Senior Ryan Ross looks to throw the ball at the game vs. Penn at Booth Field on April 29, 2023. (Julia Nagel/Sun Photography Editor)

April 23, 2024

Baseball Secures Fourth Straight Ivy League Series Victory In Weekend Set Against Yale

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Following a come-from-behind victory in a four-run ninth inning on Tuesday against Binghamton, baseball (13-14, 10-5 Ivy) traveled back home for a weekend set against Yale. Having won three of its first four Ivy League series thus far, the Red looked to continue its strong stretch. 

Cornell picked up yet another comeback victory in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader after a seven-run eighth inning brought the Red back into the game, setting up an extra-inning walk-off hit in the tenth. Saturday evening saw Cornell pull away in the later innings to secure an 8-2 win, but Sunday’s matchup went to the Bulldogs in a tight 6-3 battle.

“Yale came in hot having won a series against Columbia who is in first place. We knew it would be a challenge but we were ready for it,” said head coach Dan Pepicelli.

Yale controlled Saturday’s game for seven of the ten innings but came out with the loss. The Bulldogs began the scoring in the second inning when outfielder Kaiden Dossa knocked in a run with a single. The next batter Garrett Larsen added on with a single of his own to pick up Yale’s second run of the game.

The Red’s pitching struggled throughout the game with sophomore pitcher Carson Mayfield surrendering seven hits and five earned runs in only three and one-third innings of work. In relief, freshman pitcher Huxley Holcombe only went three innings, giving up three runs and walking five batters through his three innings of work.

Falling behind 8-0, the bottom of the eighth proved to be the turning point for the Red. After two runners reached base, junior infielder Max Jensen doubled home Cornell’s first run of the game. Three batters later, freshman catcher Mark Quatrani came up with a single in the clutch to bring home two more runs and cut the deficit to five. 

But the Red wasn’t done just yet. A single by sophomore infielder TJ Swidorski loaded the bases, leading to the largest moment of the game. Senior infielder Matt Barnhorst launched a pitch to right field for a grand slam, marking his fourth home run of the year and cutting the lead to one. 

In the ninth, a hit and a walk by Cornell set the table for sophomore outfielder Caden Wildman who tied the game on a single through the left side, sending it to extra innings. 

“I was most impressed with the battle and fight in the team,” Pepicelli said. “There was some frustration that we did not have more success earlier in the game, but the team was ready to go [when the time came].”

In the top of the tenth inning, the Bulldogs led off with a triple but only managed to score one run to take the short lead. In the bottom of the inning, two quick outs put the Red at the doorstep of defeat, but a rally kept its hopes alive. A single and walk brought up junior outfielder John Quinlan who doubled home two runs and sent the Red home happy.

“It was a huge win,” Pepicelli said. “They are all big but we know we can come back and we are dangerous in that way. There is a special chemistry right now that the coaching staff is enjoying watching. I think it speaks to the leadership of the upperclassmen.”

In Saturday’s second game of the doubleheader, both Yale and Cornell picked up two runs in the early innings before the Red began to slowly pull away. In the fourth inning, Quinlan continued his hot day at the plate with a home run to right field to put the Red in the lead, 4-2. 

On the mound, sophomore pitcher Noah Keller excelled, allowing only four hits and two runs over his six innings of work. 

Cornell added another run in the sixth and three in the eighth to lead the team to an 8-2 victory and a sweep of the doubleheader.

In Sunday’s series finale, a comeback attempt in the late innings proved to be too little too late in the 6-3 loss. Both teams recorded a run in the second inning with a hit by Larsen knocking in a run for Yale, and Quatrani launching a solo shot over the right-field fence.

Yale continued to add on throughout the game, scoring in the third and fifth and adding three more runs in the seventh to take a 6-1 lead and went on to win 6-3.

With the series win, the Red improves to 10-5 in the Ivy League. It is in second place in the league behind Columbia (19-14, 12-3 Ivy League), whom Cornell will face next.

“[Columbia] will be a big challenge,” Pepicelli said. “We are trying to make sure over the weekend that we are the good version of ourselves. If we are, it will be a very competitive series and we will put ourselves in a position to have a very favorable weekend.”

The series will take place at Booth Field beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 27 at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. followed by Sunday’s finale at noon.