Cameron Pollack/Sun Senior Photographer

Encroaching nightfall forced umpires to call off the Red's game after nine and a half innings, depriving Cornell's lineup of a chance to break the 5-5 tie.

April 12, 2018

Darkness Forces Umps to Cut Game Short, Leaving Baseball Tied Against Binghamton

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After an unsatisfying end to a non-conference game, the Red will have the chance to do some damage against Ivy foe Dartmouth this weekend.

Cornell’s (5-14-1, 1-5 Ivy) Tuesday matchup against regional rival Binghamton (9-15-1) was called on account of darkness after nine and a half innings played, with the final score tied 5-5.

Cornell and Binghamton players alike were both visibly disappointed in the umpires’ decision to end the game early, especially after the top half of the tenth had already been played.

Head Coach Mike Pepicelli expressed his frustration after the game, but was not overly concerned with the extra inning’s impact on the Cornell bullpen.

“We have three days off … we’ll be fine,” Pepicelli said. “I’d prefer not to play a half inning we didn’t have to play … but that’s the way it goes.”

The Red got off to an early 4-0 lead with help from a two-run homer by junior Josh Arndt, the long ball extending his hit streak to 11 games. Binghamton fired back with two runs in the fourth, two in the sixth on a home run, and another in the seventh. Cornell answered in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI double from senior Kyle Gallagher to tie the game at five.

The team threatened to score in the bottom of the ninth with a well-worked one-out walk from sophomore Kaleb Lepper, followed by a base hit from freshman Ramon Garza. But sloppy base-running quickly halted whatever momentum the team had been building: Lepper was thrown out trying to advance to third, while Garza was caught stealing to end the inning.

Sophomore reliever Andrew Ellison, one of Cornell’s go-to options from the bullpen this season, was on the mound for the ninth and tenth innings, working into and out of bases loaded jams without letting up a run. But Ellison’s clutch pitching proved all for naught as the umpires’ decision to stop play deprived Cornell’s lineup of another chance at the plate.

Looking to rebound from Tuesday’s anticlimactic conclusion, the Red will take on Dartmouth (7-15-1, 3-2-1) this weekend in a three game series, where it has its sights set on recovering from a string of conference defeats.

Like Cornell, Dartmouth’s season has been one of somewhat mixed results. While they took two of three matches against Columbia, in its series against Penn the team blew two ninth inning leads in a row.

Despite the Green’s recent blunders, coach Pepicelli is still most focused on preparing the Red for Dartmouth’s strong pitching.

“They can pitch. We’re still not clicking like we can offensively. I think it’s been a challenge for us all year to find ourselves offensively, so were really gonna have to get after it,” Pepicelli said.

While Cornell’s performance has not fully lived up to expectations thus far, the squad is determined to remain optimistic and continue fighting onwards.

“They’re a good program,” Pepicelli said, “but if we play like we’re capable of I feel good about the weekend.”

Cornell hits the diamond against Dartmouth this Saturday for a doubleheader at Hoy Field, followed by a third game on Sunday.