Must Win Series Awaits Baseball, Ivy Championship Series at Stake
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).