April 14, 2010

Baseball Comes Back From Behind to Sweep LeMoyne in Doubleheader

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Much of this season’s coverage of Cornell sports has focused on how the University does not offer scholarships to athletes, and underscores how impressive the Red’s recent athletic success truly is. Baseball’s doubleheader sweep of LeMoyne — a team that boasts 32 MLB Draft selections and 16 NCAA tournament appearances — yesterday is another example of Cornell athletes outplaying their opponents despite the tremendous difference that exists in recruitment tactics.The Red (8-14, 2-6 Ivy) defeated the Dolphins (19-19), 10-7, at Hoy Field in game one of the twin bill, and then followed suit with a 6-5 win in the second game. The heart of the order led the way for the Cornell offense — junior first basemen Mickey Brodsky and sophomores Frank Hager (third base) and Brandon Lee (catcher) — combining for four RBI on four hits and scoring four of the team’s 10 runs. Sophomore shortstop Marshall Yanzick added a one for three effort from the ninth spot in the lineup, and senior center fielder Nate David compiled two hits and drove in a run. Freshman left fielder Brenton Peters made the most of his opportunity to start the game, compiling two hits in three at-bats and scoring two runs in the process.Sophomore starting pitcher Rick Marks struggled, allowing five runs on eight hits in three innings of work, however his bullpen allowed only one earned run in four innings of relief. Sophomore Brian Billigen trotted in from right field and put his versatility on display, throwing two scoreless innings and striking out two batters in the process. Senior closer David Rochefort finished off the ballgame with a scoreless seventh inning, recording his third save of the season.In the losing effort for LeMoyne, right fielder Brett Botsford picked up two hits and drove in two runs, while left fielder Chris Edmondson scored two of the Dolphins’ runs in a two for three effort at the plate. Center fielder Sean Paino and designated hitter Kody O’Connor also added two hits apiece to the team’s seven run output.LeMoyne starter Jerome Werniuk — a recent Texas Rangers draftee — was touched up for three earned runs in four innings of work, striking out five and walking two in the process. However, the Dolphins’ bullpen could not hold the Red after Werniuk departed, surrendering six earned runs in the bottom of the sixth. Only a few minutes later, the teams took the field again for game two of the doubleheader. After three scoreless innings freshman left fielder Connor McCabe cashed in with the bases loaded when he launched his first career grand slam to give the Red a 4-1 lead. Junior starter Taylor Wood held the Dolphins to two earned runs over 4.1 innings of work, but his bullpen was unable to sustain the Red’s 4-2 lead. LeMoyne was able to get back into the game by scratching out a run in the fifth inning and then picking up three runs off Cornell freshman reliever Anthony Irigoyen in the sixth. Rochefort pitched a scoreless seventh inning and handed it off to the Red offense, with Cornell trailing, 5-4. The home team loaded the bases with no outs, and Billigen came through with an opposite field double to bring in the winning runs and give the Red a 6-5 win.    The Red resumes Ivy League play this weekend against Penn (14-14, 4-4) in a four-game series which includes two doubleheaders scheduled for Saturday and Sunday afternoons in Philadelphia, Pa. Game one begins Saturday at 12 p.m., with the second game following at 2:30 p.m. The two squads regroup for another twin bill on Sunday, with the games slated for the same start times as those on Saturday. The Red enters its match-up with the Quakers with an opportunity to get out of last place in the Gehrig Division. Cornell currently sits in fourth place behind Columbia, the second place Quakers and Princeton. Penn enters this weekend’s four-game series on a two-game winning streak after wins over Ivy foe Dartmouth and La Salle. Dan Williams and Tom Grandieri lead the way for the Quakers, currently holding batting averages over .380 — Grandieri leads the team with five homeruns and 29 runs batted in. However, the team’s pitching has not been much of a strong suit, as none of its starting pitchers possess an ERA under 4.00. Starter Chris McNulty leads the Quakers with three wins on the year, while the team’s bullpen is led by Reid Terry who is 4-1 on the year with a miniscule 0.40 ERA. The Red returns to action on Tuesday when it welcomes Siena to Hoy Field for a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.

Original Author: Evan Rich