April 1, 2002

Baseball Allows Late Ithaca Rallies in Split

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This Saturday, the Cornell baseball team faced Ithaca College in an afternoon double header for the squads’ yearly match-up. In both games, the Red (6-10, 0-0 Ivy) was plagued by late-inning rallies by the Bombers that amounted to nothing but a close score in the first meeting, but cost Cornell the victory in the nightcap.

“I didn’t think we played very well. We didn’t swing the bats very well. We seemed to be a little tentative at the plate, and of course in the second game, one inning just did us in with the three errors,” head coach Tom Ford observed.

Through 2-1/2 innings of action, the visitors led the home team by a score of 2-1 when senior center fielder Andrew Luria stepped up to the plate with two runners on. One swing later, the Red had regained the lead thanks to a blast over the deepest part of the park. Cornell tacked on two additional runs in the fifth.

In the top of the sixth, Ithaca managed to load the bases and bring around four runs on two singles and a walk before the Red closed out the inning. The final score was 7-6.

“We didn’t want to get there, and we had some balls get through, but they deserve some of the credit,” Ford commented about stopping Ithaca’s rally.

Senior Brendan McQuaid (2-2) was tagged for five runs in as many innings on the mound but was supported by an error-free defensive effort. Ithaca, on the other hand, had two boots that led to three unearned runs.

Offensively for the Red, Luria went 2-for-3 with the home run and three RBI. Senior left fielder Flint Foley also went 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI.

In game two, Cornell again had the lead into the sION inning when the Bombers staged another rally. Third baseman Nick Pyzikiewicz, who had hit a solo homer earlier in the game, stepped up to the plate after a single and a walk put two Ithaca players on base. A shot to left field erased Cornell’s two run lead and put the Bombers ahead for good. Ithaca earned a split on the night with a final score of 6-5 in its favor.

For the Red, Luria again went 2-for-3 with a home run and one RBI. Senior Erik Rico, who was the starting pitcher, was 1-for-4 with a double, and junior catcher Paul Hudson was 1-for-3 with two RBI.

On the mound, Rico (0-3) pitched five innings and gave up six runs — only four earned — while striking out four and walking two.

Defensively, Ithaca committed three errors, which led to two unearned runs, and Cornell made four on the night.

“It is going to happen. Obviously we are not happy with it, but they were physical errors, and certainly we try not to let that happen, but sometimes they do happen,” Ford explained about the defensive lapses that led to the mishaps.

Ultimately, despite the errors and the loss, Ford was able to end on a positive note.

“Certainly we are happy with the outcome,” he concluded.

Looking forward to the team’s doubleheader with Penn State tomorrow, Ford said, “It’s just another baseball game.”

“[Penn State] is always a very good team and very talented. It is just going out there and trying to play baseball again,” he closed.

Archived article by Katherine Granish