Big Red Looks to Continue Strong Ivy Start in New England
After its first season sweep of Harvard since 1995, Cornell sets its sights on 4 more wins when the team plays Brown and Yale this weekend.
Last Saturday saw Cornell defeat the visiting Crimson 5-1 and 6-4 in the first Ivy weekend of 2016. Junior Paul Balestrieri picked up his first win of the season in game 1, going the full 7 innings without allowing an earned run. For his efforts he was named Ivy Pitcher of the Week, the first such honor of his career. Senior Michael Byrne was the winner in game 2. He threw 4 scoreless frames to close out the game after a rocky start by junior Tim Willettes.
Cornell has a prime opportunity to head into the first Ivy South weekend with a winning record, as both the Bears and the Bulldogs are off to slow starts. Brown is just 7-13 overall, 1-3 in Ivy League play, and on a 3 game losing streak that includes being swept by Columbia last Sunday. Yale is 7-18-1 with a pair of wins at Columbia and losses at Penn to open the Ivy schedule with a 2-2 conference record.
Columbia may be the three time defending Ivy League champion, but Princeton has the early edge in Ivy play, starting the year 4-0 with sweeps of Harvard and Dartmouth. The Tigers will also be facing Brown and Yale over the next two days so Cornell will look to post a better weekend record than its Lou Gehrig division rival.
Except for the two rain-rescheduled games between Cornell and Dartmouth (now being played on April 20th), this is the last weekend of play between the two Ivy-sub divisions. The Lou Gehrig division, which is made up of Columbia, Cornell, Penn, and Princeton, currently has an 11-3 record against the New England schools in the Red Rolfe division, with Princeton sitting in first among all ivies. Yale leads the Red Rolfe division at 2-2.
Games this weekend start at noon and 2:30 on both Saturday and Sunday. Following the weekend, the Big Red play 1 game at Binghamton next Wednesday, April 13th, before hosting Columbia for a 4 game series spanning next Saturday and Sunday.