Big Red Head Back to the Sunshine State, Will Face Central Florida and Rollins
The Big Red are back at it this weekend with a return trip to the Sunshine State. Cornell plays five games in six days – a three-game series March 25-27 at Central Florida and two more games March 29-30 at Rollins.
Cornell enters the weekend with a 6-4 record and has so far defeated their Wofford rival (7-13) and taken three of four games in series last weekend’s Bucknell series. The Red also snatched a game from Northeastern to start the season.
Strong batting performances have come from Cole Rutherford and Dale Wickham. Rutherford has homered four times since the beginning of the season (and in his first year with the Big Red) while Wickham’s two- run homer lifted Cornell over Bucknell.
Cornell is still ironing out their pitching rotation. Starting against UCF will be junior right-handers Paul Balestrieri (0-2, 6.32 ERA, 8 K), Tim Willittes (2-1, 3.38 ERA, 27 K), and Peter Lannoo (1-0, 3.38 ERA, 5 K). Willettes’ performance has been particularly strong as he posted 13 strikeouts in his last outing against Bucknell.
The pitching rotation for the Knights is led by sophomore Cre Finfrock (1-1, 2.65 ERA, 44 K) and junior Robby Howell (4-0, 0.79 ERA, 22 K). Finrock and Howell are slated to pitch the first two games, while the starter in the series finale is to be determined.
UCF (12-11) is looking to snap a three-game losing streak. The Knights dropped a two-game series at No. 10 Florida State and came up short in a 5-4 extra inning loss on Wednesday.
With inclement weather forecasted for the Central Florida area during the series, be sure to check the Cornell Big Red Athletics website frequently for updates on changes to start times.