear in person.

Walsh took about two seconds to convince the home ump of his cause, then calmly retreated back to his dugout to wait for the fireworks to begin. It took the umps what felt like a solid five minutes to talk this one over, and when they were done and waved Morgan Brown home, Stupor exploded. I haven't seen anything like it since the Brown coach went absolutely nuts in the spring of 2003. Stuper followed the ump around for a bit, felled a dozen bats that were leaning against the Yale dugout and slammed the gate on the way out. And the verbal bits were pretty spectacular as well.

Later in the inning, Yale's Zac Bradley got ejected from the game as well, although it was unclear what prompted his antics there (my guess is he thought Ian Wallace's slide into second base was less than clean). Anyway, his replacement, Josh Cox, had a pretty rough time of it in the field as the game continued to slip away.

Dartmouth has been swept. Next weekend's showdown in Providence will be pivotal. And one wonders when Brown's rained out games with Cornell will finally be played.


Interesting turn of events in the bottom of the 6th in Game 2 of the Sunday doubleheader:

With Harvard up 6-5 and runners on 1st and 3rd, Coach Walsh called for a suicide squeeze with Vance at the plate. The ball was seemingly fouled back, but Walsh objected to the call, saying the catcher had interfered with the play. The umpires conferred, agreed with Walsh’s assessment, and called catcher’s interference on the pitch. The runner from 3rd scored, the runner from 1st advanced to second, and Vance was awarded first. Those of you familiar with Yale’s Coach John Stuper can predict what happened next. Stuper fired out of the dugout to begin verbally abusing the umpires for reversing the call. He was of course ejected.

Ian Wallace then followed up with a double scoring two runs and putting Harvard up 9-5. After the play, Yale second baseman and leadoff batter Zac Bradley threw his own temper tantrum and was duly ejected.

Harvard up 9-5 heading into the bottom of the seventh with Salsgiver in to pitch. In Hanover, Brown's edging closer to a sweep as it has gone ahead of Dartmouth 5-3 as the game heads into the bottom of the 8th...

Yale Takes First Game of Sunday Doubleheader

The Yale Bulldogs topped the Harvard Crimson 7-4 in the first game Sunday afternoon -- the seven inning game. Jake Bruton struggled as the starter, giving up four runs without recording an out. Javy Castellanos came on to shut down the Bulldogs the rest of the way and gave the Crimson a chance to claw back into it. Yale RHP Josh Sowers went the distance to improve to 5-0 on the season.

In other news, Brown took the early game against Dartmouth. Looks like we're setting ourselves up for a big-time showdown with the Bears next weekend.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Seventh Heaven

Image hosted by

This is how an interesting day for Schuyler Mann ended.

He was moved to seventh in the order. Coach Walsh noted after the game, "He really hadn't been hitting the ball, even in BP before the games this morning... But sometimes you just need that one hit, and the next thing you know you're back up there next time up like, 'Bring it on.'" That one hit would come with the bases loaded in the 8th and Harvard down 4-0. That one hit tied the game, and the Crimson wound up taking a 5-4 lead into the ninth.

Mann then watched a Steffan Wilson curveball get by him in the top of the ninth, allowing the tying run to score from third.

But Mann got it back in the bottom of the inning. After Taylor Meehan's two-out single, Mann saw yet another Bulldog reliever and another fastball. This one didn't go out (although it looked like it would), but it made it 410 of the (conservatively listed) 415 feet to center, and Meehan came around to score easily. And that was your ballgame, final score Harvard 6, Yale 5.

Meanwhile, in an interesting development in Hanover, Brown swept Dartmouth today, including an thrashing of preseason pitcher of the year Josh Faiola.

Jake Bruton, not Matt Brunnig as listed, will start against Yale in the early game tomorrow.

Herrmannator II

Frank Herrmann has thrown his second shutout in a week, and Steffan Wilson's 2-run double highlighted a four-run sixth as Harvard wins the first game, 4-0.

WHRB Broadcasts

Are available here.

Friday, April 15, 2005

This could be a trap...


Saturday Setup
* 1 p.m. - Yale at Harvard (7 innings)
Alec Smith (3-1, 2.79 ERA) vs. Frank Herrmann (3-1, 1.93 ERA)
3:30 p.m. - Yale at Harvard (9 innings)
Mike Mongiardini (1-1, 4.46 ERA) vs. Mike Morgalis (4-0, 2.10 ERA)

Sunday Setup
* 12 p.m. - Yale at Harvard (7 innings)
Josh Sowers (4-0, 1.13 ERA) vs. Matt Brunnig (1-1, 4.82 ERA)
2:30 p.m. - Yale vs. Harvard (9 innings)
Jon Hollis (3-0, 3.11 ERA) vs. Shawn Haviland (4-1, 3.45 ERA)

That's your four Ivy leaders in Ks, one after the next. Yale leads the Ivies in ERA. And the Crimson really hasn't hit much at home so far this season.

You should be able to follow these (potentially quick) games live on Gamecast, available off Harvard's schedule page.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Interview with Bart Brush, Part III

SoBB: Did you ever swing the bat at Harvard?

BB: Unfortunately no. I was 0 for 2 (struck out and reached on an error) as a freshman at Bucknell. I think I skipped the pitcher’s HR derby both years because my roommate got us tee times at Duxbury Country Club. In my defense, I always cleared it with Forst if I was debating whether to skip practice to play golf.

You transferred out of Harvard your freshman year, but later transferred back. Can you describe the events surrounding your transfers?

BB: Not much to it really. I was really unhappy at Harvard my first semester. Freshman football at Harvard in the fall of 1993 was the biggest joke I had ever been a part of athletically. So I contacted the football coach who recruited me at Bucknell and gave it a shot there for the second semester. I pitched for Bucknell that spring (1994) and was 1-4 in about 45 innings as a weekend starter for the 10-25 Bison. I did set the Patriot League single-season record for hit batsmen that year.

Ironically, that team eventually got pretty good. They went on to win the Patriot league in 1997 and advance to the NCCAs as well. I really enjoyed Bucknell and everything about it but as I started to get more mature and get some perspective I realized how silly it would be to give up a Harvard education. So I returned to Cambridge for the start of my sophomore year and didn’t play baseball in 1995 because I was a transfer.

SoBB: Please give us a scouting report on yourself (best pitch, speed of fastball, anything interesting about your delivery, etc).

BB: Nothing remarkable besides a curve that I thought could be pretty good on occasion. I never knew for sure but I bet I never hit 83 on a radar gun. Coach Walsh joked that my delivery was so ugly (I always threw way across my body) that the photo of me mid-delivery on the 1997 schedule card put him at a disadvantage when recruiting. It brought into question his ability to teach pitchers proper mechanics.

SoBB: What do you do now?

BB: I work in the Debt Capital Markets group at PNC Bank in Pittsburgh. More importantly, I coach 13-14 year old baseball. I would bet that my pitchers are the only ones in the league who have a balk move.

SoBB: Describe Harvard baseball in five words or less.

BB: Every game counts.

Who was the most talented guy you played with at Harvard?

BB: All-around (5-tools) it had to be Brian Ralph.

Although in the college game, I’ve not seen many shortstops as good defensively as David Forst or many first basemen as good defensively as Pete Albers. Those two guys saved all us pitchers a lot of runs.

On the mound, Quinn Schaffer might have been the most physically talented despite an abbreviated career.

SoBB: How has having a blog named after you affected your relationship with the ladies?

BB: My wife and sister make fun of me about it. Other than that, as you might imagine, I’ve seen no effect.

We'd like to thank Bart for allowing us to learn more about himself and the teams he played on.

BC Tops Crimson

Harvard lost to BC today, 6-0. No Farkes in the lineup. Coach Walsh gave a few different guys at-bats, and got some middle relievers some good work. As for the Eagles, they’re playing very well this season. They’re now 21-9 with a 7-3 record in the Big East, good for second in the conference (St. Johns is number one right now).

Interview With Bart Brush, Part II

SoBB: What are some of your memories surrounding Coach Walsh's first days on the job?

BB: Coach never said a word to me about my hair (about shoulder length at the time) all through winter practice in 1996. Until about two days before our Spring Trip. I was throwing a live bullpen in Lavietes and he told me, while standing behind me as I was throwing to hitters, that he hadn’t gotten me a plane ticket yet because of my hair. I had it cut the next day.

I ran into Coach Walsh and Coach Donovan in the hotel elevator on the first night of that 1996 Spring Trip. Uncharacteristically, I was carrying a few six packs. It was the night before our first game so I was a little worried what they might think but all Coach said was, “Looks like you’re havin’ some frappes.”

Coach Walsh’s first win at Harvard: We beat a pretty good URI team down in Florida (we all know how Coach loves to beat New England teams). Ralph threw out a couple guys from center field. Garret Vail started and pitched pretty well. And I got the save despite almost getting into a fistfight with backup catcher Craig Wilke over pitch selection. It was just an early season game but I think Coach instilled from the very beginning that absolutely every game meant something. That understanding was lacking at Harvard before Coach Walsh got there.

Also on that first spring trip in 1996, we were all introduced to a new concept. Not sure if Coach Walsh ever still does this but on a few occasions in road games he would put a big bat (often Bo Menkiti) in the #2 spot in the order at SS and leave regular SS David Forst out of the starting lineup. Obviously confusion reigned when we first saw the lineup card. But Bo would get one AB in the top of the first and then Forst would replace him by heading out to short for the bottom of the first. Please note that this was before Forst became a very solid and eventually excellent hitter. Needless to say this was the source of some ridicule and at the time we came to refer to it as Forst hitting in the 11 hole in the order.

We went down to Yale in 1996 and lost the first three games of the series. I got the ball to start Game 4 and promptly gave up 5 runs in the bottom of the first. The fifth of which scored on a deep home run followed by what I thought was an unnecessarily slow HR trot. I took the liberty to throw the next pitch well behind the next hitter and all the way back to the screen. At this point Coach Stuper took it upon himself to step out of the dugout. He had a few words for me. Before I could have my few words back Coach Walsh was out to meet me. He wasn’t real happy. He said he didn’t want to leave me in but that he needed innings so I should get my head out of my ass and start ‘battling’. We eventually clawed back to go up 6-5, I went 6 and 1/3 and Perrin Mosca and Cooch came in to get the last two big outs. I must have thrown 150 pitches that day. I never had an easy inning (Duffel threw as many pitches in the bullpen that day warming up to take my place as I did on the mound). I’ll never forget Coach basically telling be that I had no choice but to stay out there and start getting some outs.

Check back in tomorrow for the final installment of our interview with Bart.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Great news from Coach Walsh

Got the following in an e-mail this morning:

Great news - Wes Cosgriff had his major surgery on April 6. On Sunday his Doc told him he was "100% Cancer Free". The team and the Coaches are elated !!!! It's the best baseball news ever! Thanks to you and to everybody for keeping Wes in your thoughts and prayers. Coach Walsh

Tremendous news. We wish Wes the very best in his recovery.

I probably won't be at any of the games for a while, but I'll continue to funnel updates here.

Words of Praise From Cornell

Here’s what Cornell sophomore pitcher Blake Hamilton had to say about the Crimson after losing to them 3-1 on Saturday.

"We still had a chance to win towards the end ... I was impressed with Harvard's hitting. When I made a mistake they hit them pretty well. I just tried to keep the ball down and mix speeds."

And as for our pitching…

"Harvard's pitchers are at the top of the line," Hamilton said. "Besides Yale, they have the best staff -- ERA wise -- in the league. We knew coming in it was going to be a tough game."

And what about division-foe Dartmouth?

"Dartmouth's pitchers threw a little bit harder, but they didn't mix their speeds as well," Hamilton said. "That's why we were able to be a little more effective at the plate."

Thanks for the scouting report Blake.

Monday, April 11, 2005

SoBB Exclusive: Interview With Bart Brush

SoBB: What was your favorite moment in a Crimson uniform?

BB: It had to be our advancing in the winner’s bracket in Stillwater in 1997 by beating Miami and Stetson back to back.

That was quickly followed by one of my least favorite moments – me starting the following day against Oklahoma State and getting chased in the bottom of the third down 3-0 with the bases loaded. I still think I got squeezed on a couple calls in that outing but . . .

I also think Coach Walsh is still pissed at me (rightfully so) for showing up the ump early in that game. To this day, it still bugs me that I didn’t pitch better for him that day.

SoBB: The Crimson wrote the following about you: “He wore thick glasses and robust muttonchop sideburns and strolled around the right-field bullpen with his uniform shirt untucked and his pitching hand down his pants.” We wanted to give you a chance to comment or clarify for the record.

BB: Pretty accurate. A couple comments: 1) The glasses weren’t necessarily thick and I only wore them occasionally when I pitched. 2) I still have a scaled back version of the same sideburns. 3) Anyone who has played football or baseball in the Northeast should know that you have to keep your hands warm. I can remember putting my throwing/pitching hand down my pants as far back as little league baseball and midget football in cold weather. I still get yelled at to this day by my wife for always having my hand down my pants when I’m lying around at home.

SoBB: Where did you get the haircut in question (La Flamme?) Do you have a picture of yourself circa 1997 that we could see?

BB: I believe it was La Flamme. I think it was the cheapest place in the square to get your hair cut at the time? I’m not about to have an old picture posted and thus embarrass myself any more than I already am by answering these questions.

Check back in tomorrow to read the second installment. Bart will give us his recollections of Coach Walsh's first days on the job...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Memo to the Gehrig Division: Bunt Against Princeton

Harvard wins 13-8 in a sloppy, sloppy game. I came in midway through, which means I got to see a Princeton 4-error inning. Fun.

Salsgiver threw the ninth and looked good, altough didn't have quite the velocity I remembered from last seeing him pitch a couple years ago.

Klimkiewicz hit a shot over the right field trees to tie it at 5 all, but the Crimson's (first) big inning after that started in a fashion reminiscent of earlier Walsh teams: a leadoff walk, a bunt single up the first-base line by Matt Vance, an even better bunt single up the third base line by Morgan Brown, a walk to Hermann (who laid off a tantalizing 3-2 pitch that wound up outside) to score a run, and a line drive to left by Lance Salsgiver that brought home two.

Curtis Miller, along with Mike Dukovich the only regular lefty arms available out of the bullpen, was used in both games.

Dartmouth swept today to stay a game back. Brown swept Columbia and is two back in the loss column with two extra to play due to rainouts.

Sorry about the sparseness this weekend, folks. Anyone know what cures strep throat?

Harvard Drops Game One

7-2. Win Stiller, Loss Brunnig.

Know Thy Enemy

HANOVER, NH -- There aren't many certainties in life, but the world of Harvard baseball has more than its fair share. In any given season, you can count on …

A Jason Brown popping up on the roster.

A freshman being touted as a "middle-of-the-order guy" in the preseason.

And, the surest bet of all ...

No matter what happens in March and April, the entire season will always comes down to Dartmouth weekend.

Yep, Harvard-Dartmouth is Red Rolfe's answer to Red Sox-Yankees. So why wait until the inevitable May showdown to get introduced to the group Baseball America picked to win it all?

Joe Walsh and Co. may not have the luxury of looking past an entire league schedule's worth of competition, but we do. So, starting today and continuing on an occasional basis throughout the Ivy season, we will venture into the lion's den to keep an eye on the team you love to hate. Just so we know what's looming.

Notes from the Big Green's doubleheader sweep of Princeton (Tiger tidbits included) are posted in the message board section. Get reports on Dartmouth’s 9-2 victory in Game One, and their 2-1 victory in Game Two.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Taking Care of Business

Image hosted by

Mike Morgalis continues his recent mastery of Cornell with 7 strong innings and no earned runs, and Steffan Wilson gets the save with a flurry of biting curveballs the Big Red could do little with. Harvard wins 2-1, and has made it through the easy part of the schedule with a 6-0 league record.

An interesting if trivial bit of information: With two outs and men on first and third in the bottom of the eighth, Wilson faced catcher William Pauly, a junior transfer from Vanderbilt and brother of former Princeton Crimson-killing ace and Cape Cod League MVP Thomas Pauly. But heartbreak and bloodlines didn't come into play this time, as Wilson got Pauly to line out to center to end the threat.

Meanwhile, another former Cape Cod MVP in Josh Faiola shut down Princeton in Hanover as part of a Dartmouth doubleheader sweep.

Ballpark Frank

Frank Hermann had a perfect game through 5 and wound up one-hitting the Big Red, and Harvard has won the first game 3-1. I wasn't there. Heading over now.

More later.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Waking Life

The Crimson's baseball supplement hit doorboxes and a couple newsstands today, featuring pieces on Wilson and Haviland, both of whom Walsh apparently snatched from the recruiting clutches of Wake Forest, and Schuyler Mann, Josh Klimkiewicz, Frank Hermann, Rob Wheeler, and a Lande Spottswood feature on Zak Farkes.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Notes from the State of Arizona

Steffan Wilson is your Ivy Rookie of the Week again.

Meanwhile, Ben Crockett has checked in with updates on himself and fellow recent alums Lentz, Hendricks and Bridich.

On Faiz's request, here is an update on the Harvard ballplayers that were and still are in Arizona. Unfortunately, most Harvard alums are still in Tucson, and in Phoenix (as far as I know.) Spring training has officially ended, the Major league season has begun, and Minor league baseball is set to begin Thursday, but I'm afraid that several of us will not be listening to a national anthem play on Thursday (unless we watch a big league game that night), but instead will be working out in extended spring training. After Bridich's last post, I threw 2 innings in a game, but inflamed the muscles in the back my shoulder, causing an impingement. Long story short, there is no structural damage, I'm currently feeling quite a bit better after not throwing and rehabbing for a week, and am currently just trying to get my arm back in game shape. Bad timing for an injury, but at this point just appreciating feeling better and working hard to get back asap. Hopefully my stay here won't be too extended...

See the full post on the Message Board.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Holy Cross 1, Harvard 0 (14 inn.)

Matt Vance doubles to lead off the bottom of the first. Image hosted by

Freshman Matt Vance doubled [above] to left to start things off for the Crimson, but there wouldn't be many more hits for the Crimson as a mishmosh of Holy Cross pitchers never allowed a Crimson baserunner to get as far as third.

Jake Bruton pitched what Joe Walsh called his best game as a Harvard pitcher, and I doubt anyone would dispute it. I missed his last two innings (as I did all of Shawn Haviland's surprise appearance), but considering that one of the three hits he gave up was a Brendan Akashian bunt single that Walsh and a very vocal Gary Donovan insisted Akashian had "kicked about halfway up" the third base line and the other two were also infield hit, it says something about how on he was.

Haviland again I missed (had to duck out to go to class), but The Crimson's Tim McGinn said that his curveball looked filthy. He also was poised: he came into a scoreless tie with two on and one out and promptly picked off the lead runner at second.

Matt Brunnig's appearance in the 14th was as a lefty to face the left hander Aldrich, and he was subsequently pulled for righty Morgan Brown (first mound appearance of the year), who gave up the game-winning single.

Having played five games in three days immediately after the chock-full spring break and had even the odd unnecessary bus ride, the Crimson mercifully gets a couple days off before this weekend's home doubleheaders against Cornell and Princeton.

Klimkiewicz at bat. Image hosted by

Home Is Where The Hits Weren't

Image hosted by

Yes, that does say 14 innings. And yes, that is the sun going down after the last out. More later.

Random Thoughts

So in the second game against Penn, Coach Walsh and the Crimson pulled off the win despite sitting two of its biggest All-Ivy bats, Schuyler Mann and Zak Farkes. Was this a thumb in the eye to Coach Seddon, in essence saying that we don't have to "come to play" with our best in order to win? Kidding aside, it shows how truly deep the offense is.

Second, when's the last time an Ivy Leaguer won both Player and Pitcher of the Week? I think Steffan Wilson's a pretty darn good candidate this week. Wilson picked up a save in Game 1 against UPenn and hit a homerun. In Game 2, he had 2 hits and an RBI. In Game 1 against Columbia, he had 3 RBIs and a save. In Game 2, he hads 2 hits and an RBI. In sum, here's Steffan Wilson's Ivy League "weekend" debut by the numbers:
1: homerun
2: saves
3: scoreless innings pitched
4: runs scored
5: hits
6: RBI

It's going to be interesting to see how the rotation shakes out every weekend. This weekend, it was Haviland, Morgalis, Brunnig, and Meehan. What should be interesting to watch is how Coach Walsh handles the 7-inning games versus the 9-inning ones. So far, he seems to want to a starter + Wilson scenario out of the 7s before progressing with a bullpen-by-committee in the 9s. If Wilson's going to continue to ably fill the closer role, hopefully his arm holds up during the course of the season (in terms of balancing with his 3B duties --- Nick Carter might have some thoughts on that). Also, did Castellanos or Unger pitch well enough to earn the 4th starter spot or will Meehan stay in that spot or will Herrmann reappear (recuperate)?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Harvard Sweeps Doubleheader

11-5 win in the nightcap, with Walsh throwing out one of his patented hodgepodge units on the mound. Matt Brunnig got the start in the opener, all of this prompting obvious questions about Frank Hermann. Still it's great to see Brunnig able to start and win again, and just like that the Crimson is 4-0 in regular season play.

Vance singled home Ian Wallace in the opener for the go-ahead run in the opener, after the Crimson chased reigning Ivy League Pitcher of the Week Josh Appel from the mound.

Brad Unger got the win in the second game with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, helping stave off the Quakers as the Crimson clawed back from a 3-0 deficit early.

Oh yes, and 16 more innings of error free ball. Never a bad thing.

The home opener is tomorrow afternoon against Holy Cross.

Harvard Wins Game One, 6-4

Game Two should wrap up shortly. For the moment, here is a nice effort to advertise Harvard Baseball by the athletic department, even if they are preaching to the choir by putting it within the athletic complex:

Image hosted by

Monday, April 04, 2005

Related News: Watch Out for Penn

Hmmm..... Seems Penn really is "coming to play..."

Rain, Lions Go Away


Harvard took both games of the delayed Ivy opener today, beating Columbia 5-3 in the opener and 12-3 to sweep the doubleheader.

Freshman Shawn Haviland got the ball in the first game and delivered 5 2/3 strong innings. He got into trouble in the sixth, allowing a two-run homer, and righty Jay Brown loaded the bases. With the bases juiced and two out, on comes an interesting fireman: Steffan Wilson, who had batted in three runs already and had only one collegiate appearance under his belt to that point (more on this later). Wilson got the final out and went on to pitch the 7th for the save. Lance Salsgiver, leading off, went 2-for-4 with two steals. Matt Vance was moved to sixth in the order.

Game Two:

Six strong from Morgalis, three Javy Castellanos shutout innings (and a save), no errors and very little suspense after the Crimson put up a three-run first.

The lineup for today's games was interesting. Salsgiver, as I mentioned, continues to bounce around the lineup, leading off here even though Vance had batted first in just about every other game. Farkes DHd and batted second with Brendan Byrne playing second. Ian Wallace, as we suspected, seems to have played his way back into regularity, as he started both games in left.

Tomorrow, one can imagine that Hermann will start the 9-inning game. As for the early one, it's anyone's guess at this point. Jake Bruton is a possibility. So, for that matter, is Matt Brunnig, who hasn't started once this year but whom one might've expected to come in where Steffan Wilson did in the first game. We shall see.

Morning News

In Sunday’s Boston Globe Magazine, Michael Ryan writes that it’s time for Fenway Park to be torn down. One of the difficulties, he admits, would be to find somewhere for the Red Sox to play in the interim. He writes:

Since Nickerson Field at Boston University seats about 10,000 and Harvard Stadium, though much larger, is not configured for baseball, there are no existing venues to which the Red Sox could decamp.

Is he talking about Soldiers Field or O’Donnell Field? In any case, I can’t believe either option was even worthy of being mentioned in the column.

Previewing the upcoming Los Angeles Dodgers season, the Los Angeles Times profiles Paul DePodesta, who offers up this quote:

"The one thing that's probably difficult for a lot fans to understand is: I can't be a fan of this team. I can't afford to be. It's not a hobby, it is my livelihood. My family depends on this team, and I depend on this team and the success of this team. So if anybody thinks I don't take this as personally as they do, they are definitely mistaken."

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Blame It On the Rain

Crimson get delayed once again due to rain. Columbia and Harvard will try again on Monday to play their doubleheader, while the UPenn games will have to be rescheduled for sometime later in the season. Rain outs are pretty unbearable because generally it means that players can't even get out to hit or throw to stay sharp (unless Columbia's providing indoor facilities). It's a lot of sitting around, probably watching the Final Four, doing little to no studying, and eating pizza. I guess staying in Manhattan (if that's the case) isn't the worst place in the world -- better than staying in Hanover. So does this mean that the Yankees-Red Sox season opener tonight is going to be postponed as well?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Kick-Off to Ivy Season Delayed

The weekend series has been delayed a game, just as Marty predicted. The Crimson will now play on Sunday and Monday, beginning in NYC. Here are a couple of snippets from write-ups previewing the weekend series by Columbia and Pennsylvania’s daily papers:

Tomorrow, the Crimson kick off their Ivy Season in the Big Apple against Columbia. Aaron Stewart’s article in the Columbia Daily Spectator had this commentary:

Despite their statistical prowess, especially on the offensive end, Harvard has played seven games in the last eight days. They have been all over the map, with games in Minnesota, Florida, and New York, and fatigue could be a factor this weekend at Andy Coakley Field.

Coming off a 22-3 shellacking by St. John’s on Tuesday, who can fault Lions’ fans for hoping for fatigue?

On Monday, the Crimson will take on UPenn, in Coach Bob Seddon’s last season (he has announced he will retire at the end of this season). Seddon had this prediction about his team’s matchups against Dartmouth and Harvard:

"These are two very good ballclubs that we're playing," he said. "But if we come to play we're going to win."

Coach Seddon, has your team ever won when you didn’t show up to play?

Friday, April 01, 2005

St. Thomas is for glovers

Nine innings of error-free ball by the Harvard nine against St. Thomas, and some late-inning heroics by Ian Wallace (starting at second for an absent Farkes) and Andrew Casey. Matt Brunnig gets his fourth save of the spring. Shawn Haviland, interestingly, comes in to pitch a scoreless eighth to set the stage for the Crimson's rally in the ninth.

And so, with the games about to count, we're left with a few questions (we'll mercifully leave off the shoulder ones). Will there be a settled lineup this early in the season, or will the experimentation continue well into April? Vance is obviously the leadoff guy, and Salsgiver has bounced around but would make sense batting second (although Walsh has put Morgan Brown in the second spot a lot on this trip), followed by something like Farkes, Mann, Wilson, Klimkiewicz as the heart of the order.

Assuming at this point that Wilson plays third and Klimkiewicz is at first, has Ian Wallace played his way into at least an outfield spot? He's batting .313 after not playing at all Harvard's first weekend. Is Rob Wheeler (.368) a safe DH bet? And one wonders what Casey (five games started, .444, tonight's game winner) is capable of behind the plate, and whether Mann as a result could alter that equation by DHing a few games... or for that matter if Casey could...

More pressingly, will they get both games in Saturday? The weather forecast for New York does not inspire confidence.

Back Above .500

According to the Crimson baseball website, the team beat St. Thomas last night 8-6. The win moves the Crimson above .500, with an overall record of 7-6. Waiting for box scores...