April 26, 2002

Baseball Set to Battle Lions

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Coming off two tough losses, the baseball team (10-25, 2-10 Gehrig) will look to improve within the league with a pair of home doubleheaders against Columbia (18-19, 7-5 Gehrig) this weekend.

“The only thing that is going to propel us is getting the win,” head coach Tom Ford commented about the losses to LeMoyne and if they gave the Red any drive for this weekend. “We played some decent baseball, but baseball is a game of failure at the plate and things like that.”

The Lions are coming off a four-game weekend against Princeton (16-18, 11-5) and a doubleheader against Fordham on Wednesday. Over the six games, Columbia was 2-4 with one win against each opponent. The Lions are currently two games behind the first place Tigers.

Junior catcher Joe Catsam and sophomore pitcher Brian Doveala were the standouts of the Princeton series and both garnered spots on the Ivy Honor Roll this week. Catsam hit .438 in 16 at-bats with three home runs and currently leads the team with 12 on the year. He is hitting .363 overall and is second on the team with 39 RBI.

Doveala (2-4) was the pitcher of record in his team’s 6-5 victory over the Tigers. He pitched nine innings, gave up nine hits, struck out seven and recorded only one earned run. The pitcher worked through four Columbia errors and benefited from a five-run outburst in the bottom of the eighth that gave his team the advantage.

Leading the team in hitting is senior center fielder Matt Buckmiller with a .413 average. He has a team high 49 RBI and 17 doubles with nine home runs.

“Offense is a big part of their game so it’s hopefully something we will limit,” Ford acknowledged.

Columbia has a league-high .329 batting average and is the only squad currently hitting over .300. It is leading in most of the offensive categories including slugging percentage, on base percentage, runs scored, hits, RBI, doubles and home runs. It is also relatively patient at the plate as it has worked the second most walks in the league.

“We anticipate they are going to be swinging the bat fairly well,” Ford said. “We’ve got to shut down their offense. Hopefully we will score some runs ourselves.”

For Cornell, senior outfielder/pitcher Erik Rico was named to the Ivy Honor Roll this week after hitting .368 with five RBI, two doubles and a home run.

His overall .372 average is the highest on the team and he also leads the Red with 33 RBI.

Senior outfielder Javier Alfaro has also been impressive of late as he hit .471 over the past week with five RBI. He is hitting .302 overall, good for fourth on the team.

Cornell will pitch senior Brendan McQuaid (3-3), sophomore Chris Schutt (0-2), sophomore Dan Baysinger (1-3), and Rico (1-5) will close out the weekend.

Errors have been an issue for the Red for its entire season. Over the weekend, it committed seven mistakes against Penn that lead to four unearned runs. Against LeMoyne, Cornell had five errors with four unearned runs.

“Well, our main focus is to approach each inning one at a time and try to win each inning,” Ford commented. “Focus on what is ahead, not what is behind us. We just have to keep going forward here.”

Columbia has been suffering from a similar problem as it committed 15 errors against Princeton that yielded a crippling 14 unearned runs. Against Fordham, the Lions made three errors in its loss that lead to five unearned runs, but was error-free in its win.

“About a week and a half ago we were playing .500 ball and ready to get on a roll. Unfortunately the roll went the other way. We are hoping to recapture some of that and get some momentum with a couple of wins,” finished Ford

Saturday and Sunday’s doubleheaders will both start at noon on Hoy Field.

Archived article by Katherine Granish