After a weekend that saw the baseball team plummet to the bottom of the Ivy League’s Lou Gehrig division, the Red (10-17, 3-6 Ivy) hosts in-state rivals LeMoyne (15-10) in a doubleheader today.
Cornell will look to snap a three-game slide when it takes the field against the Dolphins, who hold a 18-8 advantage in the all-time series. In the weekend’s Ivy League encounters, the Red split a doubleheader against Yale before dropping a pair to Red Rolfe division co-leaders Brown. In the three losses, Cornell was outscored by a total of 37-15 and outhit 43-23. Although the pitching staff was on the receiving end of a rampant offensive display from the Bears, head coach Tom Ford has no long-term concerns regarding his rotation.
“I don’t really worry about their confidence level,” he said. “It’s just a matter of being consistent on the mound. Certainly we’re gonna put those same guys out there and expect that they’ll get the job done a heck of a lot better than they did last weekend.”
Sandwiched in between the games against Yale and Brown and four games this coming weekend the doubleheader against LeMoyne will provide the Red’s players with an opportunity to hone their skills and compete for jobs.
“Baseball’s a game — you gotta keep playing,” said Ford. “It’s a game of repetition — you have to see the live parts of the game to keep improving, stay sharp and that’s important for us.”
Ford is likely to follow a similar formula to the one he used against Binghamton last week, when he allowed some of the fringe players to feature.
“We want to make sure that we get guys innings, and regulars get their at-bats so that we stay sharp when they’re called upon. We got some guys who are still competing for spots. We want to give them their share of time too.”
In the sweep of Binghamton, the Red went with rookie Tad Bardenwerper and sophomore Glenn Morris as starters, with ace Brendan McQuaid earning a well-deserved rest. It remains to be seen whether Ford opts to use the youngsters, or go with one of his regular starters.
“At this point I don’t know,” he said. “The pitching coach and I have been talking about it yesterday and today. Certainly, I don’t see us getting a complete game out of anyone just because we want them to be fresh for the weekend.”
While the team’s fortunes have fluctuated in recent weeks, transfer students David Bredhoff and David Scharfstein have firmly established themselves in the Red’s immediate plans. Sophomore outfielder Bredhoff was an honor roll mention in the Ivy League this week, after going deep three times in his last six contests.
“He came in the fall, showed great bat speed, and has come up big in quite a few games for us,” admitted Ford. “He knows how to play the game. He came up big against Yale and he’s won a couple other games with his situational at-bats as well.”
While others around him have often faltered this season, junior reliever Scharfstein has been a model of consistency, leading the team in saves and appearances. Ford had initially toyed with using Scharfstein as a starter but his impressive performances out of the bullpen put an end to that idea.
“He seems to be very confident with our role as a closer,” he observed. “Unless something major happens, we’re gonna keep him in there. He has done a great job for us. He’s come in and done just what we’ve asked of him.”
Archived article by Soo Kim