The atmosphere inside the Dolphin tank – also known as LeMoyne’s Dick Rockwell Field – this afternoon will be in stark contrast from that of at Hoy Field a week ago when the baseball team (8-20, 4-8 Ivy) last took on the Dolphins (18-11, 7-5 MAAC) in a doubleheader. Traveling to Syracuse today for the 2:00 p.m. start time, the baseball team not only will see Gold and Green clad fans in the stands, but also might see a different Cornell team when it looks itself in the mirror.
Going into last week’s games against LeMoyne, the team was in the midst of an eight-game losing streak. The Dolphins came into the game having lost two-of-three. After losing a nail biter in Game 1, 2-0, the Red folded in Game 2, losing 19-5. LeMoyne took the momentum to go on to win three of its last four games coming into today’s contests.
For the Red, today writes a much different story. After winning a series against Ivy rival Penn this past weekend three games to one, the Red has found a new confidence and stroke that the Dolphins have yet to see. The Red is hoping to continue swinging its hot bats, which saw the team score a Cornell-record 56 runs over last weekend’s action.
“We’d certainly like to stay with the approach we had over the weekend,” said head coach Tom Ford. “We feel like last weekend we finally got back into the swing of things so to speak, where we were relaxed and confident not only at the plate but in the field as well. We had a few good pitching performances as well. The big thing is the approach.”
Two players to watch for the Red will be sophomore Brian Kaufman and freshman Domenic DiRicco. The two players led a Cornell offense last weekend that pounded out 64 total hits and hit an astounding .413 in four games. Kaufman put in one of the most impressive weekend performances in school history, hitting three doubles, five triples and three home runs in the series against the Quakers.
DiRicco hit .529 (9-of-17) during the four game set, knocking two doubles, collecting six RBIs and scoring five runs. The Portola Valley, California native ended the week with three straight multi-hit games, including going 5-for-6 in Saturday’s 23-10 win.
While the excitement surrounding LeMoyne won’t be near that of a weekend conference game, the team still has the mindset that a midweek game is still a game – one that should be won and one in which everyone is dialed in.
“We want to get everybody work. With baseball, obviously, you can accomplish a lot in practice, but this is a game that is meant to be played often where you can get guys live at-bats,” Ford said. “You want your fielders to stay sharp. It’s always fun to play a quality team like LeMoyne, and hopefully we measure up a little better this week than we did last week.”
Archived article by Tim Kuhls Sun Assistant Sports Editor