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Cornell defeats Princeton in Gehrig League Playoff

Corey Pappel (Courtesy of Cornell Media Relations)

Corey Pappel (Courtesy of Cornell Media Relations)

The Cornell Big Red defeated Princeton 9-0 on Wednesday in an Ivy League Playoff game for the Gehrig Division title. Cornell jumped on Princeton in the first inning as they scored all nine runs of the game in that inning. Cornell now advances to face Dartmouth in the Ivy League Championship series that will take place in Hanover NH this weekend. The full recap of the game is available below.


ITHACA, N.Y. — A nine-run first inning was all the scoring needed as the Cornell baseball team advanced to the Ivy League Championship Series with a 9-0 victory over Princeton on Wednesday afternoon at Hoy Field. Cornell will next travel to Dartmouth for a best-of-three series against the Big Green this weekend with the winner earning the Ivy League’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.

Cornell pitchers kept Princeton hitters off-balance all day, as four Big Red pitchers combined to strike out 18 Tigers, tying a school record that has stood for 52 years. Starter Corey Pappel went six innings and struck out 11 and allowing just two hits and three walks. Stephen Osterer, Jadd Schmeltzer and David Rochefort each worked an inning, striking out three, two and two, respectively, to tie a record set twice in 1957.

Every batter in the Cornell lineup scored in the first inning as the Big Red sent 14 men to the plate in the inning. Mickey Brodsky was the only Cornell hitter to record more than one hit on the day, going 2-for-3, with Domenic Di Ricco going 1-for-4 with two runs batted in and Nate David going also getting one hit in four at-bats, driving in three runs on a deep home run to left field.

Pappel opened up the game by inducing a pair of weak groundouts and getting a strikeout of Princeton shortstop Greg Van Horn. After Princeton starter Brad Gemberling retired the first two Cornell batters, he began to struggle, walking each of the next three. Di Ricco then hit a single to right center, scoring Nathan Ford and Mickey Brodsky. David then stepped to the plate and drove a 2-2 pitch from Gemberling well over the wall in left, staking the Big Red to a 5-0 lead.

Matt Langseth continued the rally, doubling down the right-field line, and he was followed by Adam Jacobs, who lined a two-base hit of his own inside the bag at third, scoring Langseth. Brian Billigen then singled to right, scoring Jacobs. After Billigen stole second and Scott Hardinger walked, Gemberling’s day came to an abrupt end, being lifted in favor of David Palms. Ford lined a 0-1 pitch for a single through the left side, scoring Billigen. Brodsky then hit a 2-0 pitch into left to score Hardinger and make the score 9-0 before Frank Hager ended the inning by striking out.

With the nine-run cushion, the Big Red pitchers took over, as Pappel retired each of the first nine batters and was perfect through three innings, and had four strikeouts. With the third out of the third inning a called strikeout on Princeton third-baseman Matt Connor, Pappel opened up a string of five straight strikeouts, with a pair of walks in between. He struck out the side in both the fourth and fifth innings and had a no-hitter going through 4.1 innings before Princeton’s Jon Broscious broke up the no-hit bid with a single through the left side.

Pappel would leave after six after striking out 11 Tiger batters. Osterer came on and got three swinging strikeouts in the seventh, and Schmeltzer got a pair of swinging strikeouts before getting Van Horn to pop weakly to first to end the eighth. In the ninth, Rochefort fanned his first two batters on swinging strikes before getting Adrian Turnham out on a groundout to short to end the game. Princeton got a runner to third base in just the sixth inning, advancing a man to second on three other occasions.

Princeton’s pitchers were just as good after the fateful first inning, retiring Cornell in order in the second and third innings. Palms went 2.1 innings, striking out a pair, before Ryan Makis came on and worked 2.1 innings himself, striking out two and walking two while allowing two hits. Matt Grabowski worked the final 2.2 innings, striking out three and getting five ground outs.

The Big Red will next take to the road to face Rolfe Division winner Dartmouth in a best-of-three series this weekend. Game one against the Big Green will begin at 12 p.m. on Saturday, with the second game starting 30 minutes after the end of game one. Game three, if necessary, would begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday in Hanover, N.H.

Post-Game Notes:
– The 18 strikeouts by the Big Red on Wednesday are the most since Cornell pitchers struck out 18 on June 8, 1957 against Colgate in a 4-2 victory.
– The original record of 18 strikeouts was set on May 4, 1957, against Yale, in a 4-2 loss.
– Corey Pappel’s 11 strikeouts are the most by a Cornell pitcher this season. Pappel held the previous high of nine in his last start on April 24 against Princeton.
– The 11 strikeouts by Pappel are the most by a single Cornell pitcher since Dan Baysinger struck out 11 on April 10, 2004 against Yale.
– Cornell advances to the Ivy League Championship Series for just the second time in program history. The first came in 2005 after winning the Gehrig Division. That season, the Big Red lost in the championship series to Harvard, two games to zero.

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