It took just one game for the Princeton baseball team (20-20, 14-6 Ivy) to clinch at least a share of the Gehrig Division title. It took just one more game for Cornell (11-23, 7-11 Ivy) to eliminate itself from the other share of the title.
The Red entered the weekend facing a quartet of must-win games against the Tigers. The home-and-home doubleheaders weren’t as kind to Cornell as it would have liked, however, and the Red finished its divisional schedule six games behind Princeton.
Needing just one win to ensure a first-place ranking, the Tigers got off to a fast start in the opener of the first doubleheader, held Friday at Princeton. Star first baseman Andrew Hanson bopped a two-run homer to put his squad ahead 2-0. That would be all the Tigers would need to hold on to the win, as Tom Gifford’s solo shot was all the offense the Red mustered. The eventual final tally was 5-1. Despite surrendering just two earned runs in six innings of work, junior ace Brendan McQuaid suffered his first loss of the season, dropping his record to 5-1. Princeton’s top pitcher, Ryan Quillian, picked up the division-clinching win, fanning nine over seven innings.
The nightcap was a different story featuring an offensive explosion from both clubs. Cornell racked up 22 of the combined 40 hits in the game, but fell short in the runs column, 20-17. The Tigers notched the game’s winning run in the bottom of the seventh on a two-run Pat Boran double. The Red responded with a seven-run eighth, highlighted by a solo Flint Foley blast and a three-run Andrew Luria round-tripper. Senior third baseman Raul Gomez went 5-for-5 and hit for the cycle in the losing effort. Chris Schutt took the loss for Cornell in relief, while Princeton’s Thomas Pauly and Tom Rowland earned the win and save, respectively. The loss mathematically eliminated the Red from Ivy playoff contention.
Two days later, the teams met again at Hoy Field for the back end of the series. A sacrifice fly by right fielder Erik Rico plated Dan Baysinger in the third, but that would be the Red’s only run of the game. In the top of the fifth, Princeton evened the score on a solo blast by Tim Lahey. Later in the inning, a bases-loaded walk brought home another Tiger run, giving Princeton a 2-1 lead that would hold up for the rest of the game. Both Cornell’s Dan Gala and David Boehle of the Tigers went the full seven innings in the contest.
Facing a sweep, the Red sent Rico to the mound for game four. Not only did he pitch a nine inning complete game, he singled in the game-winning run in the fifth. One of the lone bright spots on the squad this season, he went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a pair of runs scored. In addition, he fanned 10 and allowed just two earned runs. Rowland took the loss for Princeton in the 6-3 final.
This weekend’s action was the last Ivy activity for the defending Ancient Eight champion Tigers until the postseason, when they will square off against the winner of the Rolfe Division. This series was originally scheduled to be the final Ivy games for Cornell as well, but a postponed home twin bill against Brown has been rescheduled for Wednesday. A road trip to Siena was canceled to make room on the schedule for the Bears.
Archived article by Alex Fineman