Baseball Caps Regular Season with Sweep at Cornell; Will Host ILCS
Princeton came back to win three of four in the series after dropping the opening game at home on Friday. It's the third straight series that Princeton won three games to one after falling in the opener. Princeton did it on Sunday with great pitching and balanced hitting.
Game 1 (Box Score)
Mike Ford allowed a single run over six innings and Steve Harrington had two hits and two RBIs to help Princeton to a 6-3 win in the opener. The Tigers combined for nine hits as Alex Flink joined Harrington with two in the game.
Princeton jumped right on Cornell with three runs in the first and never trailed in picking up its 14th league win of the season. Princeton first three runners reach in the first and Matt Bowman scored the first run on a wild pitch. Harrington and Flink followed with consecutive singles to plate runs and the Tigers led 3-0. Cornell got a run back in the bottom of the first and stranded three.
The Tigers added a run in the third when Harrington plated Sam Mulroy who had led off the inning with a single and then stole second. Princeton then stretched the lead to 6-1 with two runs in the sixth. Singles from Jonathan York and Bowman, plus a John Mishu walk loaded the bases for Ford. Ford hit a ground ball that plated York as Cornell got an out at second base. The Big Red relayed to first for the double play but threw the ball away and that allowed Bowman to score the sixth run.
Ford was done after six innings and allowed one run on five hits while fanning three as he picked up his fourth win of the season. David Palms came on in relief and got the first out, but then gave up three straight hits with the third being a Mickey Brodsky doubled that plated the previous two runners. A.J. Goetz came on to get the final two outs and his third save of the season.
Game 2 (Box Score)
Ford, Harrington and Ryan Albert all delivered run-scoring hits in the top of the eighth inning as Princeton broke open a 1-1 tie with four runs to go ahead in an eventual 6-1 win. Eight of the nine batters in the Tiger lineup registered a hit in the game as Ford and Albert each drove in two runs.
Both starting pitchers locked up in a well-pitched game for much of the day. Princeton starter Kevin Link went five innings and allowed a run on three hits. Two of those hits were doubles and came in the second inning as Cornell gained a 1-0 lead. Princeton drew even in the fifth inning with consecutive hits from its eight and nine hitters. Jonathan York hit a two-out single and would score on a triple from Tom Boggiano.
The game remained tied at one until Princeton broke through in the eighth inning. With one away, Mishu tripled to right center and scored on an RBI-grounder from Ford. Ford would reach on the play because of an error. Mulroy and Harrington then each singled with Ford coming home on the Harrington single. That left two on for Ryan Albert who delivered a double down the left field line to plate two more runs and make the score 5-1. Princeton added its final score in the ninth when Ford doubled home Bowman.
The sweep completed a 15-5 Ivy League regular season for Princeton and equals its best ever Ivy slate. Princeton was also 15-5 in the 2000 and 2003 seasons. Princeton also earned the right to host next weekend's Ivy League Championship Series at Clarke Field for the first time since the 2003 season. Princeton is now 21-20 overall and above the .500 mark for the first time all season.
Princeton will entertain Dartmouth for three games. There is a scheduled doubleheader next Saturday followed by a third game if necessary on Sunday. Tickets will be available on game day for adults ($5) and students ($3).
Princeton visits Delaware on Tuesday in advance of next weekend's series.