April 8, 2009

Red Looks to Regain Momentum

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The baseball team will need a short memory and some long underwear for today’s game. The Red (4-16, 2-6 Ivy) will host the Binghamton Bearcats (9-10). Cornell will try to move past the disappointment of last weekend, which saw the team lose four crucial games to conference foes. In order for the Red to have a chance to break its losing streak, the weather must give the team a chance to play. Ithaca is expected to see snow and temperatures in the 30s today.
“We have a pretty good chance of playing tomorrow, especially with the turf field,” said senior shortstop Scott Hardinger. “Assuming that there’s no snow or heavy rain, we should be able to play.”
Cold weather is nothing new to the Red.
“I think that most of our players are used to playing in the cold weather,” said junior pitcher Matt Hill. “I don’t think it will be that big of a deal. You’d like for it to be warm weather and nice outside, but I think we’re used to it by now.”
The last time these teams met, which was in 2007, Hill made his first collegiate start at pitcher. He made it one to remember when he allowed only one hit in five innings of shutout ball. Hill earned his first career victory as Cornell prevailed, 3-0.[img_assist|nid=36656|title=Hit me with your best shot|desc=Senior Scott Hardinger went 6-for-8 in Sunday’s doubleheader against Dartmouth to lead the Red offense.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Today, sophomore Taylor Wood will take the mound for the Red. Wood has been in and out of the rotation after a slow start to his season. He has an ERA of 9.00 in 19 innings of work.
“He’s getting his mindset correct,” Hill said of Wood. “He’s got great stuff on the mound so [the key is] just going out there and competing like he knows how.”
Cornell’s players must block memories of last weekend’s game out of their minds. The Red coughed up leads of at least three runs in each of its first three games of the weekend. In the fourth game, Cornell found itself in an early 9-0 hole it could not escape. The result was a four-loss weekend.
“It’s a new week,” Hardinger said. “The team has done a good job of having a short memory. [Today], we’re starting from scratch.”
Hill believes that a strong practice yesterday is evidence the team is headed in the right direction.
“It was a disappointing weekend, but we had a great practice [Tuesday] where we focused on just playing the game and having fun again,” Hill said. “Last weekend wasn’t fun because we probably should have won a lot of those games. I don’t think we’re going to have a problem getting back on track.”
Often, a slumping team needs only one win to shift momentum back in its direction.
“I think all we need is one win to get the ball rolling,” Hill said. “It’s been tough because we’ve been on the verge of a lot of wins, but sometimes when you’re winning things are all going your way, and when you’re losing, they’re not. If we can get some momentum, we can really start gaining ground on Columbia [the current division leader]. I don’t think there’s any desperation. We are just going to go out there and play.”