The Ancient Eight road came to an end yesterday for the Cornell baseball team (11-25, 7-13 Ivy) in a two-game sweep by Brown (23-22, 12-8). The doubleheader, which was originally slated to be the league opener, had been changed to the season finale thanks to Ithaca’s winter weather.
While the sweep drops the Red to last place in the Gehrig Division, it keeps hope alive for the Bears, who needed to take both games in order to force a one-game playoff for the Rolfe Division crown. They will be in Hanover, N.H., today for a meeting with Dartmouth that will determine who gets to advance to the postseason and who gets to start studying for finals.
The tone for the opener was set in the top of the first, when Brown scored three runs, the first of which came on a throwing error. John Cappello, who was 8-for-9 on the day, drove in the other two on a single. Cappello had all five of the Bears’ RBIs in the game.
Cornell showed signs of keeping the game close when senior third baseman Raul Gomez doubled home right fielder Erik Rico, who had reached on a walk. However, Brown pitcher Jim Johnson locked down the Red bats for the rest of the game. Gomez’s hit was the only one Cornell could amass, and Johnson whiffed 11 batters en route to a seven inning complete game 7-1 win.
Red starter Brendan McQuaid took the hard-luck loss. The ace of the staff went the distance, and although he surrendered all seven Bear runs, only one of them was earned. Aside from receiving no offensive help, the defense committed six errors behind McQuaid.
Cornell looked as though it would reverse its fortunes and eliminate Brown from playoff contention with a hot start in the first inning of the nightcap. Rico singled in leadoff hitter Andrew Luria, and then left fielder Nick Graham knocked in Rico with a double.
But two innings later, Bears shortstop Dan Kantrovitz ripped a two-run homer to even the score. A four-run sixth added to the Brown lead, with left fielder Matt Kutler driving in second baseman Robert Deeb for the eventual game-winning run.
A two-run blast from Gomez followed by an RBI double by shortstop Dan Baysinger brought the Red within one in the bottom of the seventh. Brown broke loose in the top of the eighth, though, as 13 Bears went to the plate and eight runs scored. Cornell went through three pitchers in the inning before the side was finally retired. Senior David Self took the loss for the Red in 6 1/3 innings of work. Meanwhile, Brown’s Jonathan Stern earned the win, fanning seven over 6 2/3 innings.
The one-game playoff between the Bears and the Green today will determine who gets to advance to the postseason. Princeton, which beat Cornell last weekend to clinch the Gehrig Division title, is awaiting the result of the showdown. The Tigers will take on the winner in a three-game series for the Ivy title.
Meanwhile, the Red will wind up its season today with a doubleheader against Siena (23-25, 14-7 MAAC) in Loudonville, N.Y. The twinbill was originally scheduled for yesterday, but the games were moved to accommodate the pair of matches with Brown.
The Saints are led by Ryan Finn, last week’s MAAC Player of the Week. Finn has taken that honor twice this season, and he leads Siena in just about every hitting category, including batting average (.330), home runs (12) and RBI (45). The squad is on a torrid 10-game wining streak, during which the Saints have reached the double-digit mark six times.
Archived article by Alex Fineman