Baseball’s eight home run weekend catapults them to series win over Wofford
Coach Dan Pepicelli and company won their first series of the season, largely because of eight home runs over the course of those two days.
Wofford College (11-6) had their ace Matthew Milburn (W, 4-0) on the mound for game one, and he showed why he was one of just two pitchers in the Southern Conference in 2015 to toss over 100 innings. He pitched a complete game, allowing just seven hits and one earned run (a Cole Rutherford solo shot) on no walks and ten strikeouts. The Big Red got a competent pitching performance from Paul Balestrieri (L, 0-2 — three runs over 5.2 innings), but it didn’t really matter. Game one was the Milburn show.
Game two showed the Big Red completely erupt on offense. They saw home runs from Cole Rutherford (twice!), Jacob Weston, Jamie Smith, Tommy Wagner, and Dale Wickham. Michael Byrne struggled with command his entire outing but still eked out five innings of one-run ball. Errors from Frankie Padulo and Tommy Wagner further evidence that sure-handed infield defense could be an issue, especially when the Padulo’s was a relatively routine hop in the hole.
Game three featured an excellent performance from up-and-comer Tim Willittes (W, 1-1), who allowed two earned runs in 6.1 innings on six hits, two walks, and nine strikeouts. Peter Lannoo got the save, his first of the season. C.J. Price hit his first home run of the year, a solo homer. The Red also got some luck as a Wofford error allowed an extra two unearned runs to score in the fourth.
Cornell is now an even 3-3 on the year, and next weekend they will take on Bucknell University for their first four-game series of the season. One interesting thing to watch, even this early, is Cole Rutherford. He already has four home runs in just six games, and as many know, the current single-season home run record is Chris Cruz’s 12 dingers in 2012. As I mentioned, it’s still early, but this could be a very special season for him.
Stay tuned for links to possible audio and/or video broadcasts and live stats.