Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Cornell Breakdown

Kyle Sheahen, senior sports editor with the Cornell Daily Sun, was gracious enough to share with us an advance copy of an article he'll be writing to set the stage for the Ivy Championship. I've posted portions of the article that should help you get a basic understanding of the key players and matchups heading into the weekend. It's almost a certainty that the Crimson will be seeing LHP Tad Bardenwerper in the first game. My initial impression is that whereas a lot of teams struggle against lefties, the Crimson -- with its snap, crackle, and pop coming predominantly from the right side of the plate (Farkes, Mann, Klimkiewicz, Salsgiver, and Wilson) -- should be at relatively little disadvantage in that matchup.

Here's what Sheahen writes:

Cornell has been bolstered by a range of exceptional performances on the mound and at the plate, with significant contributions coming from each class year. Senior shortstop Matt Miller leads the offensive charge with a .376 batting average, .560 slugging percentage and three home runs. Rookie outfielder Brian Kaufman has failed to disappoint with his bat, having recorded team-highs in RBIs (20) and doubles (12). Second baseman Seth Gordon has also proved to be priceless in the clutch - including his 3-for-3, game-winning RBI effort against Princeton on Sunday, the junior is hitting .324 for the season with a team-leading 29 runs scored.

"The thing that we are seeing is getting production from so many guys," Ford said. "It helps to get some balance in the lineup."

Yet, championship-caliber teams never rely solely on their offense, and recently, the Red's pitching staff has more than held up its end of the deal. Senior Tad Bardenwerper (4-3) leads the staff in victories after tossing his second consecutive complete-game victory on Saturday, this time dispatching the Tigers with a three-run, eight-hit outing to preserve Cornell's 5-3 game one win. On Sunday, junior right-hander Rocky Collis (2-3) kept
Princeton at bay with six strong innings before handing the ball to sophomore Jim Hyland (3-0), a right-hander who effectively crushed the Tigers' title hopes with 1 1/3 innings of shutout ball.

"Going into the season, we thought our pitching staff was one of our strengths - and we still feel that way," Ford said.

Kyle's full article is on the message board.

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