Jason Wu/Sun Senior Photographer

Matt Barnhorst '24 records a hit during Cornell's first game against Yale at Hoy Field on April 2, 2022.

May 7, 2024

Baseball Punches Ticket to Ivy League Tournament With Win in Series Finale Over Brown

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Having lost its last four games against Ivy League opponents, baseball (15-19, 11-10 Ivy) traveled to Providence to face off against Brown (11-28, 6-15 Ivy). The losing skid comes following an 11-2 stretch against Ivy League opponents including series wins against Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn and Yale. 

A spot in the Ivy League Tournament was at stake in the series, and after the Red dropped both of Saturday’s games, Sunday’s finale became increasingly important. Strong pitching and timely hitting proved to be the difference as Cornell was victorious, 9-4.

The win clinches Cornell a spot in the Ivy League Tournament, marking the Red’s first appearance in the postseason since 2012.

“I want to enjoy the process and reward of playing well all year long in conference play,” said head coach Dan Pepicelli following Sunday’s win. “No one believes the job is done. We think we can still compete and win the Ivy League title. We are excited for it.”

In Sunday’s game, sophomore pitcher Ethan Hamill took the mound for the Red after a difficult performance against Columbia the week prior where he surrendered eight runs on seven hits in four innings. For Brown, pitcher Santhosh Gottam took the hill, posting a 2-7 record entering the matchup.

Both Cornell and Brown’s offenses were quiet in the first inning, as Gottam retired the Red in order while Hamill’s inning was aided by a double play. In the second, a walk and stolen base by Brown led to a run after left fielder Quinn Rooks doubled down the left-field line.

The Red offense did not get going until the fourth inning when singles by freshman catcher Mark Quatrani and freshman shortstop Kevin Hager set up powerful senior second baseman Matt Barnhorst. Barnhorst powered the ball over the left field wall, giving the Red the 3-1 advantage. 

“Barnhorst has been incredibly clutch for us all year,” Pepicelli said. “He has had some huge home runs at just the right time and has provided tremendous leadership all year. I am excited he will be able to play in the postseason.”

Cornell would add another run in the fifth inning after junior first baseman Max Jensen batted in Quinlan on a single to left field. This ended Gottam’s afternoon as he completed four and one-third innings and gave up four runs on nine hits. 

In the bottom of the fifth, Brown took advantage of a throwing error by freshman infielder Luke Johnson and knocked in two runs with a sacrifice bunt and single to right field. This cut the Red’s lead to 4-3 as the game went to the latter innings.

Yet the Red continued to add to their run total, extending the lead to 6-3 on a single from Jensen in the sixth inning.

On the mound for the Red, Hamill rebounded strongly from his last start. The pitcher put together six innings of four-hit ball, allowing only three runs and striking out three batters.

Facing adversity, Hamill got the job done.

“Hamill was at the hotel sick the day before, but he did a really good job bouncing back and competing like he did on Sunday,” Pepicelli said.

Junior pitcher William Juan entered in relief in the seventh inning and shut the door on any opportunity for the Bears to come back. Juan went three innings, giving up one run on two hits to lead the team to a 9-4 victory.

With the win, the Red advances to the Ivy League Tournament which will begin Friday, May 17 in New York City. The Red will await its opponent based on the outcome of the Yale and Harvard series this coming weekend.