April 20, 2001

Baseball Set for Columbia

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The Gehrig Division standings could be shuffled once again this weekend when the Cornell baseball team (8-17, 4-6 Ivy) travels to Andy Coakley Field for a quartet of games with the Columbia Lions (12-22, 6-6 Ivy). The two teams will renew a rivalry that began way back in 1885.

The Red, despite bringing up the rear of the division, is just three games behind first-place Princeton, while Columbia trails the Tigers by 2. Penn is also tied with the Lions. The Quakers will host Princeton this weekend in a pair of doubleheaders as well.

If things go Cornell’s way, it is possible for it to be tied at the top spot on Sunday night. This would take a sweep by both the Red and either a three or four-win weekend by Penn. A three-win weekend for the Quakers means a tie with Princeton, while a sweep for Penn means a tie with the Quakers for the Red. Either way, Cornell has to sweep in New York City.

On the other hand, a bad showing on the Red’s part could result in elimination from the playoff race. A Columbia sweep will land Cornell at least five games out of first, and the remaining Ivy schedule prevents a comeback.

Both teams enter the contests anxious to end their losing streaks. The Red has dropped its last four games, the most recent two on Tuesday to LeMoyne. Both of those defeats were by two-run margins. Cornell’s last Ivy action was on Saturday, when it lost both ends of a doubleheader to Penn, rounding out a split on the weekend.

Meanwhile, Columbia will be trying to stop a three-game skid. On Wednesday, the Lions were bombed by Rutgers, 20-2. Columbia last took on an Ivy opponent on Saturday as well, when it dropped a pair of matches to the Tigers.

On Fire

Junior outfielder/pitcher Erik Rico is riding his own personal hot streak from last weekend. He earned Ivy League Player of the Week honors for his performance in the Penn series. Rico led Cornell at the plate with five extra-base hits on the weekend, including a clutch homer in the Friday nightcap.

Head coach Tom Ford declined to comment on the weekend’s action.

Archived article by Alex Fineman