May 1, 2002

Siena Visits Baseball For Pair of Contests

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After terminating a 12-game losing streak this weekend by splitting a pair of doubleheaders with Columbia (20-21, 9-7 Gehrig Division), the baseball team will battle Siena at home in a twinbill.

“We believe in each other a lot and are starting to come together a lot more as a team. We are going to use [those wins over Columbia] over the next six games to play our game, and they definitely help our mentality and boost our confidence to go out and play the best we can against Siena and Princeton,” senior center fielder Andrew Luria said. “We have the capability of playing like that every day and hopefully we will do that over the next week.”

The Saints (21-22, 12-5 MAAC) are riding a hot streak into today’s games, to say the least. The team has won 17 of its past 21 contests, including its three most recent.

“We have come to the conclusion that with the season winding down as it is, we are really going to focus on us,” Luria explained. “We are not really concerned about [the winning streak], for example, or what our opponents are doing.”

On Saturday, Siena took two from St. Peters by scores of 10-8 and 6-0. In the opening game, the Saints did not look like the current third place team in the MAAC out of a field of 10, as it committed seven errors that led to five unearned runs. Siena took advantage of two Peacock errors to score three unearned runs of its own and regained the lead with a six-run rally in the fifth inning.

Sophomore Josh Copskey (2-3) pitched a complete game shutout and, in seven innings of work, had nine strikeouts, one walk, and gave up only two hits.

Freshman designated hitter Luis Khoury has been the team’s top hitter of late and was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week for his play over the Saints’ past six games. Over the span, Khoury hit .444 with three multi-hit games. On Saturday, the freshman scored seven runs, walked three times, and stole two bases.

Senior outfielder Josh Kean has propelled the team from the plate this season and is hitting a team-high .416 with 22 RBIs. Senior leftfielder Ryan Finn is hitting .285 but has a team-high 12 home runs and 43 RBIs. Classmate and catcher Jim Buckley is hitting .316 with eight homers and 42 RBIs.

For Cornell, senior pitcher/outfielder Erik Rico has been named the Ivy League Player of the Week this week for the second time this season. Over the past seven days, Rico hit .474 with three home runs, two triples and four singles. He had eight RBIs, seven runs scored, and amassed 22 total bases. His .383 overall batting average, 38 RBIs, 10 home runs and seven triples are all team highs.

Sophomore pitcher Chris Schutt was named to the Ivy Honor Roll this week for his outstanding performance in the Red’s 9-6 win over Columbia this weekend. He threw 5 2/3 innings without yielding a single hit and struck out eight.

“Right now our goal is to go out and win six games. We have six games remaining and we want to take two from Siena [today] and four from Princeton this weekend,” Luria explained. “We are not even worried about the fact that Siena has won 17 games out of the past 21 or that Princeton is leading the Gehrig Division. We care about us and just want to go out and play our game.”

As the seniors are preparing for their final six games together, Luria reflected on the team’s attitude and what the graduates are thinking.

“With these games this week, for the seniors, this is it for us. This is our last go together and our goal is simple. It is basically just to have a six-game series and to go out and win every game we can and leave it all on the field,” he said.

“We obviously have nothing to lose, but just to go out together and have a good time and really believe in each other and start something good for next year’s team. Our only goal is to start things off for the future, because this season is kind of lost. If we can go out and do the best we can the next six games, we really have something for the young guys to take into the offseason. So hopefully, it will go well.”

The games will take place at Hoy Field and the opener will start at 2 p.m. with the second game to follow soon after at around 5 p.m.

Archived article by Katherine Granish