Baseball's Hearts Broken Twice

Cornell 3, Penn 2 (9 innings) Game One

Cornell 6, Penn 4 Game Two

ITHACAOne day after winning its first Ivy League game of the season, Penn had two chances to add to that total against Cornell.

Instead, it was two Cornell walk-off wins that left the Quakers seeing red. Game one saw Cornell score an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 3-2 win in extra innings. Game two was even more of a heartbreaker as Nathan Ford capped a four-run inning with a three-run homer to left field to give Cornell a 6-4 win. It was familiar territory for Ford as it was his single that scored the winning run in the opener.

It was a tough day for Reid Terry on the mound, as the junior pitcher was tagged with both losses out of the bullpen, dropping his record to 1-4.

Tom Grandieri and Vince Vorio did a great job following yesterday;s lead of Chris McNulty with quality starts. In game one, Vorio went 6.1 innings, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out five. Grandieri followed with seven innings of two-run ball.

Instead, it was the normally explosive Penn offense that was unable to pick up the revived pitching staff.

In game one, the Quakers had the bases loaded in the ninth inning with one out, but Dan Williams struck out looking and Jeremy Maas fouled out to the catcher. The failure to capitalize was reaffirmed in the bottom of the inning when William Gordon couldn’t field the leadoff hitter’s grounder, allowing Billigen to reach second. After an intentional walk, Nathan Ford singled through the left side for the win.

In game two, Penn received home runs from William Gordon and Derek Vigoa, but it was a missed opportunity in the fifth that may have proved to be the difference.

Williams and Maas each reached on errors, with the result being two in scoring position with one out. Will Davis grounded into a fielder’s choice, with Maas out on the play. Williams was thrown out on the play as well, 1B to C to 2B to erase the rally.

In the bottom of the ninth, Patrick Brennan, who came on in relief in the eighth inning, retired the first batter via a flyout to center. After a walk, he got pinch hitter Vitiello to ground into a fielder’s choice for the second out. Billigen drove in Vitiello with a double to left center to make the score 4-3 in favor of Penn. Terry came in from the pen and walked Hardinger after getting to within one strike of ending the game. Ford then followed with his sixth homer of the season to end the game.

For Penn, Jeff Cellucci was 5-for-8 over the two games, upping his season average to .322. Gordon’s home run was his eighth of the season. He is now one homer shy of tying for fourth-most in a season by a Penn player.

The Quakers are back in action on Wednesday at Lehigh for a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.