This past weekend, the Red faced the Lions in a four game, two-day Ivy League showdown in New York City. Cornell won one game and lost the other three in a tough weekend away from the Hill.
“It didn’t go our way obviously. We lost three out of four ,and that’s the first series in a long time that we lost [like that] since Princeton last year. It’s kind of tough to deal with,” senior infielder Brenton Peters said. “They are a very challenging team, and we gave everything we had. It just didn’t work out our way, but we still have two more weekends to go. There is a possibility that we could end up in first, so we have to see what happens.”
In the first game, Columbia took down Cornell in an 8-1 loss. For the Lions, Alex Black was the superstar as he went 2-for-3 for the day with a run-scoring double in the third and a solo homer in the fifth to help Columbia close out the day. Cornell only got four hits in the game and could not build the momentum needed to take home the win.
“The weekend didn’t go too well since we went one and three … As an offense we couldn’t really get too much going. We just couldn’t really string anything together. It was tough,” junior Chris Cruz said. “I think it was a slump. It happens in baseball.”
For the second game of Saturday, Columbia shutout Cornell, 5-0. In the first three innings, the Lions grabbed four runs in the first three. Unfortunately for the Red the offense could not get the ball rolling and Columbia snagged a six-hit shutout. Senior Brenton Peters and junior Tom D’Alessandro were both 2-for-4 for the game, while sophomore J.D. Whetsel and junior Ryan Plantier grabbed the other hits.
“There are times when you go through a slump and it just seemed like nothing was going our team’s way offensively. You have to deal with that. In baseball, it happens,” Peters said. “Baseball is a game of success and failures. It is how you deal with failures that determines your team. We have to figure out what we were doing wrong at the plate and fix our approaches.”
In the first game on Sunday, Cornell was able to snag a “W” from Columbia by one run in an extra inning. In the first inning, the Red grabbed three to start it off. Columbia answered with three in the fourth and then an extra one in the fifth. The Red followed with another run in the seventh to tie it up at four. In the extra inning, sophomore Kevin Tatum hit a single out to right and after senior pinch runner Forrest Crawford came in and stole second on a wild pitch, there was a duck for the Red to hit in. After a strikeout, freshman Elliot Lowell knocked one out into left, which gave Crawford the chance to score and secure the win for Cornell.
“That game was interesting. We got out to a three nothing lead and then they came back. We kind of went back and forth a little bit,” Peters said. “At the end of the game, Tatum got on and the coaches decided to pinch run for him with Forrest Crawford. Then freshman Lowell got up to plate … and he got the run. It was big.”
For number two on Sunday, Columbia snatched another win from the Red. In the third inning, the Lions finally capitalized and scored three to take the lead. These three runs ended Cornell senior pitcher Zach McCulley’s 15 game scoreless streak. Cornell responded at the top of five with two but Columbia responded with another to make the score, 4-2, at the end of the inning. To finish the eighth, Columbia snatched an additional run to take a 5-2 victory.
Cornell will return to nonleague play today with a doubleheader scheduled at Siena College. The Red will also return to Ancient Eight competition by hosting Penn for four games this weekend.
“We set a plan to get to 30 wins. … We are taking every game seriously. … Siena is going to be taken just as seriously as a game against Dartmouth in a weekend series. I expect a high intensity game where everyone is giving it 100 percent,” Peters said. “When we go to Penn, we should have a little momentum going into the weekend and try to get all four