May 2, 2002

Baseball Splits Pair Of Home Games

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A tough season was made just a little bit more so yesterday afternoon for the Cornell baseball team (13-28, 4-12 Ivy) in its doubleheader against Siena (22-23, 12-5 MAAC).

In Game 1 of the match-up, both teams traded the lead throughout the contest before the score became tied in the bottom of the sixth. After a wild pitch plated senior second baseman Vince Santo, senior first baseman Flint Foley doubled to send senior right fielder Erik Rico home to even the score at five each.

The game went into extra innings as neither team scored for the next two.

In the ninth, however, Siena took the lead off a two-run home run from senior catcher Jim Buckley, who also had one earlier in the game, and went into the bottom of the inning ahead 7-5.

In the Red’s half of the ninth, Rico lead off with a solo shot to close the gap to within one. Cornell then loaded the bases with two outs left but was unable to bring another run home. The final score of the opener was 7-6.

“It is frustrating in the sense that we were right there, it was that close, then to see it slip away. The shortstop made a nice play, and if he doesn’t, we are headed into extra innings,” Rico commented.

Sophomore Glenn Morris (1-3) pitched 5-2/3 innings for the Red, struck out four, walked one, and yielded five earned runs. Freshman Matthew Light (0-1) relieved to finish off the inning and was replaced in the seventh after giving up two hits. Junior David Sharfstein (3-3) took over for Light and pitched hitless ball for 1-2/3 innings with one strike out.

Junior Mike Martino (0-1) took the loss in one inning of work.

Offensively for the Red, senior outfielder Andrew Luria went 3-for-5 with two doubles and one RBI, while Rico was 2-for-5 with two RBI, a triple, and a home run. Sophomore outfielder Chris Schutt was 2-for-4 and Santo was also 2-for-4 with a run scored.

“We can’t be disappointed with our performance because we played good baseball, we just got beat,” Rico reflected. “So we are not happy that we lost, but we are happy that we played good baseball because we haven’t done that in a while.”

In the nightcap, junior John Hardy (2-0) and Sharfstein combined on the mound over seven innings to secure a 5-2 victory.

Cornell struck first in the bottom of the second to take a one-run lead thanks to freshman shortstop Matt Miller’s RBI single, but the Saints responded in the top of the third to regain the lead on a solo home run and a RBI single.

The Red came back in the bottom of the fourth to score two runs, and added two more in the fifth after a two run shot from Foley to make the score 5-2. Hardy and Sharfstein shut down the Saints for the remainder of the game to seal the win.

Hardy pitched six innings, struck out two and walked four while limiting Siena to only four hits. Sharfstein closed out the game in the seventh with one hit and a strike out.

“That [win] pretty much came from the first game because we played good baseball and it got us rolling. Then we did it again, this time we just held them to less runs,” Rico stated. “John Hardy threw a great game and David Sharfstein came in and closed it out, which is just what we needed.”

From the plate, Schutt was 2-for-3 with a RBI and two runs scored. Santo was also 2-for-3, while Foley was 1-for-3 with two RBI off the home run.

For the day, the Red tallied 23 hits and did not commit any errors.

“It is real nice,” Rico said of yesterday’s overall effort. “I don’t want to end my Cornell career on a losing streak, and I want us to do the best that we can. Hopefully a wining weekend against Princeton will make it that much better.”

Rico was named the Ivy League Player of the Week for the second time this season for his outstanding offensive effort last weekend against Columbia.

“It is always nice, especially the situation that we got it in,” the phenom said of his honor. “We just broke up a pretty long losing streak and battled and got through that. It is really good to know that I helped my team get out of that losing slump.”

Cornell will return to action tomorrow with a doubleheader against Princeton in Ithaca, which will be the last home games for the seven seniors on the squad. It will close out its season on Sunday when it travels to New Jersey to battle the Tigers in another twinbill.

Archived article by Katherine Granish