April 11, 2005

Baseball Gets Swept by Both Harvard, Dartmouth

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After splitting its opening Ivy League series on Tuesday, the baseball team hit the road for its first weekend away against Harvard and Dartmouth. Unfortunately for the Red — despite staying competitive for the entire weekend — it lost a pair of contests to both of its rivals. On Saturday, Cornell fell to the Crimson, 3-1 and 2-1, while dropping two to the Green on Sunday, 6-2 and 4-3.

In game one against Harvard, sophomore Blake Hamilton pitched well over his six innings of work, allowing three runs — only two of which were earned. However, the Cornell bats just never could get going, mustering only one run and one hit off of Crimson starter Frank Herrmann.

“I felt more comfortable than I did against Yale,” Hamilton said. “I think the Yale game helped me get comfortable with all of my pitches.”

Harvard got on the board first in the third inning with a sacrifice fly, set up by an error by sophomore third baseman Jim Hyland. The Crimson added a pair of runs two innings later on consecutive run-scoring hits to take a 3-0 lead.

The Red would get one back in the sixth, when freshman Ry Kagan scored on an RBI single by junior Seth Gordon. But, that was all Cornell would get, as Gordon was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double. Herrmann retired the side in the seventh to close out the 3-1 victory.

“We were down 1-0 for a couple of innings and I thought we would come back,” Hamilton said. “We still had a chance to win towards the end … I was impressed with Harvard’s hitting. When I made a mistake they hit them pretty well. I just tried to keep the ball down and mix speeds.”

In game two on Saturday, Harvard’s pitchers kept the Cornell offense at bay once again. Mike Morgalis and Steffan Wilson combined to throw nine innings of one-run ball, as the Red fell by a 2-1 margin.

For the second straight contest, Cornell received a great outing from its starting pitcher, as senior Dan Gala tossed 6 2/3 innings — allowing only two runs. Those runs both came in the seventh inning, on back-to-back two-out RBI singles. Gala was relieved by classmate Tad Bardenwerper, who closed out the last inning and a third.

With Harvard up 2-0, the Red cut the deficit in half in the eighth inning, with the help of three Crimson errors. However, with runners on first and third, junior William Pauly flied out to centerfield to end the threat.

“Harvard’s pitchers are at the top of the line,” Hamilton said. “Besides Yale, they have the best staff — ERA wise — in the league. We knew coming in it was going to be a tough game.”

In the first game against Dartmouth on Sunday, the Green scored five runs in the first two innings and cruised the rest of the way for a 6-2 victory. Freshman Bryce Klinesteker took the mound for the Red, but only lasted 1 1/3 innings — allowing all five of the early Dartmouth runs. He was relieved by classmate Walker Toma, who surrendered only one run in the final 4 2/3 innings.

Cornell scored both of its runs in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Gordon and a run-scoring groundout by Hyland. Gordon had two of the Red’s five hits on the afternoon.

“Dartmouth’s pitchers threw a little bit harder, but they didn’t mix their speeds as well,” Hamilton said. “That’s why we were able to be a little more effective at the plate.”

In game two, Cornell jumped out to its first lead of the weekend, scoring three runs in the fourth inning on hits by freshman Jimmie Heinz, and juniors Michael Weiss and Matt Goodson. Junior starter Rocky Collis gave two of the runs back in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back solo homeruns.

The Red remained in front, 3-2, through five innings of play, before the Green scored the tying run in the sixth and the go-ahead run in the seventh — the result of a costly Cornell error.

“We pitched really well [all weekend],” Hamilton said. “In the first game against Dartmouth, we gave up an early lead, but in the rest of the games we did pretty well. We did a good job of keeping the team in the game. A hit here or there could have been the difference.”

The Red will return to the field tomorrow for a doubleheader against LeMoyne, beginning at 2:00 p.m. at Hoy Field. The Dolphins (11-9, 6-1 MAAC) are fresh of a come-from-behind victory over Fairfield yesterday, as Andre Enriquez knocked in the game winner in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Archived article by ryan Pepper
Sun Assistant Sports Editor