April 26, 2001

Baseball Drops Thriller to I.C.

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According to the dictionary, a triumph “denotes a victory or success that is especially noteworthy because it is decisive, significant or spectacular.”

Last night, the Cornell baseball team faced Ithaca College in an annual contest to determine the recipient of the Mayor’s Cup. The Bombers were the eventual victors by a slim 12-11 margin, but there was virtually nothing decisive, significant or spectacular about the win.

The Red (10-20, 6-8 Ivy) opened the scoring in the top of the first with two runs, but Ithaca (20-6, 5-1 Empire Eight) responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the same inning. Cornell’s next opportunity at the plate saw it send three runners home, but again the opponents responded and matched the Red for three runs, giving the visitors a 5-4 lead.

Both teams were silenced in the third, the only inning in which neither Cornell nor Ithaca scored.

The lead flip-flopped four times during the game, with Cornell ahead for the majority of the three-plus hour marathon. In five of the nine innings, both the Bombers and the Red scored, no doubt aided by the 10 errors committed — six from Cornell and four from Ithaca.

The Bombers battled and finally tied the score at 11-11 in the eighth inning, holding Cornell scoreless in the top half of the frame after the Red had plated runs in the each of the previous three innings.

A blanking in the ninth by Ithaca’s Jake Upwood (4-0), who entered the game with a microscopic 0.98 ERA (the smallest on the squad), opened the door for the Bombers to pull ahead.

After walking the first Ithaca batter in the ninth, freshman Glenn Morris fanned the next two and looked primed to send the game into extra innings. With a 1-0 count, however, designated hitter Nick Pyzikiewicz squelched the Red’s chances for a win with a walk-off triple to deep center field.

Upwood was phenomenal for the Bombers as he pitched three scoreless innings, issued only one walk, allowed no hits and struck out four.

For Cornell, last week’s Ivy League Player of the Week, Eric Rico, went 4-for-6 from the plate and accumulated four RBIs. Senior second baseman John Mills also added to the offensive effort by going 3-for-4 with one RBI.

This weekend is critical for the Red. With four games against division leader Princeton, which leads Cornell by four games in Gehrig Division, the Red must win every single meeting to tie the Tigers for first place.

The first doubleheader will be held in New Jersey at noon tomorrow, but Cornell will return to Hoy Field on Sunday for another noon twinbill with the Tigers.

Archived article by Katherine Granish