March 15, 2011

Freshmen Add Spice to Baseball Team

Print More

Coming off two losses to the University of Virginia and two losses to Rider University during this season’s first weekend play, the Red picked up a 9-3 win again the St. Joseph’s Hawks on Saturday, its first of the season.  In addition to this Saturday’s win at Cambell’s field, the Red fell to Temple, 6-9, Friday and to Villanova, 3-6, on Sunday during a three-game away weekend in the Philadelphia area.   The Red goes into spring break with a 1-6 record and .236 team batting average.

The Cornell men began the weekend with a final inning four run rally against Temple, but three outs were not enough to overcome their seven run deficit. Freshman outfielder Ben Swinford jump-started the Red’s offensive season with an RBI and three hits on four at bats for the Red. Another freshman, Ryan Plantier at first and third base went two-for-four. Swinford and Plantier have had older teammates to look up to, such as Mickey Brodsky.

“He’s a good role model for Plantier and Swinford, he helps them out with what to look for, what the pitcher’s throwing, how they might approach them … those guys are doing a heck of a job coming in as freshman and producing,” said senior Jadd Schmeltzer.

Brodsky posted a .477 on-base-percentage and all-Ivy honors during his third season with the Red.

Saturday’s game involved another four-run rally for the Red, this time in the seventh inning. Swinford remained consistent by going two-for-four, along with his teammates’ senior catcher Brandon Lee and sophomore infielder Brenton Peters. Overall, Cornell senior right-handers Taylor Wood and Dan Lea struck out seven and allowed nine hits accounting for the Hawks three runs. Wood started, pitching a solid six innings and will take the win.

Sunday, the Red’s bats were not as active, notching only six hits. Six errors also led to three unearned runs for Villanova, resulting in a loss for the Red.

“It’s tough [losing to Villanova] because you know coming off the win against St. Joe’s that we had momentum going and didn’t have any errors in that game; [we] got the bats going,” Schmeltzer said. “The next day we get to Villanova with some bad weather conditions and it was a tough one … We should have beat the team, [but we] still only 7 games under our belts.”

Cornell is not scheduled to play at home until March 30th versus Le Moyne, followed closely by their first Ivy League Game versus Yale on April 2nd, also at David F. Hoy Field. The Red spent the better part of Monday afternoon on its turf, taking advantage of this past weekends thaw to finally get a full field practice in.

The Red will be shipping back down to Virginia for another three-game series this weekend; this time around, all three games will be played against the Radford University Highlanders (9-6 overall) including a double-header on Saturday. Like the Red, Radford has also yet to play a game in its own conference, yet the Highlanders remain undefeated at home.

Corey Turner leads the Highlanders at the plate with a .404 bating average over 52 at bats, followed by his teamate Matt Hillsinger with .372 and 22 hits. Thanks in part to five RBI’s by Jeff Kemp at shortstop, Radford notched an astounding 22 runs in their last contest. Cornell has scored 23 runs and given up 58 to date this season. Bobby Bolling pitched six innings for Radford, giving up two of four hits. His teammate Jacob Smith would let one run score before the end of the contest. Bolling sports the highest earned run average of 2.66 on his team, compared with Cornell’s highest of 2.45, held by Jadd Schmeltzer.

In order to topple the Highlanders, the Red will need to be equally strong in the bullpen and behind the plate.

Certain Red sluggers have proven extremely reliable in the first few games of the season in Schmeltzer’s eyes.

“Mickey [Brodsky] is our big guy, he’s always gonna be there no matter what the situation is — whether two outs in the ninth inning or the first batter in the game — always gonna be up there swinging and getting on base,” he said.

Brodsky had three hits on four at bats during Sunday’s 3-6 loss to Villanova.

Original Author: Rob Moore