April 3, 2006

Baseball Wins One at Home

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The cars in the parking lot surrounding Hoy Field weren’t the only things getting hit this past weekend, as the baseball team dropped three games in a pair of doubleheaders against Dartmouth and Harvard in the Red’s first weekend of Ivy League action.

Cornell (5-12, 1-3 Ivy) split Saturday’s doubleheader against Dartmouth (6-10, 3-1), taking Game 1 by a score of 2-1, but dropping Game 2, 16-6. The Crimson (8-9, 4-0) completed a two-game sweep of the Red yesterday, winning Game 1, 14-3 and pulling away in Game 2, 12-6.

“I think we can improve in every area,” said junior pitcher Jim Hyland. “I think all around – our pitchers didn’t throw as well as they could of, there were two many errors defensively and we hit at times but not at other times.”

The highlight of Cornell’s four-game homestand came in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, as senior co-captain Rocky Collis pitched a complete game, scattering five hits over seven innings, and allowing only one run in Cornell’s 2-1 victory over Dartmouth.

The Red took an early one-run lead in the second inning off freshman Scott Hardinger’s sac fly, but the Green would tie it up in the fifth with an RBI single from Jonathan Santopadre. Cornell would answer back one inning later, when senior co-captain Seth Gordon reached on a walk and scored off a double by freshman Brant McKown.

“It was a very good baseball game,” said Cornell head coach Tom Ford. “Rocky was throwing well and we played well behind him and that’s what typically happens.”

Cornell couldn’t carry that momentum into the next game, however, as Dartmouth scored 12 runs in the first three innings and never looked back. Sophomore Walker Toma pitched 2 innings, allowing 8 hits and 10 runs in the 16-6 loss.

The sole highlight of the game for the Red came in the bottom of the fourth inning. With two men on, Hardinger hit a long flyball to left field that looked as if it was going to be just short of the fence until Dartmouth’s Jason Blydell botched the catch and blooped the ball over the wall, giving Hardinger a three-run homer.

Game 1 of yesterday’s doubleheader against the Crimson looked very similar to Saturday’s second game, as the Red gave up six runs in the first two innings and was unable to battle back, falling by a score of 14-3.

The Cornell starter, junior Tom Laughlin, was chased from the mound in the second inning.

Freshman Chris Carls came on in relief, striking out seven batters over five innings, but allowing six runs as well. Sophomore Brian Kaufman had two hits, a run and an RBI, while Gordon managed to record two runs despite never logging an at bat in the box score.

“That kid, Seth Gordon, he makes my all-competitive team. He just gets on base and is so much fun to watch,” said Harvard head coach Joe Walsh. “Kaufman and Gordon do the leadoff job all the time. I just think that their middle of the lineup didn’t have as much sock as the middle of our lineup.”

Cornell again gave up the early lead in Game 2 yesterday, as Harvard belted four runs in the first inning. The Red’s starter, sophomore Bryce Klinesteker, soon found his control, and Hyland had his slider working in relief, allowing the Red to close the gap to 7-6 after the sixth inning. However, with two outs and two on in the seventh, Hyland hung a change up to Harvard’s Steffan Wilson. Wilson crushed the pitched over the leftfield fence onto the top level of the parking garage behind the field and ended the Red’s rally.

“It was just a change up that kind of stayed up, but he obviously wasn’t fooled by it,” Hyland said.

By the time McKown flied out to centerfield to end Cornell’s weekend, the Red had committed 12 errors in four games on the way to being out-hit 51-25 and outscored 43-16 by its opponents. Despite the team’s struggles, neither Ford nor Gordon were overly concerned.

“We have a great staff, we’re not worried about how they’re going to do and we know they’re going to help us win a lot of games this year,” Gordon said. “Once we get it all working together, pitchers and hitters performing together in the same game, I think we’re going to have a very good team.”

“For one reason or another we’re just not pitching like we will,” Ford said. “We’re confident that they will pitch like they’re capable of pitching and just for some reason they didn’t get it done this weekend.”

Archived article by Paul Testa
Sun Assistant Sports Editor