Baseball Returns To New York With A Split Against Army
March 24, 2007
WEST POINT, N.Y. - A return to the Empire State appeared to be just what the doctor ordered as the Cornell baseball team earned a split with Army on Saturday to snap a four-game losing skid. The Big Red won the first game in a 2-0 pitcher's duel, before falling in game two, 3-2, in 10 innings. With the split, the Big Red moves to 6-9 on the season, while Army is now 7-9 on the year.
In the opener, the Big Red scored the game's only two runs in the third inning, capitalizing on one hit and three walks to get on the scoreboard. Adam Jacobs led off the inning with a single, then moved to second when Scott Hardinger walked. Domenic Di Ricco then hit into a fielder's choice, with Jacobs being thrown out at third. A walk to Brian Kaufman loaded the bases for Brant McKown, who drew a one-out walk himself to send in Hardinger for the game's first run. Nathan Ford then hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Di Ricco, but McKown was thrown out trying to advance to second.
Still, the two runs tacked on in the third were more than enough as Jim Hyland put together his best outing of the year to date. The senior worked a complete game, allowing four hits and a walk and striking out four. Hyland only allowed an Army player to advance as far as second base just once, that coming in the third inning.
Game two opened up much the same way, as Cornell took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning. Nathan Ford struck out for the second out but took first base on a wild pitch on strike three. Ford then advanced to second on a passed ball and scored when Kyle Groth singled to center. Jimmy Heinz then tripled, scoring Groth to put the Big Red ahead by two.
Army finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth, taking advantage of a pair of walks by Cornell starter David Rochefort to cut the lead in half. The Black Knights then tied the game in the sixth inning as they loaded the bases on a walk, a hit batsman and a single. After a balk was called on reliever Stephen Osterer that allowed Army to score the tying run, the sophomore got the next two batters to strike out and avoid any further damage.
In the ninth inning, Cornell got the winning run to third base with two out, but could not knock in the runner. Army also got the winning run to third base in the bottom half of the inning with two out, but Blake Hamilton was able to get the final out to send the game into extra innings.
Cornell went down in order in the top of the 10th, but Army was able to get runners on base in the bottom half of the frame. A walk and a single put two men on with one out when a grounder was hit back to Hamilton. The senior's throw to second to start a double play went into center field, allowing the game-winning run to come around to score.
Rochefort went five innings in the start, allowing four hits and three walks while striking out four. Osterer worked 1.1 innings, walking two and striking out two while allowing one hit. Hamilton took the loss, working three innings of three-hit relief with four strikeouts.
Offensively in game two, Jimmy Heinz collected a pair of hits as the Big Red tallied just five base hits in the game. Groth and Heinz both recorded one RBI in the contest.
Cornell closes out the road swing on Sunday when the Big Red takes on Army in a single game starting at 1 p.m. in West Point, N.Y. Cornell then returns home to open Ivy League play next weekend, playing host to Yale in the first games at the newly-renovated Hoy Field on Saturday beginning at noon.
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