Baseball Takes Two at First-Place Cornell

Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score

ITHACA, N.Y. – Saturday was the start of a very important Ivy League Gehrig Division series for the University of Pennsylvania baseball team. After both games were in the books, the Quakers found themselves with two wins over first-place Cornell. Penn won Game 1, 4-2 and took the nightcap, 5-4.

Game 1 saw freshman Todd Roth (5-1) pick up his fourth Ivy League win in as many starts. While offensively, Ivy League Rookie of the Week, William Gordon delivered a single in the fifth that gave the Red and Blue a two-run lead. In Game 2, freshman Jim Birmingham (3-1) followed up Roth’s performance with two runs in seven innings of work. Gordon got the offense going by slugging a home run in the first inning.

Game 1 saw yet another brilliant performance by Roth, who hurled his fifth consecutive complete game. Roth hit the first batter he faced, Domenic DiRicco, who came around to score on a single by Justin Milo. In the third DiRicco lead off with a triple and scored on a ground out.

After DiRicco’s triple, Roth retired 14 of the final 16 batters he faced, allowing just two base runners over the final four innings. He also did not allow a single walk over seven innings and struck out seven.

Penn (15-14, 9-5 Ivy) plated its first run in the second inning. Josh Corn led off with a single and came around to score on a double by freshman Matt Toffaletti. In the fourth, Kyle Armeny smacked a double to start the inning and moved to third on a wild pitch. Corn knocked in Armeny to tie the game on a sacrifice fly to center.

Steve Gable got things going again in the fifth when he drew a one out walk and stole second. Jarron Smith followed with a walk and Joey Boaen reached safely on a sacrifice bunt. Then Gordon singled to center to score Gable and Smith and gave Penn the lead for good.

Cornell (12-16, 5-5 Ivy) starter Jim Hyland (4-3) was responsible for all four runs in his five innings of work. Stephen Osterer pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh.

Roth retired the side in order in the sixth and seventh.

In Game 2, Penn scored single runs in each of the first three innings and then scored twice in the seventh to take a 5-2 lead. In the seventh, Alex Nwaka led off with a single. After Michael Gatti struck out, Toffaletti singled up the middle to put runners on the corners. Cornell starter Tony Bertucci (1-3) was lifted after the single for Blake Hamilton. With Gable at bat, a passed ball plated Nwaka for the go-ahead run. Gable doubled down the left field line to plate Toffaletti for the all-important insurance run.

Birmingham’s day was over after seven innings in which he allowed just two runs on five hits. Doug Brown started the eighth, but allowed the first three batters he faced to reach. He was pulled for Andy Console who got the first two batters he faced out on a pop up and a strike out. The Quakers looked to be out of the inning unscathed, but a throwing error by Gable on a ground ball allowed two runs to score for the Big Red. That would be as close as Cornell would get in the eighth as Console got Scott Hardinger looking on a 3-2 count to get out of the jam.

In the ninth, Console retired the side in order to record his second save of the season.

Sunday’s doubleheader has been postponed due to an impending winter storm. A decision on when the series will be resumed will be made on Monday morning.