Coming off a comeback walk-off victory against Binghamton last Wednesday, baseball (9-20, 4-11 Ivy) looked to build momentum as it hosted Dartmouth (19-14, 10-5 Ivy) this weekend at Hoy Field.
The team went on to split a doubleheader on Saturday and dropped the third game on Sunday in a closely fought, back-and-forth finale.
The Red’s offense broke out in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, totaling 12 runs. Four players, freshman first-baseman Max Jensen, grad left-fielder Jason Apostle, junior right-fielder Sam Kaplan and sophomore designated hitter/catcher Nathan Waugh, all blasted home runs.
By the end of the fourth inning, Cornell held a commanding 8-0 lead. But, Dartmouth put up a good fight. They scored four runs in the sixth to cut the lead in half, and three more in the ninth. However, the Red continued on with a win, 12-7.
“I thought we hit really well this weekend,” said freshman relief pitcher and shortstop Ryan Porter, who recorded 4 RBI over the weekend and went 3-5 in the final game.
In game two, Dartmouth flipped the script and scored 12 runs. The Red’s offense was shut down by the opposing starting pitcher Trystan Sarcone, who threw eight innings, conceded only two runs and struck out ten Cornell batters.
“Their…pitcher in the second game, he was effective at off-speed pitches,” Porter said. “Overall, they’re a really good hitting team so it puts a lot of pressure on the defense.”
Over the course of the series, the Red recorded five errors, while Dartmouth only recorded one.
In the rubber game on Sunday, Cornell’s offense got off to a hot start. They took an early 4-0 lead by the end of the third inning and tacked on three more points courtesy of an error by the Dartmouth right fielder, giving the Red a solid 7-2 lead. However, in the top of the fifth, the Green rallied to tie the game at seven a-piece with an RBI double, a three-run homer, and an RBI single. They then went on to score a go-ahead run with an RBI triple in the top sixth.
Not going down without a fight, one of the Red’s hottest hitters, Kaplan, hit a game-tying solo homer in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game, 8-8. This was Kaplan’s third homer of the series.
However, the tied score did not last long. In the top of the eighth, Dartmouth scored the go-ahead run off of a wild pitch from senior reliever Kevin Cushing. They went on to tack on another insurance run in the top ninth with an RBI single, finalizing the Dartmouth victory, 10-8.
“I think overall the team played really well,” Porter said. “I think…we had instances where we pitched well, hit well, fielded well –– just overall, we didn’t put it together enough to win all three games. But, we did have a lot of bright spots.”
Looking ahead to next weekend, Cornell will host No. 1 Columbia (22-13, 13-2 Ivy). With only a couple Ivy series left, the team still hopes to improve in all facets of the game.
“I think just polishing up [and] putting it all together,” Porter said on improvements to be made. “Pitching as effectively as possible, no walks, and putting the ball in play when we’re hitting, [and] putting pressure on their defense.”
Game one of Saturday’s doubleheader begins at 11:30 a.m., with game two scheduled for 2:30 p.m. The series finale will take place at noon on Sunday, May 1.