Sluggers Set to Take On Raiders, Falcons

Forget about steroids.

Who needs ‘em? Here are some guys on the Harvard baseball team—which opens up its season this weekend—who can bandy the ball about any day, any place and without “the juice.”

Just take a look at the lineup. Three of them, Zak Farkes, Lance Salsgiver and Josh Klimkiewicz, combined to hit .319 with 19 home runs and 76 RBI in the middle of Harvard baseball’s batting order last year—as freshmen. Farkes’s eight home runs were good for second in the Ivy League.

And then there are the upperclassmen.

Last year, senior P/1B Trey Hendricks torched the Ivies for a .387 batting average, five home runs and a .623 slugging percentage. A 2003 first team All-Ivy, he’ll co-captain the Crimson this season.


Or how about junior Sky Mann? The catcher finished second on the team in runs and RBIs, with 31 and 29, respectively. He batted .306 and was voted second team All-Ivy.

Subtract only one graduated position player—former C/1B Brian Lentz ’03, now in the Seattle Mariners’ system—and throw in an extra year of seasoning, and you’ve got a lineup that’s not just good.

“It’s outstanding,” Mann said. “We have a lot of power, a lot of clutch hitters. As long as we stay away from too many strikeouts we can bust a game open.”

That’s right, the baseball team is back for its 144th year—older, even, than that one and only baseball poem “Casey at the Bat.” But hope, just like then, still “springs eternal.”

With a lineup core that’s ready to bust open a lot of games in 2004, Farkes said he thinks just about everything is in place for a run in the Ivies.

“We’ve just got to play solid defense and pitch,” he said. “We’re pretty confident we can score runs.”

Harvard will need to score a lot of runs this weekend during its first series of the year—a four-game set against Texas Tech (8-4) and Air Force (4-5) at Dan Law Field in Lubbock, Texas.

In tonight’s opener, the Crimson takes on a Red Raiders squad that features seven players batting over .300, has outscored its opponents 135-71 and is averaging a Texas-sized 11.25 runs per game.

It should end up a slugfest. The Texas Tech starters have a 5.52 ERA.

“I anticipate we’ll need to put some big numbers on the scoreboard,” Mann said.