April 9, 2004

Baseball to Play Doubleheaders at Yale and Brown

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Hoping to make up ground in its chase for the Lou Gherig division title, Cornell’s baseball team (4-15, 1-1 Ivy) will make its first Ivy League road trip of the season, as the squad will go up against a pair of Red Rolfe division bottom-feeders.

The Red will play a pair against Brown (4-13, 1-1) this afternoon before heading to New Haven, Conn. to take on Yale (7-13, 2-2).

Brown has gotten off to a solid start in Ivy League play, as it split a doubleheader at Columbia last Saturday. The Bears will enter the contest, however, having lost six of their last seven, including a pair of losses to Rhode Island earlier this week.

Unlike Cornell, which has a lineup that has barely been able to garner 3.5 runs a game, it definitely has not been the offense that has troubled Brown, as its lineup tallied 23 runs in the win over Columbia. In fact, the Bears have averaged over six runs a game this season and almost nine runs a game in their last four.

If the Red is to come away with a win this weekend, its pitching staff will have to control an explosive Brown lineup, which features six starters batting over .300.

At the top of the list is sophomore Danny Hughes, who boasts a .364 average and 22 RBIs in just 17 games. Classmate Paul Christian has also had an impressive season thus far, with five homeruns, 14 RBIs, and a .321 batting average.

On the mound, however, is where Brown has had its problems. The squad’s pitchers have been very hittable this season, accumulating a 8.14 ERA while allowing opposing batters to hit for a .308 batting average.

Yet tomorrow’s games, which also starts at noon, should have more of the feel of a pitcher’s duel. Yale’s pitching staff enters the game sporting a 4.22 ERA while holding opposing batters a .277 batting average.

Leading the staff are junior Josh Showers and sophomore Alec Smith who have combined for 10 of the team’s 20 starts. With a 2.12 ERA and a team leading 33 strikeouts, Showers has staked his spot as the team’s ace.

Smith, who currently leads the team in wins, also has an ERA below 3.00.

At the plate, Red pitchers will have to watch out for the Elis’ pair of freshman standouts in first baseman Mark Sawyer and outfielder Jake Doyle. Combining for 27 RBIs, the two have also paced the team in batting with a .373 average for Sawyer and a .333 mark for Doyle.

Overall, though, Yale holds a .274 batting average while averaging 4.5 runs per game.

Yale’s .274 average is almost 20 points higher than the Red’s .257 mark and its 4.22 ERA is much lower than that of the Red pitching staff who currently has a 7.76 ERA in its 19 contests.

The Red enters this weekend having lost 13 of its last 14 contest, with the lone win coming last weekend against Harvard.

Archived article by Scott Reich
Sun Staff Writer