The baseball team (15-18, 9-7 Ivy) set a school record by holding its fifth consecutive opponent to one run or fewer — accomplishing that feat in all four contests against Penn this past weekend and in the first game of the doubleheader against Siena yesterday. However, the Saints swept a pair of games from the Red, 1-0 and 5-4, ending Cornell’s five-game winning streak. As a non-conference contest, the losses to Siena do not affect the Red’s standing in the Gehrig division race — meaning the squad will still have an opportunity to capture the division crown with a split of four games against Princeton on Friday and Sunday.
“We did not have quite the energy we usually have,” said junior catcher William Pauly. “The Ivy League games are definitely important, but everyone knows how important the midweek games are for keeping our focus. I think we just had a small lapse.”
In the opener of the doubleheader, the Saints drew first blood in the second inning on an RBI single by Lou Gattozzi. With Siena staked to a 1-0 lead, the pitchers of both teams took over for the remainder of the contest.
Despite leaving its top-five pitchers in Ithaca to prepare for the upcoming Ivy League weekend, three Cornell hurlers combined to throw six innings of one-run ball. Freshman Bryce Klinesteker pitched the first two frames, allowing just the one run on two hits — taking the loss and falling to 1-2 on the season. Sophomore Adam Loeding entered the game in relief in the third, and pitched three scoreless innings, while giving up only one hit. Senior Conor Kelly finished the game in the sixth, retiring the side after allowing a leadoff single.
“We only gave up one run in the first game and five in the second in ten innings, so our pitching did very well,” Pauly said.
Unfortunately for the Red, two Siena pitchers combined to throw a four-hit shutout, as the Red offense could not get anything throughout the game.
However, in game two, the Cornell’s bats came alive early on, getting on the board quickly with a run in the top of the first inning. After the first two batters in the frame were retired, senior Matt Miller smacked a double down the left field line and was driven in by junior Mike Weiss’ RBI single to right. The Saints immediately responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning, with the help of a Cornell error — an unfortunate theme of the contest.
The game remained tied at one entering the bottom of the fourth inning, when Cornell’s defense let the team down again — committing two more errors that allowed Siena to put three runs on the scoreboard.
The Red showed some of the resiliency it has displayed throughout the season, striking back with two runs in the top of the fifth. Junior Seth Gordon led off with a walk and was driven home on an RBI double by freshman Brian Kaufman, who was just yesterday named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the second time this season. Kaufman scored on a wild pitch later in the inning.
The Red’s deficit would remain at one until the top of the seventh inning. With two outs and nobody on base, Siena looked like it was ready to close out the victory. But, Miller delivered a home run — his third of the season — to even the score at four apiece. On the day, Miller went 3-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored.
“Our offense has definitely been coming around the last few weeks,” Pauly said. “I think we are definitely ready for the upcoming weekend.”
Despite threatening several times to break the game open, the Red was unable to push across a run to take the lead. In the bottom of the tenth inning, the Cornell defense broke down once again. However, this time it proved to be the difference. A failed pickoff attempt at first base allowed the baserunner to advance all the way to third. After a hit batsman, Rick Seltzer’s single to right center field drove in the winning run. Cornell junior Michael Hudson took the loss, after sophomore Kevin Conlin had kept the Saints at bay for four innings.
Archived article by Bryan Pepper
Sun Assistant Sports Editor