April 30, 2004

Baseball Takes on Princeton in Four Game Series

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The magic number is one for the Princeton baseball team to repeat as Gehrig Division champions this weekend in a four-game set with the Red. The two teams, which have met 189 times — Princeton holds a 114-73-2 edge over Cornell — will play a twin-bill at Hoy Field today before heading to New Jersey for another doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Clarke Field. The Tigers need just one win over the Red to clinch the top spot in the four-team division.

Yet, a clean sweep of the Tigers by the Red would lead to a showdown between Cornell and Columbia in a makeup game to decide the division champion.

Princeton (21-17, 9-7 Ivy) could have locked up the division crown last weekend against Penn, but the Quakers rallied to win the last two games of the four-game series, winning 8-3 and 9-7. In the first doubleheader, the Tigers feasted on Penn’s pitching staff, putting up a combined 36 runs in the two wins. The 36 runs marked a new school record for total runs in a doubleheader, which the Tigers had set just a week prior.

The powerful Tiger offense notched a 13-run sixth inning in game one of the doubleheader, which they held on to win, 22-11.

Princeton lost their lone midweek contest, a 6-4 decision at the hands of St. John’s, despite junior outfielder B.J. Szymanski’s sixth home run of the year.

Meanwhile, the Red comes in to the weekend after losing two of three games to Columbia and splitting a doubleheader with Siena. The Red took game one of the doubleheader with the Saints, 2-1, behind a strong effort from senior Dan Gala. Gala went four innings, scattered four hits and allowed no runs to improve to 3-4 on the year. Gala had solid relief in the form of sophomore Michael Hudson, who went two innings, giving up just one earned run on one hit and a walk, and freshman Blake Hamilton, who earned his first career save after pitching a scoreless seventh inning.

A large chunk of the offensive production for the Red came from sophomore Seth Gordon, who exploded for three RBIs on four hits and two runs scored. Gordon, the new leadoff man for the Red, has upped his batting average to .287 with 15 RBIs.

Last season, the Tigers took three out of four from the Red to clinch the division as well as home field for the Ivy League Championship Series (ILCS). The Red took the first game of that series before getting blitzed by a combined score of 32-5 in the final three contests.

Looking ahead to the ILCS, the winner of the Gehrig Division will have to play two of three games on the road at either Dartmouth or Harvard. The Crimson need to win three games against the Green to force a one-game playoff, or a clean sweep to win the Red Rolfe Division.

Archived article by Chris Mascaro
Sun Assistant Sports Editor