March 30, 2010

Baseball Seeks to End Losing Streak Against Dolphins

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After ending last season atop the Gehrig Division alongside Red Rolfe division champion Dartmouth, the baseball team will have an opportunity to take on its Ancient Eight foe in a rematch of last season’s Ivy League Championship Series — but first, it will travel to Syracuse, N.Y. for a non-conference game today at 4:00 p.m. against LeMoyne College. The Red (4-6) enters today’s contest riding a three-game losing streak after a rough series at Army over Spring Break, where Cornell earned just one victory in the four-game series.“Army is a good team and we played them well. They pitched well, they hit well and sometimes in such a close game you come out with a win and sometimes with a loss,” said sophomore catcher Brandon Lee.This season has seen the continued success of senior right fielder Brian Billigen who leads the team with a .394 batting average and is in a tie for the club lead with seven runs batted in. Senior center fielder Nate David leads the Red with two homeruns and is tied for the club lead in RBI (7) and runs scored (5). “I’ve been getting good pitches to hit and making sure I’m not chasing anything. The guys in front of me have been getting on and getting the job done,” David said.Lee has also been a top contributor to the Red’s offense, hitting at a .350 clip in six starts behind the plate.“I’ve been seeing the ball better lately, and they’ve been falling for hits,” Lee said.However, the Red’s catcher claims that it is his defensive performance and work with the pitching staff that makes him so valuable to the team. He thinks that offense is a distant second in terms of his priorities.“As a catcher it’s universal that my most important job is to handle the pitching staff, and give them the confidence that they can throw any pitch in any count,” Lee said.Junior starting pitcher Corey Pappel has been Cornell’s top hurler this season, leading the Red with a 3.38 ERA in three starts. Senior closer David Rochefort has been equally impressive, earning two saves in five innings pitched. LeMoyne (13-12) has picked up its play of late, earning victories in eight of its last 10 games. The Dolphins return home to face the Red after picking up a 7-6 win over Canisius yesterday behind starter Erik Lambe, who earned his third win of the season. Shortstop Matt Marra, center fielder Sean Paino and designated hitter Matthew Ciraco each contributed a run scoring hit to the Dolphins’ victory yesterday afternoon. “We played [LeMoyne] once last year, and beat them but everyone’s different from year to year,” Lee said.David was also weary of the well-balanced lineup that the Dolphins would be putting on the field.“They’re pretty solid all around. They have a lot of good hitters top to bottom, and their starting pitcher was drafted by the Rangers,” he added.After playing LeMoyne, Cornell returns to action on Saturday when it takes on Ivy foe Dartmouth in a doubleheader at Hoy Field.

Original Author: Evan Rich