Saturday, May 06, 2006

The End

The season has ended. Harvard lost the second game 8-2 and the Ivy League Championship series, 2-0. Congratulations to Princeton, league champion and winner of an NCAA regional berth.

Adam Cole mixed fastball and slider brilliantly for five innings, but unraveled some in the 6th after a hit batsman and two errors, including a ball he threw high past first. Ultimately, Princeton got seven runs out of that inning. Staehly threw very well for Princeton, and Walz, given a big lead, did the only thing he had to do: throw strikes.

After the game, Javier Castellanos knelt down on one knee in front of the dugout next to Matt Brunnig, himself stooped low and looking wistfully at the field. They exchanged words for a while, staring out in the direction of the first base line, until they eventually got up and headed to the rest of their lives. No idea what they said. I found it poignant anyway.

I thank Joe Walsh, his assistants and most of all, the players for their time and effort, the seniors in particular, and for putting up with a semi-informed but enthusiastic fan with a laptop. I thank the parents of the team for their warmth, Mr. Jim Meehan in particular for his wonderful photos and Hurricane McNeeley and Friends of Harvard Baseball for their food. I thank Brian Fallon for his incredible work on the site, and everyone else who participated or helped (Faiz, Alex, Sky, Lande). I'm a bit numb, knowing that I've seen my last Harvard baseball game as a student, and I'll probably have more to say about that tomorrow. Meanwhile, we'll have more to talk about later on next week, including hopefully a silver lining or two when they announce league awards.


Faiz said...

Marty is the man. Those of us in the Harvard baseball community owe this crazed Crimson a great debt of gratitude for his efforts over the past couple of years to bring greater attention and appreciation to Crimson baseball. This blog site has become quite a piece of work. Thanks Marty.

I'm not sure what the future of SoBB holds, but hopefully we can find a way to keep a good thing going.

Congrats to the Crimson for winning the division, a feat that gets harder and harder each year. Certainly, the way the season ended should leave the returning members hungry to finish what they hoped to accomplish this year.

Coach Walsh's goal has always been to take his club to the College World Series. If you evaluate the progress towards that goal over the past few years, it seems that the team has progressively hit better with more power and consistency through the lineup.

But in the one area where Coach Walsh has always taken great personal pride -- pitching -- the club seemed to lack depth and has not had that one shutdown starter that could dominate any team on any day -- which was evident from early on this season, in the series against Florida. The departure of Herrmann (and Farkes) certainly impacted this season.

Next year's club is going to have some pretty big shoes to fill with the departures of Klim, Morgan, Salsgiver, Brunnig, Mackey, Castellanos, and Dukovich. Those are some big-time contributors. So the Crimson not only has to repair a pitching staff that lacked depth, but also needs to plug some huge hitting and defensive holes. In any case, it will be a club with a new face and style.

Thanks again Marty -- I nominate you to be the first member to be inducted into the SoBB Hall of Fame.

Anonymous said...

Thanks now let get ready for next season with a freshman preview

Judith Klimkiewicz said...

Dear SOBB Members,
It has taken me a few days and a few tears to absorb all that has happened in the last 48 hours. I guess like others I did not expect it to end as quickly as it did. But I like other "fans" would be remiss if I did not use this opportunity to thank you all Martin, Brian, Faiz,and all the other contributors for all you have done for Harvard Baseball.
I don't think I will ever forget all the warmth and support you have given a bunch of baseball players who entered Harvard and O'Donnell field four years ago as little freshmen.
No matter where we go in life or how far...... it is the small kindnesses and the people who gave them that you always remember.
I will always remember you all.
Judith Klimkiewicz