The Cornell baseball team won a pair of close games Friday to open the final weekend of the Ivy League season. Following the 6-4 and 4-2 losses, Princeton will return home to host Cornell for a Sunday pair.
Freshman designated hitter Nick Hernandez went 2-for-2, while both Danny Baer and Alec Keller had two-hit games, but Princeton could never make up a 4-0 deficit at the end of the first inning in a 6-4 loss.
Cornell got its first two men on base in the first inning without getting a hit, but it was still scoreless with two outs. But Chad Powers couldn't get the third out before enough damage was done, as Ryan Plantier singled in the first run, and Ryan Karl hit a three-run home run over the right field fence to open a 4-0 lead.
Powers kept Cornell off the board long enough to let his offense get back within a run. Princeton scored twice in the fifth off RBI singles by Billy Arendt and Baer, and it added another run off a single by Jonathan York in the sixth. But Cornell got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth inning on a double by Matt Hall to reclaim a three-run lead.
Powers pitched a complete game and allowed only two earned runs. He struck out four and only walked one batter.
Princeton was able to grab its first lead of the day in the fourth inning of the nightcap, but a three-run sixth by the home team led Cornell to the 4-2 win.
Peter Owens produced both Princeton runs in the fourth inning. He drove in Paul Tupper with a triple, and with two outs in the inning, he scored on a passed ball to open a 2-1 lead.
Starter Keelan Smithers held that lead until he hit trouble in the sixth inning. Like the first inning in the opener, all the damage came with two outs. A double by Jordan Winawer and a triple by J.D. Whetsel scored the first two runs, and Whetsel was able to add a third on a throwing error.
Relievers Chris Bodurian and Jonathan York kept Cornell off the board for the final 2.1 innings, but Princeton went down in order in the final two innings. Their best opportunity came in the seventh inning when both Chad Powers and Danny Hoy singled with two outs, but Arendt flew out to right field to end the rally.