After two unsuccessful journeys into the southland of the Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League, the Varsity will again try to bag its first big games of the season this weekend at New York and Princeton.
Unfortuntely, the Lions of Columbia and the Tigers of that other city across the Hudson are among the hottest ball teams in the League. Before running into a 12-3 clobbering at the hands of Cornell last week, Columbia had reeled off seven consecutive victories, including three League triumphs, behind the stout pitching of righty Wally Bernson and southpaw Frank Pepe.
Then Princeton moved into Ithaca and shut out the Big Red 3 to 0 behind the four-hit pitching of erstwhile basketball hero Herman Belz, moving into a tie for first place with Navy. The strong first half of the Tigers' batting order, including brother Carl at first base, shortstop Bill McMillan and football idols Gene Locks and Mike Ippolito at third base and left field, pounded out eight hits and scored all the runs.
Coach Norm Shepard will start fast-balling right-hander Wally Cook on the mound this afternoon, and follow with either Byron Johnson or Ed Wadsworth on Saturday. Cook lost his two starting efforts against Navy and Springfield, but the sophomore has been counted on heavily in Shepard's pitching plans.
After his strong four-hit performance against B.C. this week Wadsworth is a good bet to draw the assignment at Princeton. His control much improved over last season, Wadsworth walked only two batters while striking out four to compile his third victory against one loss. However, he would be working after only three days rest, while Johnson's last start was a strong, nine-inning stint at West Point last Saturday.
Sophomore Dave Shima will play his second game in center field for the varsity since being brought up from the J.V.'s, and will be flanked by Charlie Ravenel and Mo Balboni. Shima delivered three important hits in the B.C. contest, while Ravenel has begun to hit with more authority recently.
Hard-hitting Al Martin will open at first, with George Harrington, Mouse Kasarjian and Chet Boulris around the infield, right to left. Captain John Davis will work behind the plate.
As usual, WHRB, the Dunster Street sports network, will supply a verbal picture to those who remain behind.