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Cornell Offense Slowed in Doubleheader Sweep by Dartmouth

In a crucial doubleheader against inter-divisional foe Dartmouth (7-5), Cornell (5-7) was unable to find their groove offensively, mustering only nine hits and four runs in the two games against the Big Green. Now four games behind division leader Princeton (9-3), the Big Red have a lot of work to do if they want their final weekend of the year to count for something.

Game One: DARTMOUTH 9, CORNELL 3

ITHACA, N.Y. — Cornell kept game one close until late but Dartmouth ultimately ran away with it thanks to a huge seventh inning to blow out the Big Red. Scott Soltis (0-4) took the loss while Chris Burkholder (2-0) earned the win for the big Green.

Michael Byrne, who has been used mostly as a reliever of late, got the start for the Big Red. Dartmouth ace Duncan Robinson, the Ivy League strikeout leader, took the hill on three days rest after throwing 122 pitches Saturday.

Cornell took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning after Ellis Bitar grounded into a double play, which brought home Frankie Padulo. Padulo continued his strong offensive play by walking and stealing a base to lead off the game for the Big Red. Robinson was chased after the first after throwing 19 pitches, as Dartmouth looked to preserve him for an important weekend series against Yale.

Dartmouth picked up a run in the top of the third; after two singles to lead off the inning and a sacrifice bunt, Michael Ketchmark singled to bring in Matt Feinstein. With a man still on third base and one out, Byrne was able to get a double play ball to escape further damage.

Cornell retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth after Ivy League rookie of the week Mark Fraser drove in Ellis Bitar with a two-out double.

Dartmouth took the lead right back in the top of the fifth after Byrne’s struggles with control finally came back to bite him. He hit one batter and walked another, and they both came around to score on a Thomas Roulis double. Coach Pepicelli removed Byrne after Dartmouth picked up the 3-2 lead. Justin Lewis came in for relief and was able keep Dartmouth from extending their lead.

Cornell tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Two errors by Dartmouth catcher Adam Gauthier led to runners on the corners with one out. C.J. Price hit what would have been an inning ending double play, but Eliot Lowell was running from first on the pitch and was safe at second, allowing Jacob Weston to score.

Dartmouth took the lead right back after Gauthier came around to score on a passed ball by Ellis Bitar on a pitch by Paul Balestrieri. They blew the game open in the top of the seventh, as they added five runs against Rob Panullo and Ryne Veenema to extend their lead to 9-3. Cornell was retired in order to finish the game.  – Jon Levitan

Game Two: DARTMOUTH 3, CORNELL 1

Despite a solid bounce-back start by Tim Willittes following his 1⅔ inning implosion last Saturday against Columbia, Cornell was unable to capitalize on all but one of their scoring chances en route to their second loss of the day. Willittes (2-4) was be charged with the loss, while Marc Bachman (1-1) got the win and Patrick Peterson nailed down his third save of the season for Dartmouth.

The game began as a pitchers duel, with Dartmouth pitching not giving up a run through the first six innings, and Willittes not allowing a base runner until the fourth. It was that fourth inning, however, that proved to be the difference, as the Big Green began to tee off against Willittes, getting three triples off the bats of Dustin Shirley, Kyle Holbrook, and Thomas Roulis, scoring twice in the process. The next run came the top of the sixth when a Rob Emery RBI single extended the Dartmouth lead to 3-0.

Dartmouth pitching was consistently good throughout the game; starter Cole O’Connor went three, allowing only 3 hits. He was followed by Marc Bachman who threw two shutout innings. Jackson Bubala allowed only an unearned run in 1⅓, and Patrick Peterson shut the door with 2⅔ scoreless innings.

Cornell’s prime opportunity to mount a comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning with Ellis Bitar stealing third and scoring on a fielding error by third baseman Justin Fowler, but a Mark Fraser strikeout with the bases loaded ended the threat as quickly as it started. From that point onward, it was mostly smooth sailing for Dartmouth. A rally in the bottom of the ninth had runners on the corners with one out, but Jordan Winawer was caught stealing and Frankie Padulo bounced out to third to end the game, giving Dartmouth a series sweep. – Josh Malek

 

Cornell will look to get back into the win column this weekend during a four-game series at Pennsylvania. The first game will begin at 12:00 PM on Saturday, April 23.

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