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Cornell sweeps first Ivy League doubleheader against Harvard

Cornell began their Ivy League season, and they did it in style. They took two games from Harvard University in a doubleheader at Hoy Field; to boot, they were both close games where the club snagged late-inning runs to earn them a couple of victories. Here’s how it all went down:

Game One

Paul Balestrieri was on the bump for the Big Red, and he had it all working. He allowed just one run, an unearned run, in the third inning on two errors from Jordan Winawer and Tommy Wagner that allowed one base hit to turn into a run. Other than that, he tossed a complete game (seven innings) on three hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts.

Cornell found themselves down by a run going into the bottom of the third, and they evened the score on a triple from CJ Price that scored Frankie Padulo from first; he got to first base on a catcher’s interference.

Then, going into the sixth with the score tied at one, the Big Red erupted for four runs on three hits. Padulo started off the inning with a bunt single that eventually got him to second on a wild throw from third baseman John Fallon, and then a Price walk, a hit-by-pitch (Wagner), a Cole Rutherford RBI single, Dale Wickham RBI single, Winawer sac fly, and Eliot Lowell RBI single pushed across the four runs. Cornell won, 5-1.

Game Two

Game two also featured Cornell behind early, but to a greater extent. Tim Willittes got the start and he allowed three runs in the first inning on four consecutive hits (double, double, single, single) against the first four hitters. He allowed another run in the third, but that one was unearned. He lasted just two-plus innings. Justin Lewis came in for relief and did not allow an earned run in his three innings of work.

So, going into the bottom of the fifth, Cornell was down 4-0 and to that point had not recorded a hit. But, they battled back. They scored two runs in the fifth; Elis Bitar hit a single, Winawer hit a double, and then Bitar scored on a wild pitch from starter Sean Poppen. Lowell walked, and then Jacob Weston brought the second run in on an RBI fielder’s choice. In the sixth, Price hit a booming home run to right field, a solo shot that brought Cornell within one.

Michael Byrne came on in relief for the final four innings, and he struck out two and only allowed a walk and two hits. In the bottom of the seventh, Cornell took the lead, as they scored three runs: Lowell hit a base hit and then stole a bag; Weston walked; Price got hit by a pitch with two outs. With the bases loaded and two outs, Wagner walked and brought in one run, and then Rutherford hit a clutch RBI single that brought in two more runs. All in all, Cornell lead 6-4 at the end of inning, and they held the line there.

Cornell moves to 2-0 in the Ivy League, and their games against Dartmouth tomorrow have been postponed. The date for those two games are TBD, so for now, they have two games against St. Bonaventure on Tuesday. We’ll keep you updated on further developments.

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