April 25, 2003

Baseball Hosts Quakers

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After taking three out of four games from Columbia last weekend, the baseball team (13-14, 6-6 Ivy) will return home this weekend for a pair of doubleheaders against Penn (20-15, 10-6).

After splitting a twin bill last Friday against Columbia, the Red bounced back Saturday to sweep the Lions, and in the process broke a skid that saw it lose five out of six games.

In the series’ final game, Cornell won, 7-1, behind a dominating pitching performance from junior Chris Schutt. Schutt struck out 15 in a complete game effort, lowering his league-leading ERA to 2.21. He also leads the Ancient Eight with 67 strikeouts.

“Chris has done a nice job this year,” said head coach Tom Ford. “He struggled against George Mason, but every outing from then on, he’s been great.”

Schutt was named Ivy League Co-Pitcher of the Week for his performance. While playing center field in the weekend’s other three games, Schutt also drove in four runs.

The Red has also enjoyed production from junior Dan Baysinger, who leads the team with a 4-1 record, and freshman Rocky Collis, who sports a 4.35 ERA on the mound this year.

Cornell’s leading hitter is junior Dan Parant, who is averaging .310 and has stolen seven bases this year.

Penn enters the game after dropping a 7-6 decision to local-rival Drexel on Wednesday. In that game, Drexel scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to surge ahead of the Quakers.

Last weekend, Penn saw its four game Ivy League win streak end when Princeton took the final three games of a four-game set.

In last Saturday’s opener, the Quakers found themselves on the wrong end of a three-hit shutout, as Princeton’s Ryan Quillian struck out eight in his seven-inning complete game win.

Despite the recent losses, Penn sports a dangerous lineup, headlined by Andrew McCreery and Nick Italiano. Italiano leads the Ivy League with a .390 batting average. He is second on the team with 27 RBI. McCreery is 3-2 with a 4.70 ERA.

In games he has not pitched, he has posted a .331 average with a team-leading five home runs and 32 RBI as a first baseman and designated hitter.

“I think we’ll be ready,” said Ford. “Any time you play a team four times there’s a certain familiarity. You win when you get good pitching and good defense, and we’ll try to do that next time out.”

Following this weekend’s doubleheaders, the Red will visit Siena this Tuesday before wrapping up its season with a pair of doubleheaders against Gehrig Division leader Princeton next weekend.

First pitch is set for 12 p.m. both tomorrow and Sunday.

Archived article by Owen Bochner