April 10, 2003

Baseball Hosts Bearcats

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Cornell’s baseball team will host a struggling Binghamton (5-15-1) squad today, as it looks to win for the eighth time in 10 games and improve to .500 on the season. The Red (8-9) had won five straight before going 2-2 against Yale and Brown in its first Ivy games of the season. The Red will attempt to get back on the winning track before it departs for its first Ivy road trip of the season this weekend.

While the surprising Red has been improving markedly with each game, the Bearcats have endured a miserable season. After starting the year 3-2-1, Binghamton has dropped 12 of its past 14, including its last four games. The America East conference member has struggled in all facets of the game, registering a mediocre .232 team batting average and an unsightly 8.11 ERA.

Nonetheless, Binghamton does have some talent, especially in its lineup. Outfielder Joe Costello (.388 batting average, 4 HR, 22 RBI) was recently named America East player of the week, while slugging third baseman Jay Balback (.252, 5, 10) is the team’s leading home run threat. He has compiled a .523 slugging percentage and also is tops on the team with 20 runs scored.

The pitching staff, however, is thin, boasting no pitcher with an ERA under five. Opposing teams bat .315 against the Bearcats, a welcome sight for a Cornell lineup that is batting just .227 and averaging less than four runs per game. With its lineup failing to assert itself early in the season, the Red’s recent winning ways have been due primarily to a sometimes-dominant pitching staff. Cornell pitchers have limited the opposition to a .261 batting average while posting a solid 4.24 ERA.

As a tune-up for its upcoming Ivy road trip against Dartmouth and Harvard, the Red will use the non-conference game against Binghamton today to take a look at some of its bench players. Several pitchers including sophomores Tad Bardenwerper (0-0, 6.75 ERA) and Connor Kelly (1-0, 9.82) and junior Luke Staskal (0-0, 4.00) may see an inning or two on the mound as the Red rests its primary rotation for this weekend’s Ivy series. Meanwhile, promising freshmen Michael Weiss and Seth Gordon may see action in the field as the team tries to get everyone in top form heading into the remainder of the Ivy League season.

Game time is 3:30 p.m. at Hoy Field.

Archived article by Mark Fetzko