Must Win Series Awaits Baseball, Ivy Championship Series at Stake

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 04/26/2012
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Kevin Link and the Tigers face a must-win series ahead of them vs. Cornell.
Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer

Advancement to the Ivy League Championship Series has come down to this weekend's series versus Cornell for the Princeton baseball team. The Tigers (17-18, 10-6 Ivy) currently are three games behind the Big Red (28-11-1, 13-3 Ivy) in the Gehrig Division, thus a four-game sweep is the only way for Princeton to represent the division in the ILCS. This weekend's series will begin on Friday, April 27 in Ithaca, N.Y. with a doubleheader at 12 noon. Two days later the Tigers and Big Red will square off at Clarke Field in twinbill action at 12 noon.

Last Time Out: Princeton extended its losing skid to three with a 10-9 loss at Rider on April 25. An eight-run first inning for the Broncs forced the Tigers to unsuccessfully play catch up over the next eight frames.

Ford Hits First Career Grand Slam: Sophomore Mike Ford made his first home run of the year a memorable one at Rider on April 25. Ford sailed a one-out homer over the right field fence for his first career grand slam.

Mulroy Makes His Mark: Sam Mulroy moved into third all-time in Princeton history home runs this season with 24. He is two behind current all-time leader Matthew Evans '99.

Hermans Wins Fifth on the Mound: Pitcher Zak Hermans won his fifth game of the year at Columbia on April 20. The junior went 8.0 innings, tallying six strikeouts in 32 batters faced. Hermans (5-2) sports a team-best 3.50 ERA in eight starts. He's thrown a team-leading 54.0 innings, tallying 46 strikeouts and batters are hitting .258 against him.

League Leaders: Senior Sam Mulroy is in the top-5 in the Ivy League in: hits, runs scored, home runs, total bases and stolen bases, while pitchers Matt Bowman and Zak Hermans are No. 3 and 4, respectively in strikeouts. Bowman holds the conference's record for strikeouts in a game this year with 12 at Brown on April 8.

Scouting Cornell: Cornell (28-11-1, 13-3 Ivy) is coming off a 9-5 midweek victory over Binghamton on April 25. Prior to the Big Red's non-conference win, they went 3-1 at Penn from April 20-21. The lone Quaker victory kept the Tigers hopes at postseason play alive, holding Cornell to three games ahead of Princeton.

Cornell's starting four-man rotation each has four or more wins on the year. Rick Marks (4-2) has a team-best 2.91 ERA, behind 46.1 innings pitched, 21 strikeouts and 43 hits against, while Brian McAfee is 6-0 on the year and sports a 3.40 ERA.

Four Big Red players are hitting above .300, with Brian Billigen's .375 (47-for-125) leading the way. He has 34 RBI and 31 runs on the year and is nearly perfect in stolen base attempts (11-for-12).

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