Saturday, March 25, 2006

Friday Night Blights

In what is hopefully just a hiccup and not a setback for the rotation, freshman starter Adam Cole (pictured at left) was less than his usual self Friday, getting a quick hook after just 1.1 innings, as Harvard fell to Jacksonville University, 14-3, in the Crimson's spring break opener.

Jacksonville came as good as advertised. Validating Jason Brown's complimentary assessment in yesterday's Crimson, the Dolphins pounded out 14 hits and led 10-0 after just three innings. Harvard was never in this one, though Steffan Wilson snapped out of a 3-for-17 funk, slugging three doubles and knocking in two of Harvard's three runs. The other positive sign for the good guys: though the game was out of hand early, four relievers combined to give up just one earned run in the bullpen's final six innings of work.

As for Cole, he was wild from the outset, walking the first hitter of the game and three of the ten batters he faced in all. He escaped the first inning with just one run allowed, but a solo homer to start the second signalled more trouble. By the time Cole surrendered a one-run, one out double to the fourth batter of that inning, Walsh decided he had seen enough, pulling him for lefthander Mike Dukovich, who struggled mightly before being lifted for Taylor Meehan.

The burning question of this game: Was Cole bothered by something health-wise? Or was Walsh, seeing that Cole just didn't have it on this particular day, saving him for another start during this compact spring break stretch? Probably (hopefully) the latter. We'll know soon enough--if healthy, Cole could take another turn as soon as Monday, when Harvard plays a doubleheader.

The three-game series with Jacksonville continues through tomorrow.

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