April 7, 2005

Cornell Wins One in Binghamton Doubleheader

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The baseball team split a doubleheader with Yale on Monday, winning one game in walk-off fashion and falling in the other, 11-2. The strange part about that day’s results was how similar they were to yesterday’s twin bill against regional rival Binghamton — with the Red winning the first game 3-2 on a walk-off hit by junior catcher William Pauly, and losing the second, 11-2.

“In the first game, we played well and in the second game we didn’t,” said head coach Tom Ford. “We didn’t set the tone on the mound and we didn’t really swing the bats well. We need to be a little more consistent in both areas.”

In the first game, Cornell junior starter Andrew McEachin ran into early trouble, allowing a first-inning run on an RBI double by Mathieu Bergeron. The damage could have been a whole lot worse, but McEachin was bailed out when leadoff man Keith Ford got thrown out at third base with nobody out in the inning.

Despite his early struggles, McEachin settled down and kept Binghamton at bay for the rest of the afternoon. When all was said and done, he tossed a complete-game seven innings, allowing only two earned runs on six hits.

After falling behind 1-0 early on, the Red battled back in the bottom of the second, posting two runs on a pair of hits — the second one coming in the form of a two-run double by junior Matt Goodson.

Trailing 2-1, the Bearcats scratched out a run in the fifth inning to tie the game at two. The score remained even until the last half of the seventh inning. Freshman Ry Kagan was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame and advanced to second base on a critical two-strike sacrifice bunt by classmate Jimmy Heinz. Ford went to his bench, substituting Pauly for junior Josh Foster and the pinch-hitter came through, as Pauly smacked a single to right field for the game-winner.

“[Pauly] did a nice job with situational hitting,” Ford said. “He didn’t over swing — he just went with the pitch and got the ball into the outfield to give us a chance to score the runner from second … The important thing in that situation is making solid contact and that is what he did.”

The Red only managed to generate four hits all game off of five Binghamton pitchers, but it was just enough to squeeze out the victory.

In game two of the doubleheader, Red senior Matt Light got the start, but struggled mightily with his control. The Bears took advantage of Light’s miscues, tagging him for three hits and four earned runs in only 2/3 of an inning.

After retiring the leadoff man, Light dug himself into a hole by loading the bases on a hit batsman, a single, and a walk. After striking out the next hitter, Aaron Davis hit a seeing-eye single through the right side of the infield to score two runs. Jamie Boyer followed with a two-run double to put the Bears ahead, 4-0. Even though sophomore Adam Loding was able to get the Red out of the jam in relief, Cornell was unable to recover from the first-inning deficit.

“Obviously, you don’t want to get off to a start like that,” Ford said. “We needed to answer back with a few runs to gain back some momentum, but we were unable to do it.”

Loding pitched another inning of scoreless baseball, before giving way to senior Dan Gala. Unfortunately for Gala, he was the victim of a throwing error by Heinz, opening the gates to a three-run third inning, which put Binghamton ahead 7-0.

That was all the run-support Khalid Afify needed, as the Bearcats hurler tossed five no-hit innings, stymieing the Red’s offensive attack. By the time Afify was pulled, it was too late for the Red to mount any sort of comeback, as it had fallen behind 11-0. Cornell’s only two runs of the day came on a two-run homer by junior Garret Wasson.

Despite the poor showing in the second game, Ford still remains pleased by the way his team has played thus far this season.

“We have showed some signs,” Ford said, “In four or five games, we have gone out like today, but other than that, we have played some pretty good baseball. It is just a matter of playing consistently and getting another guy or two swinging the bat like they are capable of.”

Archived article by ryan Pepper
Sun Assistant Sports Editor