April 2, 2002

Baseball Hits Road for Doubleheader at Penn St.

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No prime time television coverage, no multi-million dollar contract, no big-league ego.

Buried under the hype of opening day in the major leagues, Cornell’s own baseball team quietly travels to University Park today in search of a morale-booster prior to the start of the Ivy League season. The Red (6-10) faces off against Penn St. (9-11) in a pair of afternoon games, hoping to shake off a loss to cross-town rivals Ithaca College on Saturday.

Cornell split a doubleheader over the weekend with the Bombers, winning the first game 7-6 before succumbing to a host of fielding errors to lose the nightcap, 6-5.

With Dartmouth looming on the horizon on Saturday, head coach Tom Ford will be looking for a result against the Beavers to kick start his side’s Ivy League campaign.

“Hopefully we can play well, and that’ll carry over into the [Ivy] league games,” he said.

The Red’s schedule is starting to pile up noticeably, with no less than seven games to be contested over the next week, including four Ivy League match-ups. However, Ford is not too concerned about schedule congestion.

“Not really — we like to play, as long as the pitching holds up,” he admitted. “The more we play, the better we get.”

While the Red’s current win-loss count reads at 6-10, Ford’s players have competed well, losing five games by a mere run, and seven by two or less runs.

More importantly, they have ironed out many of the early season difficulties which contributed to a 0-5 start.

“We’ve come a long way since that opening weekend,” mused Ford. “Defensively we weren’t there — we didn’t do a good job, we didn’t play very good baseball.”

On offense, the Red will once again rely on senior outfielders Eric Rico and Andrew Luria for power. Rico has resumed where he left off last season, with four home runs and 15 RBI’s to go with a formidable .732 slugging average. Luria has the hottest bat in the lineup at the moment, after going 4 for 6 and hitting two homers in the doubleheader against Ithaca College.

On the mound, senior ace Brendan McQuaid has been a workhorse but the other members of the rotation have yet to show their best.

Overall, Ford remains optimistic about the games ahead.

“We certainly want the results, but we’re pretty happy with where we are,” he said. “Our best baseball is ahead of us.”

Archived article by Soo Kim