Baseball drops top two before edging out Richmond in third

Competing on the road against the University of Richmond last weekend, Cornell Baseball dropped the first two games of the three-game series, but powered a late ninth-inning comeback in Game 3 to secure the Victoire. With a hard-fought comeback victory in the last game, the Red now have momentum on their side as they enter Ivy League play next weekend.

In Game 1 of the series on Friday, the Reds stayed within striking distance of the Spiders (12-5) for most of the game. Early in the sixth inning, they cut the lead to a single run, courtesy of a 2-run triple from freshman outfielder Jakobi Davis. But the game quickly turned around in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Richmond’s relentless offense opened the game. They scored five runs in the sixth, four more runs in the seventh and one more run in the eighth. The Reds scored two more points in the top of the ninth, but that was all the offense could muster, making the final score 6-15.

Saturday’s second game proved just as tough as the first, as the Spider’s starting pitcher outplayed the Reds. Richmond starter Brock Weirather recorded 6.2 IP and six strikeouts, while giving up just one earned run and one walk. The Reds’ only two runs were scored by second baseman Matt Barnhorst, via an RBI groundout at second and a solo homer at seventh. They ended up losing the second game 2-9.

In Sunday’s final game, the Reds were two out of a three-game sweep as they trailed 2-4 in the top of the ninth. But with one out and the bases loaded, Davis jumped on the first pitch and ripped a double wide to right center, allowing junior designated hitter Ryan Ross and freshman shortstop Ryan Porter to score. , tying the game at four.

“Taking over, I knew I had to get the job done no matter what,” Davis said of his critical batting attack and approach at home plate. I did my best to keep my mind as clear as possible. I let the preparation for the week take over my physical approach and the only thing on my mind was “this pitcher can’t beat me”.

The next batter, junior left fielder Wils Guy, had a chance to take the lead with a runner at second and third and just one out. As the infield played, defending against the chance of an RBI pitch, Guy lined up a right field single, scoring Barnhorst and Davis, and giving Cornell a 6-4 lead – their first ever lead. series.

“I was just taking a simple approach, just trying to get the job done,” Guy said. “I just needed a ball in the outfield and was looking for a throw in the area, something I wouldn’t have taken out [on]. I was really just trying to clear my mind… you don’t really have to think about it too much, you just have to execute.

Guy then stole second, erasing the possibility of a double play, and qualified third on a single by second-year hitter Nathan Waugh. After a wild pitch and one-on-one base run by Guy, the Red veered on another insurance run. Cornell won 7-4, breaking a five-game skid.

“Energy is our team’s greatest ally,” Davis said. “We failed the first two days because all the parts of our game didn’t work together for the nine innings. The tough losses gave us the impetus we needed to form a full game of focused gameplay that culminated in victory on Sunday.

“I think that last win was something we really needed, especially for team morale,” Guy said. “Overall we showed especially in the last part of the game… that we are not going to back down no matter what, we are going to fight.”

Looking ahead, the Reds will face their first Ivy League opponent at home this Saturday and Sunday against Harvard. This will resume Ivy’s game for the first time in two years, as last season and much of the 2020 season were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite the two-year hiatus, the team is hungry for victory.

“Coming out of the last two COVID years, we’ve given ourselves a lot of breathing room as we get back into the rhythm of regular season play,” Davis said. “Now the biggest improvement for our team will be the embodiment of a dog mentality, a mentality where excuses are not tolerated and each of us is able to rise to the occasion no matter the circumstances.”

Currently, Cornell (3-8) is ranked sixth in the Ivy League standings, but as they begin to face Ivy opponents, they hope to climb to the top. Last year the Red ended the season at the top of the Ivy standings, that was in 2012, with a record of 31-17-1, 14-6 Ivy.

“Like the last game against Richmond, we have to stay brave and fight through all nine innings of every game, no matter who we play,” Davis continued. “If we can believe it, Cornell baseball will top the Ivy this year.”

In addition to Davis, other players have noted that consistency will be crucial in propelling the team higher this season, while maintaining confidence and building momentum.

“In the [first] two games, there were some really good games and then we made some mistakes,” Guy said. “We’ve shown that when we play a full game and put together a full team, we’ll be tough to beat. We just have to keep doing that and work it into our next series.

So far this season, the Reds have shown top-notch displays of baseball, albeit inconsistently. The team won two of three games in its series against Coppin State University in early March, and even showed competitiveness and grit in its losses, including close games that ended in turned into blowouts, rallies late in the ninth inning and games forced into extra innings. The key for the team will be to put everything together and play nine straight innings of solid baseball.

“Overall, we just need to be more consistent,” Ross said, after last weekend’s heavy losses to Georgetown and Maryland. “We have shown how successful we can be. We come [need] to implement it day after day.

“I think we definitely have a lot of good things going on,” Guy said. “We really have to keep our momentum going, keep a very good positive atmosphere, [and] have confidence in our abilities. I think we definitely have a team that can go very far, and we just need to have faith in the guys that we have… If everyone supports each other and we keep this going, I think we could be good this year. ”

Cornell will participate in a doubles match against Harvard (8-7) at Hoy Field this Friday, March 25. Game 1 starts at 11:30 a.m., Game 2 is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. The last game of the series will take place at noon. Saturday March 26. It will be the first home baseball game in nearly two years.