In baseball, a team’s success can often be measured by its ability to win close games. The Red (6-10, 2-2 Ivy) lost its third consecutive one-run game on Tuesday to Binghamton, 10-9, after starting off the season 2-0 in one-run ballgames.
The Bearcats (7-14) managed to pull off a 12-inning victory after the Red scored seven runs in the final three innings to tie the game at nine. Junior starting pitcher Jadd Schmeltzer started off strong — pitching two scoreless innings to open the game — but surrendered eight runs in the next 1.1 innings. However, the Red bullpen provided plenty of relief for Schmeltzer, giving up only one earned run in 8.2 innings pitched including two hitless innings from senior closer David Rochefort.
“There are definitely things you could point out where we could’ve done things differently,” Schmeltzer said. “Sometimes things just don’t go your way.”
In the top of the 12th, sophomore reliever Rick Marks loaded the bases and plunked Binghamton center fielder Henry Dunn to bring home the go-ahead run. Dunn and left fielder Corey Taylor provided most of the offense for the Bearcats, driving in eight of the team’s runs — the other two were scored as a result of Cornell fielding errors.
After Binghamton broke the tie in the 12th, Cornell created one more opportunity for a comeback when freshman second baseman Brenton Peters doubled and Brian Billigen walked to load the bases against pitcher Matt Simone. However, Simone immediately retired the next two hitters to end the game and the Red’s late-inning rally.
Sophomore third baseman Frank Hager led the way on offense for the Red, collecting three hits and three RBIs on the day, while junior first baseman Mickey Brodsky continued his impressive hitting with a two for five performance at the plate which included two RBIs and a run scored. Senior right fielder Brian Billigen and senior second baseman Matt Langseth each recorded two hits on the afternoon, and successfully set the table for the middle of the order — combining to score three of the Red’s nine runs.
“I’ve just been getting myself into good counts and hitting good pitches,” Langseth said of his success against Binghamton.
The Red will look to bounce back from its last one-run loss when it travels to New Haven, Conn. to take on Yale (12-11, 0-4 Ivy) for a Saturday afternoon doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m. The team will then head to Providence, R.I. for another twin bill on Sunday against Brown (5-15, 2-2 Ivy).
The baseball team enters its second weekend of Ivy League play after splitting four games against Dartmouth and Harvard.
“Last weekend we split both games,” Schmeltzer said. “[The coaches] have been stressing that … it’s a new weekend to get some revenge and win all four games.”
Cornell currently sits in a third-place tie with Princeton in the Gehrig Division. Brown holds a three-way tie for first place in the Rolfe Division entering this weekend’s play, while Yale remains in last place without a win in the same division.
The Bulldogs take on the Red this weekend after earning a split in a doubleheader against Sacred Heart on Tuesday. Yale’s second baseman Gant Elmore led the way for his team in the initial game of the series with a three for four afternoon, which included two runs batted in that contributed to the Bulldogs’ 7-3 win. Shortstop Matt Schmidt did plenty of damage out of the ninth spot in the lineup with two RBIs and a run scored. On the mound, Robert Gruber threw 3.1 scoreless innings in relief, surrendering only one hit in the process.
Meanwhile, first baseman Trygg Larsson-Danforth has supplied plenty of power for Yale this season, compiling a .375 average, six homeruns and 28 RBIs. Starter Brook Hart leads Yale in pitching with a 3.45 ERA that includes two complete game victories.
Brown will host the Red after coming off a two-game series against Siena — a team that Cornell will face in late April.
The Bears’ offense is guided by powerful first baseman Pete Greskoff, who has already hit six homeruns and driven in 24 runs this season. However, the team’s pitching staff has struggled mightily thus far as the lowest ERA belongs to Kevin Carlow at 4.81.
Schmeltzer acknowledged that these Ivy League games can help the team to judge where it currently stands.
“Penn and Columbia have already played Brown and Yale, so this will definitely be a good test of where we stand,” he said.
Langseth maintained that the team must only emphasize on what it can control.
“Coach tries to keep the focus on us because it shouldn’t matter who we are playing if we go out there and play our best ball,” he said.
After this weekend’s Ivy play the Red will host LeMoyne at Hoy Field for a midweek doubleheader on Wednesday.