Last weekend, the baseball team had a tough time, getting swept at Clarke Field against Columbia (14-21, 9-7 Ivy). In the two games on Friday, Princeton (9-26-1, 5-11) kept the games close. losing 6-4 in game one and 5-4 in game two. The Tigers were unlucky to not convert more hits into runs in game two, where they outhit the Lions 13-8. In particular, strong pitching proved a key to Princeton’s success in game two with senior pitcher Chad Powers striking out a season — best seven batters in seven innings work. Senior infielder Cody Phillips had a strong showing in these two games as well, with two hits in the first game and a career-high four hits in the second game, batting a total of 6-7 on the day. Three of these hits were doubles, including the double that led to game one’s opening score. In addition, Phillips scored three of the Tigers’ eight runs, one in the first game and two in the second.
On Saturday, Princeton and Columbia took to the field again, but the weather was not on their side. Getting rained out in the top of the fifth inning, games three and four of the weekend were postponed until Sunday. These games were not as close as the first two in the series, with the Lions winning 15-2 in game three and 21-5 in game four. Princeton could find no way to stop the Columbia floodgates who had 22 hits in game four and scored in every inning after the fourth.
This weekend, the Tigers will host Cornell in a doubleheader on Friday at Clarke Field with first pitches scheduled for noon in game one and 2:30 p.m. in game two. These are the last home games for Princeton this year, so the seniors will be honored before the first game. The senior class will play an important role in ending their Princeton careers on a winning note. In particular, the reliable bat of senior outfielder Nick Hernandez will be crucial. He currently leads the Tigers’ offense in RBI (22), slugging percentage (.466), and extra-base hits (11).
After these two games, Princeton will travel to Ithaca on Sunday to face the Big Red in another doubleheader at Hoy Field. This will be Cornell’s senior day, as these are its last home games of the year. These will also be the Tigers last two games of the season, and while they are no longer able to qualify for Ivy League championship, a sweep of the Big Red this weekend would prevent the Tigers from finishing in last place in the Lou Gehrig Division. Freshman infielder David Harding will be key to this effort as he leads the team in batting average at .337 for the season, and .388 in the Ivy League season putting him among the top ten of the conference.
For those who are unable to make it to Clarke Field this Friday or up to Ithaca on Sunday, all four of these games will be available for streaming from the Ivy League Digital Network.