April 9, 2007

Baseball Defeats Dartmouth, Falls to Harvard

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It was an up and down weekend on the road for the men’s baseball team. A day after sweeping Dartmouth in a doubleheader, the Red (11-14, 5-3 Ivy) fell twice to Harvard. Despite the two losses yesterday, Cornell remains in first place in the Gehrig Division.
“It is just a case of one good day of baseball and one not so good day of baseball,” said sophomore Nathan Ford. “Against Dartmouth we did a great job and we found a way to win both games, but against Harvard we gave up some runs the second game and just didn’t play well enough offensively or defensively to get the win.”
Junior Jimmy Heinz had a huge weekend for the Red, knocking two home runs against Dartmouth (5-16, 2-6), including a key dinger to tie the game at two apiece in the front end of the double header, and a grand slam in a 12-3 rout in the second game. Heinz continued to swing a hot bat yesterday, and was an impressive 9-for-17 at the plate over the weekend with seven RBI and six runs scored.
“He played awesome,” Ford said. “It seemed like every time he got up, there he got a hit. I think moving him up to the two spot gives our lineup a whole different look. I thought he had a great weekend.”
On a gusty day in Cambridge, Mass., the Crimson (9-11, 5-3) took the wind out of the Red’s sails after Saturday’s sweep, earning a close 4-2 win in the opener before routing the Red 11-4 in the secon d game. Like on Saturday, game one was close while game two was a rout; on this day, however, the Red were on the wrong side of the outcome.
Senior Jim Hyland, who had recorded shut-outs in his previous two starts, shut down the Green in game one on Saturday, going the distance while allowing just two earned runs, seven hits and no walks.
“Every time he goes out there he gives us a chance to win,” Ford said. “It’s great having a guy like that on your mound. He’s definitely key for our team and has been a great success this year.”
Dartmouth would take a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning after four singles, but Cornell rallied to tie the game in the sixth after Heinz took one deep to bring home sophomore Domenic Di Ricco, who had led off the inning with a double. In the seventh and final inning, Di Ricco hit a two-out line-drive single to score junior Adam Jacobs. Heinz would once again show his touch at the plate, as he drove home an insurance run with a clutch single.
The momentum from the late inning comeback would carry over into game two, as Cornell scored one run each in the first two innings, before putting up seven more in the third to put the game away. Freshman Tony Bertucci was strong in the start, going 7 1/3 innings and allowing just three earned runs before senior Adam Loeding came in to pitch the final 1 2/3 innings. Freshman Steven Dannaway hit the first home run of his Cornell career in the second as the Red went on to trounce Dartmouth 12-3. In a game in which eight of Cornell’s nine starters recorded a hit, Ford continued to find success at the plate, going 3-for-5 in the win and adding an RBI.
Yesterday began much like Saturday, as the Red fell behind 2-0 after the Crimson put together three doubles in the third. Once again, the Red rallied to tie the game in the sixth, this time on the strength of a Ford solo-shot and an RBI groundout off the bat of senior Kaleb Hutchinson, who had two hits in the contest. The Crimson, however, would not be denied after freshman Matt Hill hit a batter to lead off the inning, Harvard went to work. A sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second and a single put men on first and third. Hill would strikeout the next batter, but senior Blake Hamilton came in and allowed a two-out two-RBI double. While the Red would threaten in the seventh, the Crimson were able to hang onto the victory. Hill would take the loss for the Red after freshman Dave Rochefort worked five solid innings.
In game two, Harvard scored three runs in the second and fourth innings en route to a decisive 11-4 win. Junior Walker Toma, who took the loss, was chased after 3 2/3 innings of work and six earned runs. Freshman Justin Milo, who also plays for the Red hockey team, hit two singles in the loss while Heinz ended his big weekend on a positive note, going 3-for-5 with two runs.