It took but a mere 30-mile road trip up I-81 yesterday to snap the baseball team’s longest winning streak of the season at three games as the Le Moyne Dolphins swam past the Red in both games of a doubleheader, winning 4-3 and 2-0 respectively.
In the opener, Le Moyne (16-16) fought back from two early deficits and plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on consecutive RBI singles from senior right fielder Robert Perez and senior pinch hitter Aaron DiFruscio to give the Dolphins a 4-3 victory.
In his first collegiate start, freshman right-handed pitcher Taylor Wood tossed an effective three innings allowing one earned run on four hits while striking out four and walking two.
“I actually threw around 60 pitches on Saturday [against Penn],” Taylor said. “So my fastball didn’t have the jump on it that it usually did, but fortunately my changeup was good enough for me to be effective. In fact, I got all of my strikeouts on my changeup. Le Moyne is a pretty good hitting team and we had a rally at the end, but we just couldn’t get it done.”
Senior right fielder Brian Kaufman lined a solo shot over the right field wall in the top of the first to give the Red (10-19, 4-8 Ivy) an early 1-0 advantage. For Kaufman, it was his third longball in the last two games.[img_assist|nid=29899|title=Belly flop|desc=Junior third baseman Nathan Ford scored one of Cornell’s three runs in the doubleheader.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“I think a huge difference for me is that I’m hitting in the two-hole again, which is where I am kind of more comfortable,” Kaufman said. “I don’t know why, but over the course of my career that’s just where I hit best. I seem to see more fastballs in the two-hole and I’m a fastball hitter, so if I can be aggressive and get a good fastball to hit, I feel confident that is my best place to hit.”
Kaufman also got things started for Cornell in the top of the sixth after he was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on junior backstop Nathan Ford’s single to left field. Both base runners scored on freshman designated hitter Mickey Brodsky’s two-out single to right field.
“I thought that was going to be the turning point of the game, but unfortunately we just couldn’t close the door,” Kaufman said. “That’s just what it comes down to. There’s always one inning in which teams put together their rally, and unfortunately, their rally was a little bit later than ours.”
However, the Red failed to keep the Dolphins from crossing the plate in the bottom of the inning and suffered its ninth straight loss to Le Moyne.
In the second game, freshman southpaw Mike Carroll cruised through the Le Moyne lineup for four scoreless innings, allowing a mere four hits and one walk.
The Red held the Dolphins hitless for the rest of the contest, but an error by junior shortstop Scott Hardinger and three consecutive walks by freshman relief pitcher Dan Lea was all the offense Le Moyne needed en route to a 2-0 whitewashing.
Although Cornell’s offense registered only four hits in the contest, the Red had the bases loaded twice in the fourth and sixth innings. With only one out in the top of sixth frame, senior Kaleb Hutchinson struck out looking and sophomore Steven Dannaway flied out to left field to end the Red’s scoring threat.
“It was a pretty hard line drive right at the guy,” Dannaway said. “I got overexcited at first and then when I was running down the line I saw the left fielder get under it.”
On the day, Kaufman was 2-for-4 with a dinger, two runs batted in and two walks. Ford raised his team-leading batting average to .389 with a 3-for7 day at the plate and a run scored. Brodsky also knocked in a pair of runs for his 15th and 16th RBI’s of the season.
After managing only three runs and 10 hits in yesterday’s twinbill, the Red proved to be the real fish out of water as they have lost 10 straight contests to the Dolphins.