This weekend, the baseball team was supposed to play four games: a pair each against Harvard and Dartmouth. In what has essentially become routine, Cornell suited up for the games with the Crimson on Saturday, but found its schedule free yesterday.
Before leaving Ithaca last Friday, the Red knew it would travel to Quinnipiac University to face the Big Green as its opponent’s field in Hanover, N.H., was snow-covered. Thanks to heavy rains on Saturday night and continued showers yesterday, those two games were rescheduled for today.
In the two contests it was able to play, Cornell (6-9, 3-3 Ivy) was victorious in the opener, but succumbed to a ravenous Harvard squad (7-16, 3-3) in the nightcap.
In game one, junior pitcher Brendan McQuaid showed again just how important he is to this team. After suffering two forgettable defeats by the hands of Penn State last Wednesday, the Red needed to regain its composure in a big way.
The scoreboard showed goose eggs until the top of the sixth inning when Cornell plated the first run of the match for a 1-0 lead. Harvard responded in the bottom of the seventh to tie it at one and force the game into extra innings. Both teams were held scoreless in the eighth, but Cornell came alive in the top of the ninth.
Junior right fielder Eric Rico started off the inning with a triple and came home on a sacrifice fly by senior third baseman Raul Gomez. A string of three singles led to the Red’s third run of the game and provided extra cushioning for McQuaid.
In the bottom of the ninth, Harvard responded with its own rally as the first two batters reached base on singles, and moved to second and third on a double-steal with two outs. McQuaid settled down, however, to retire the last batter on a fly out to left field for the complete game victory.
Pitching a true gem, McQuaid (3-0) allowed six hits and one run while striking out five and walking none. Harvard’s pitcher, Ben Crockett, also lasted nine innings, surrendering eight hits and three runs. He struck out seven, but gave up two walks.
Rico and Gomez were the only two Cornell players with multiple hits. Rico was 2-for-2 with one RBI and two walks, while Gomez went 2-for-3 with the game-winning RBI.
In game two, Harvard drew first blood and plated two runs in the bottom of the first, but Cornell retorted with two runs of its own in the top of the second.
Going into the fifth, the Red was at the short end of a 5-3 score. That gap was quickly widened as the Crimson broke the game open by sending seven men home on four hits in the bottom of the inning for a 12-3 lead.
Two more Cornell runs in the seventh were not enough as Harvard knocked in three more to close out the inning, and then added two more in the eighth to close it out with a final score of 17-5.
For the Red, first baseman Flint Foley, named to the Ivy Honor Roll last week, was 2-for-4 with two runs, while designated hitter Tony DePalo went 2-for-3. Cornell had a total of eight hits on the night.
Harvard, on the other hand, tallied an amazing 20 hits, and despite touching home plate 17 times, still managed to leave 10 men on base.
Freshman Dan Gala (0-2) started on the mound for Cornell. Taking the loss, he lasted three innings, gave up four runs, and struck out one while walking zero.
Classmate Chris Schutt relieved Gala to pitch 1.2 innings. He gave up three hits, walked three, and struck out one. The most disturbing numbers in his line, however, came in the runs column. Despite allowing six runs, only one was earned. Senior Jeff Miller, who came on to pitch the last 3.1 innings, was inflicted by a similar fate as only five of the seven runs he allowed were earned.
As a team, Cornell committed three errors which led to a ridiculous seven unearned runs. Harvard matched the Red’s error total, but its blunders resulted in only three unearned scores.
The Crimson had three players with four or more hits on the night, including third baseman/shortstop Nick Carter who was 5-for-5 with three RBIs and a home run. Designated hitter/pitcher Trey Hendricks went 2-for-3 with a game-high five RBIs. He also closed out the final two innings of the game, allowed no hits or runs, gave up one walk, and struck out two.
Cornell will play its double-header today with Dartmouth starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Quinnipiac field in Hamden, Conn. Returning to Hoy Field on the East Hill tomorrow at 1 p.m., the Red will host Binghamton in a twin-bill.
Archived article by Katherine Granish