April 5, 2001

Red Drops Pair on Diamond

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After three scheduled games that were moved due to winter’s lasting effects, Hoy Field finally saw its first action of the season yesterday. However, Cornell (5-8, 1-1 Ivy) didn’t make much of a contribution to that action, as Penn State (14-15, 5-1 Big 10) mauled the Red in both ends of a doubleheader, 26-4, 13-1.

On a day without a cloud in the sky, not even the scoreboard could contain the Nittany Lions’ offense. Thanks to the limited space of the score lights, the final score of game one read “6-4.”

Cornell began the afternoon on the right foot, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when junior shortstop Vince Santo and classmate Erik Rico scored on an error by shortstop Willie Melendez.

It all went downhill from that point for the Red. Penn State’s Doug Rodio led off the second frame with a round-tripper to left center, the first of five for PSU in the game. Starting pitcher Devin Corr walked in the tying run later in the inning, followed by a two-run single by centerfielder Zach Smithlin. Freshman Glenn Morris relieved Corr, but the Lions’ Chris Wright was able to plate another run before the inning ended.

Penn State tallied five or more runs in each of the second, third, fourth, and fifth innings, including an eight-run outburst in the fifth. Corr, a junior, was tagged with the loss, his first of the season, while Peter Yodis picked up the victory.

“When it rains, it pours. They hit balls. Obviously, they have talent, there’s no doubt about it,” head coach Tom Ford stated. “But some balls that we should have fielded, we didn’t field, and some balls dropped in that maybe on another day don’t drop in.”

Things didn’t get much better for Cornell in the sequel. The Nittany Lions got on the board in every inning. Meanwhile, their freshman hurler, Aaron Tressler, didn’t allow a single Red hit in his five innings of work after the first two batters of the game. He fanned four along the way, notching a well-deserved win.

“Their two starters kept the ball down real well, got their breaking balls over, and I thought they did a nice job,” Ford commented. “The guys they brought in relief did a nice job just getting ahead of our hitters and being aggressive.”

Cornell was unable to muster any offense until the final inning, when Rico doubled to left-center. Senior captain Raul Gomez followed with an RBI single to save the Red from a whitewash.

“We didn’t set a good tempo the whole game, and through the whole day,” Ford lamented.

Cornell’s freshman starter, Chris Schutt, surrendered a pair of runs in two innings of work and struck out two. The loss evens his record at 1-1.

The pair of wins extends Penn State’s streak to seven games. Over that span, the Lions have outscored their foes by a ridiculous 66-12 margin.

Cornell will take the field next on Saturday, when it visits Harvard in a noontime twin bill.

“We have tomorrow to get working on some things and get ready for the weekend,” Ford said.

Archived article by Alex Fineman