The baseball team extended its winning streak to three games after a 7-5 victory over LeMoyne College in Syracuse yesterday. The Red scored one run each in the first, third and fifth innings before exploding for three runs in the seventh. Hitters Brian Billigen, Mickey Brodsky and Brandon Lee each notched a pair of hits for the Cornell offense, and Mike Carroll pitched two innings of relief work to pick up the win.
In the top of the first inning, a Frank Hager single that scored senior Nathan Ford from second base enabled to Red to get out to a 1-0 lead. However, that lead did not last long as the Dolphins tied the game in the bottom half of the inning. Cornell freshman catcher Brandon Lee explained the importance of getting on the scoreboard in the first inning.
“Scoring in the first inning just sets the tone for us in the game,” Lee said. “We get out there, score first and put the pressure on the other team right away; they are going to have to make the plays, and they are going to have to score runs.”[img_assist|nid=36849|title=Nate the great|desc=Senior Nathan Ford tripled to right in the seventh inning to drive in Brian Billigen and Scott Hardinger. Ford would go on to score later in the inning, giving the Red a three-run lead.|link=node|align=right|width=|height=0]
The Red added another run in the third inning as sophomore Mickey Brodsky lifted a ball out to right field, where the Dolphins’ second basemen and right fielder collided, scoring Ford from first and allowing Brodsky to reach third base. Lee extended the Red lead to 3-1 by leading off the fifth inning with a solo home run.
“I went to the plate with the mentality that I was going to look for a fastball first pitch, something that I could drive,” Lee explained. “The pitcher seemed to be pretty consistent with his pitch patterns. I got that pitch, put a good swing on it and the ball went out.”
However, the Dolphins erased that lead by scoring one run in both the fifth and sixth innings.
With the game tied at three, the Cornell bats exploded for three runs in the seventh inning to break the game open. A deep triple to right field from the bat of Ford drove in two Red base-runners. Brodsky then brought Ford around to score after a double to the far reaches of left-center. As a result, Cornell came out of the seventh with a 6-3 lead.
“That was just guys getting on, moving over and coming through with clutch hitting when we needed it and getting those three runs,” Lee said.
The Red narrowly managed to keep hold of its lead as Dolphin hitters Rich Brown and Matt Marra both burned Red sophomore pitcher Dan Lea for solo home runs in the eighth inning, closing the gap to 6-5.
Cornell extended its lead to 7-5 in the ninth inning as a two-out single from Domenic Di Ricco brought Brodsky across the plate. Lee emphasized the significance of Di Ricco supplying that insurance run for the Red heading into the bottom of the ninth.
“The big thing for us was getting the run we scored in the top of the ninth inning on the chop single by Dom Di Ricco,” Lee noted. “It gave us that two-run cushion that we needed.”
With this non-conference win, the Red improved its overall record to 9-17. Cornell will be back on the field in New York City this weekend for a four-game stint with Ivy League foe Columbia.
Now rolling on a three-game winning streak, the Red is hoping that this momentum will translate into more victories.
“Right now we all believe that we have a good ball club,” Lee said. “We believe that we always have a good shot at getting a W.”