Friday, April 14, 2006

The Real Real Season Starts Tomorrow

And now, the three weekends that matter. The Gehrig Division's rather embarrassing display in inter-division play resulted in everyone in the Rolfe Division sporting either a 7-1 (H, B) or 6-2 (D, Y) record. With one game separating all four teams, something's gotta give. (Same deal in the other division, and so I echo Brian's note about not ruling out Princeton.)Today's Crimson preview doesn't tell us anything about the state of Morgan Brown's quad and whether it'll be him or Taylor Meehan (above) starting at short this weekend. What it does say is that this week's blowout loss to B.C. affected the Crimson, particularly Coach Walsh, in a deeper way than I would've expected:
“That’s the most devastating loss I’ve ever been involved in, as a coach or a player,” coach Joe Walsh said. “I’m just hoping it doesn’t do damage to the ballclub and to our mindsets.”

But this weekend brings Harvard the opportunity to forget Tuesday and regain its recent dominance in league play.

“We’re going to get past the B.C. game,” captain Morgan Brown said. “The Yale series this weekend is going to take all of our attention. What we need to do is take care of our Ivy League games.”
"Most devastating ever?" Really? A midweek game? Granted, the team managed only one hit, and got cuffed around pretty good and booted a lot of balls. But I still find it interesting that this loss meant so much, especially since I've always viewed the midweek games more as a chance for guys to get live game action in and to try out some other arms to get a better sense of what you have for Ivy exigencies. And it's not like we were throwing Cole or Haviland out there. Maybe there was something else. I wasn't there. Or maybe it's classic coach-speak. But it's interesting.

Yale has a young, happy team...
Schropp is not the only freshman to make an impression on this year's squad. Third baseman/designated hitter Charles Bush '09, right fielder Ryan Lavarnway '09 and pitcher Chris Walsh '09 have all made important contributions to the team this season, and team members said they expect the freshmen to do well against Harvard.

"Our freshmen have been playing well," pitcher Matt Fealey '06 said. "Everyone has just been doing what we've needed them to do. We have a good shot if we come out and play our best game and everyone continues playing the way they are."

The team has been performing well recently, handily defeating Penn and Cornell and splitting doubleheaders against Princeton and Columbia.

"Everyone is pepped up and playing well," Fealey said. "The guys are filling positions well. Some of the players who might not have had the chance to play at the beginning of the season have really stepped up."
...and a healthy respect for its rival.
Team members said they think Harvard will pose a challenge both offensively and defensively.

"[Harvard] is a really good team," Rasmussen said. "They've always put a good team together on field and performed well. It's going to be really competitive. Hopefully we'll be able to come away on top."

Elsewhere, Brown also has some productive freshmen.

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