Lions to face tough matchup this weekend, but should be up for the task
As the baseball team heads into divisional play this weekend, its four games against Cornell have the utmost importance. As it currently stands, the Big Red is in first place in the Lou Gehrig division with a scorching 7-1 record in Ivy play, while the Lions are tied for third place with a 5-3 mark.
With still 12 games left in Ivy play, it’s probably a little premature to say this upcoming series in Ithaca is “make or break” for the Lions. But with only 20 games to decide the winner of the division, every single game is important. And with the way Cornell has played so far this season, winning this series could go a very long way.
So yes, Cornell may have a 21-6-1 overall record, but I believe the Lions have the tools to put together three or four wins this weekend.
If you take a look at Cornell’s stats, you notice a few things right away. First, they’re pretty darn scary. Second, there’s clearly a reason why the Big Red has won more games than any other team in the league so far this season.
As a team, Cornell is batting an astonishing .311 in 28 games—MLB teams don’t even hit that well. The team leads the league in hits (292), runs (199), RBI (176), total bases (425), walks (116), and stolen bases (42). And I’ll tell you, most of those numbers are far and away above the second place team in each category.
And it’s not just batting. Cornell also leads the league with a 3.54 ERA—that’s over a run less than the next team on the list. Clearly they keep runners off the bases as their opponent’s batting average is just .256—also leading the league, as if that’s a surprise.
So given all of that, why do I think the Lions could come away with three wins this weekend?
The only thing that beats good hitting is good pitching, and the Lions have plenty of it.
If you look at what senior Pat Lowery, juniors Stefan Olson and Tim Giel, and sophomore David Speer have done this year, it’s clear that they all can be dominant pitchers when they have their best stuff. Granted, for all four of them to be at their best at the same time is a fairly big “if,” but what better time is there to show what you’re made of than when facing off against the league leaders?
If you take a look at the Lions pitching staff as a whole, they’ve also done an admirable job. That second ranked team in ERA I was talking about? That would be the Lions at 4.71. And that’s in spite of the fact that the Light Blue has thrown more innings than anyone else in the league.
So here’s the deal—yes, Cornell is quite good. Yes, the Lions have a tough task ahead of them. And yes, the Lions will need to be on top of their game all weekend long. But with strong pitching, and an offense with a one-through-nine mentality, the Lions can make some real loud noise in upstate New York this weekend.
Myles Simmons is a Columbia College sophomore. He’s frustrated because unlike the Lions, his Indians team has been pretty bad this year. And with Prince and Miggy tearing up Detroit, it’s not looking good for the Tribe.
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