March 31, 2009

Cornell Hopes Momentum Will Carry Over From Saturday Win

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It might be fair to say that Cornell has moved on since Yale pieced together a walk-off home run in Game 1 and a two-run rally in the final inning of Game 2 to sweep last year’s doubleheader on April 6. However, last season’s heartache will certainly be in the back of the players’ minds as the Red hosts the Bulldogs today at noon in a midweek twinbill.[img_assist|nid=36395|title=Mr, Utility|desc=Sophomore Mickey Brodsky plays first base occasionally, but he will be on the mound against Yale in Game 1.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“That always leaves a sour taste in your mouth,” said senior catcher Adam Jacobs. “We want to show them what we’re made of. That definitely plays a part, but we haven’t been talking about last year [that much]. We’re just excited to play, and play at home and hopefully just pick up some more league wins.”
The doubleheader, which was originally scheduled for Sunday, was postponed until today due to inclement weather. After dropping its first game on Saturday against Brown, Cornell responded with its first Ivy League victory of the season, 8-4, in the nightcap. The Red was eager to build momentum after snapping an 11-game losing skid. However, Sunday’s forecast for rain and cold temperatures delayed Cornell’s opportunity to put together back-to-back wins for only the second time this season.
“We were pretty disappointed that we weren’t going to get to play on Sunday, because we wanted to keep the momentum going from that win that we got in Game 2 on Saturday,” Jacobs said. “Everyone is excited, everyone is confident and we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves. We finally got that monkey off of our back, getting that first win. We’re feeling good. We’re ready to play Yale. We’re very excited that it’s tomorrow, and we don’t have to wait until later in the season [to make up the games]. I think everyone’s feeling great about themselves and we’re ready to play.”
Sophomore southpaw Mickey Brodsky (1-0, 3.27 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Red in the opener, and junior right-handed pitcher Tony Bertucci (0-1, 7.71 ERA) will start in the nightcap.
Brodsky, also the Red’s cleanup hitter, will make his second start of the campaign. He picked up a victory Feb. 28 against Navy after tossing three scoreless innings in relief without surrendering a hit and displayed strong command early against St. Mary’s over Spring Break before allowing four earned runs and eight hits in a six-inning no decision.
“Mickey has been throwing very well,” said pitching coach Scott Marsh. “He’s a typical crafty lefty. He throws four pitches for strikes, and he does a very nice job keeping hitters off balance. He had a great start against St. Mary’s in California. He’s been throwing very well, so he deserves to be on the mound for us.”
Cornell hurlers will face a difficult lineup as Yale ranks second in the Ivies with a .305 team batting average and 12 dingers. Sophomore second baseman Gant Elmore paces the Elis with a .432 average. The potent Bulldogs’ attack features five other players hitting over .300, including freshman left fielder Zach Tobolowsky, who earned Rookie of the Week honors earlier this season.
“Yale has been swinging the bat well,” Marsh said. “There are several guys, who are hitting over .300, so I think they’re swinging the bat pretty confidently. They like to run a fair amount, so we expect them to try and put pressure on us, swinging the bat, getting the runners moving and trying to create some situations for themselves. They’re generally a pretty aggressive team. Typically, they pitch well although they have been struggling a little. Then, again they also had a kid go out and almost throw a perfect game against Princeton the other day. Certainly, once you get into league [competition], it’s a little bit different.”
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Vinny Lally nearly tossed a perfect game on Saturday for the Bulldogs, retiring the first 19 batters before giving up a double with only two outs remaining in the seven-inning game. Amazingly, Lally’s seven-inning gem only reduced his ERA to 7.90 as he had been inconsistent in the season’s early goings.
However, after producing its second highest output of the season in its last contest against Brown, Cornell hopes to ignite its offensive firepower against the Bulldogs today. In addition to the clearing skies and moderate temperatures on tap for the twinbill today, baseball fans can expect a steady outburst of scoring. Considering the Red’s pitching staff enters the doubleheader with a 7.52 team ERA and the Bulldogs with a 7.68 ERA, a deluge of runs should be in the forecast.