April 14, 2003

VanAllan Hits for Cycle; Red Splits with Crimson

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Cornell’s baseball team lost three of four games this past weekend to Dartmouth (8-11, 2-4 Ivy League) and Harvard (8-13, 3-3), finishing the weekend alone in the basement of the Ivy League’s Lou Gehrig division, some four games behind Penn heading into the final three weeks of league action.

The Red’s (10-12, 3-5) scheduled away series against Dartmouth was moved to Hoy Field on Saturday due to unplayable field conditions in Hanover, N.H. However, the Red failed to capitalize on the opportunity to play at home, falling to Dartmouth, 20-5, in the opener and 7-5 in the 11-inning nightcap. Yesterday, the Red rebounded to take its first game against the Crimson in Cambridge, Mass., 12-0, before dropping game two, 3-1.

In Dartmouth’s 20-5 victory over the Red, Cornell’s usually reliable pitching staff suffered its worst performance since a allowing 26 runs in a loss to Penn State in 2001. The Green batted around in both the second and third innings, jumping out to a 15-0 lead after just three innings.

Sophomore catcher Brian Zurhellen led Dartmouth’s 15-hit attack with a 3-4, two home run, seven RBI performance at the plate, including a second-inning grand slam that ended starting pitcher Dan Gala’s day after just 1 2/3 innings. Gala suffered his second loss of the season and saw his ERA balloon from 2.39 to 5.20.

Dartmouth starting pitcher Joshua Faiola was the beneficiary of Dartmouth’s offensive explosion, easily securing his second victory of the season. Faiola gave up nine hits in a complete game victory, striking out five over seven innings.

In the loss, Cornell’s offense was led by junior Dave Bredhoff and sophomore Matt Miller, with two hits apiece. Bredhoff had two doubles and two runs scored while Miller added a double, triple and two RBI, also scoring a run in the loss. Overall, Miller had a superb weekend at the plate, finishing 7-16 with four RBI and four runs scored.

In game two against the Green, the Red fell behind early, but a misjudged fly ball off the bat of second baseman Seth Gordon in the fourth inning resulted in a two-run double, giving Cornell its first lead of the series at 4-2. The lead was quickly erased as Dartmouth’s Jeff Speights knotted the game at four in the bottom of the inning with a two-run homer off of freshman starter Rocky Collis. Collis pitched a strong seven innings in his first Ivy League start, but left trailing 5-4 after allowing an RBI double to Mike Mileusnic in his final inning of work.

The Red sent the game to extra innings when junior designated hitter Ned VanAllan came through with his first hit of the series, an RBI double, tying the game at five. Cornell appeared to take the lead with one out in the 10th when junior Dan Parant laid down a suicide squeeze bunt scoring senior Mike Martino, but it was ruled that the ball had hit Parant’s hand rather than the bat, nullifying the play. Dartmouth escaped the inning without allowing a run, and completed the home-away-from-home sweep on Zurhellen’s two-run homer off of senior David Sharfstein.

Sharfstein fell to 0-4 on the year, allowing two runs in two innings while Dartmouth’s Brian Gattis improved to 2-1 with 3 2/3 innings of one run relief.

Cornell rebounded against Harvard with one of its most impressive all-around performances of the year, beating the Crimson, 12-0, in the opener behind a complete game shutout from junior Dan Baysinger and 18 hits. Baysinger limited Harvard to just four hits in seven innings, striking out seven batters while winning his team-best third game of the season.

Baysinger benefited from the Red’s best hitting performance of the season, as five Cornell players contributed multi-hit games to pace the Red’s 18-hit attack. Every player in the starting lineup registered a hit, with VanAllan and sophomore Jim Jackson leading the team with four hits apiece. Jackson finished 4-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, while VanAllan accomplished one of the rarest feats in baseball, the cycle. The team’s leading hitter, VanAllan added four RBI and two runs scored in addition to his single, double, triple, and home run. Bredhoff and junior Chris Schutt added home runs in the victory as well.

Unfortunately for the Red, it could not carry its offensive momentum into the second game against Harvard, managing just seven hits and one run against the Crimson’s Trey Hendricks, who improved to 2-1 on the year. Freshman first baseman Mike Weiss was the only Cornell batter with more than one hit, finishing the game 3-for-4 and scoring the Red’s only run in the seventh inning.

Schutt lost his second tough-luck decision in as many weeks for the Red, falling to 1-4 despite another dominating outing. Schutt struck out 11 in eight innings, allowing just five hits and three runs against the Crimson. Despite the loss, Schutt improved his team-leading ERA to 2.39.

Archived article by Mark Fetzko