April 11, 2006

Baseball Swept by Brown

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It felt like déjà vu all over again for the baseball team yesterday, which after being swept by Yale, 7-0 and 5-4 in extra innings on Sunday, dropped both ends of a double header to Brown, 9-2 and 5-4 in extra innings for the second time in two days.

“Each game was kind of a carbon copy [of the Yale games],” said head coach Tom Ford.

Nine of the Bears’ 20 hits on the day were for extra bases as Cornell pitchers struggled to contain one of the most potent offenses in the Ivy League – Brown leads the Ivies in both batting average (.318) and home runs (19).

Junior Tom Laughlin started Game 1 for the Red. The right hander retired the side in the first two innings, but ran into trouble in the third, giving up a four runs on three hits, including a bases-clearing 3 RBI double by Brown’s Danny Hughes.

“He threw very well except for one or two mistakes,” Ford said.

Brown tacked on a run in the fourth and fifth innings, as Laughlin (0-3) was credited with the loss having thrown five innings. Laughlin gave up six runs on five hits while striking out four.

Cornell would get two runs back in the sixth thanks to an RBI single from freshman Nathan Ford and bases-loaded walk from classmate Domenic Di Ricco.

Junior Kaleb Hutchinson, primarily a right fielder, worked the sixth for the Red, allowing three runs on four hits.

Freshman Brant McKown went 2-4 with a double, while both senior co-captain Seth Gordon and sophomore Brian Kaufman each had a hit and a run scored in Game 1.

Brown’s Ethan Silverstein picked up the win, pitching 5 1/3 innings. He combined with Jeff Deitz to hold Cornell to just five hits on the game.

While the Red would again only manage five hits in Game 2, Cornell would put them to better use.

The Red took an early lead in the first when senior Mike Weiss hit an RBI-single to left field to score Gordon, but Brown tied the game at one an inning latter.

Cornell took a 4-1 lead in the fourth capped off by McKown’s second double of the day, but the Bears evened the game, getting one in the bottom of the inning and two more in the fifth.

The game remained tied at 4-4 heading into the bottom of the 10th when things finally started to come undone for the Red. Junior Blake Hamilton gave up a one-out walk, followed by a double to into the gap to put runners on second and third. After walking the bases full, the Red got a force out at home plate, but couldn’t close out the inning. Brown’s Devin Thomas hit a looping single down the third base line to win the game.

“Blake made a nice pitch on [Thomas] and got it in on the hands and he kind of fisted one over Jimmy Hienz’s head at third base for the game winner,” Ford said. “It’s a tough one to take.”

Sophomore Walker Toma got the start for the Red and pitched 6 1/3 strong innings of work, allowing four runs on four hits with four strikeouts. Hamilton (0-1) took the loss, pitching 3 1/3 innings of relief, giving up only three hits while striking out five.

Brown used five pitchers on the day, as Rob Hallberg (1-3) picked up his first win of the season.

Mckown again paced the Red from the No. 3 spot, going 2-5 with a run, an RBI and a double. Senior Mike Weiss had two RBIs.

While committing four errors in Sunday’s games against Yale, the Red were errorless in the field against Brown. However, the Red stranded a total of 17 runners. Cornell’s No. 5 through No. 9 hitters managed a total of one hit on the day.

“We started swinging the bats a little better in the second game,” Ford said. “They gave us a lot of opportunities; they walked a lot of us, but we just left too many people on base.”

Archived article by Paul Testa
Sun Assistant Sports Editor