ITHACA – The final score said Lansing 8, Trumansburg 0, but on a breezy, overcast Monday afternoon at Cornell University’s Hoy Field, both the Bobcats and the Blue Raiders could feel like winners.
That’s because while most baseball teams in this area are still waiting for their fields to dry out, these two teams actually got to play a game.
“It’s great to be outside, and great to have the facilities and have Cornell willing to let us use this,” T-burg coach Scott Voorhees said after his Blue Raiders (0-1) hung in there for four innings before falling victim to walks, wild pitches and an error in a six-run Lansing fifth.
“We thank Lansing for setting this up,” Voorhees said, “because a lot of other schools are still not playing because of their fields. It was great to play baseball again.”
Lansing coach Stu Dean, whose Bobcats (1-0) got a stellar pitching performance from sophomore righty Jesse Richardson, echoed Voorhees’ sentiments.
“It’s just great to be outside,” he said. “I mean, this was an opportunity to play on a nice field and get a game in, and more importantly for us, it was a good performance defensively from us.”
Indeed, the winners played error-free ball and helped keep T-burg off the basepaths with several sparkling plays in the field. T-burg starting pitcher Trevor Rumsey was robbed of a potential extra-base hit by a leaping Alex Purcell in left with two outs in the fourth, and Bobcat centerfielder Brandon Mikula made a nice running grab of a drive by freshman Caleb Ladd to open the sixth.
After a shaky start, junior Rumsey settled down and kept the Bobcat hitters at bay. Lansing jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Ben Kutler led off with a triple to the leftfield corner and scored one batter later on an Owen Davis double. Davis advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by his twin brother, Brandon.
Lansing threatened to add to its lead in the third, but after walking and stealing second, Owen Davis was thrown out trying to steal third. Rumsey then induced an inning-ending ground-out by senior Pat Judd.
“We kind of ran ourselves out of that inning,” Dean said. “I think we would have scored had we not gotten thrown out at third, but we’re going to learn through some of those mistakes.”
Meanwhile, Richardson was cruising on the mound for the Bobcats. He faced the minimum 17 through 52/3 innings, a leadoff hit-by-pitch in the third inning erased one batter later by a 4-6-3 double play.
With two outs in the sixth, T-burg junior leftfielder Thomas Miller laced a line single to right field to break up the no-hitter. It appeared that Owen Davis might have had a play on Miller at first as the ball was hit hard and took a clean bounce on the synthetic surface, but no throw was made.
Dean said that even if the no-hitter was still intact through six innings, Richardson was coming out of the game as he was at 58 pitches, two from his predetermined limit.
The same was true for Rumsey, who was taken out after yielding two runs on four hits with six strikeouts through four innings. Reliever Hunter Ford had trouble finding the plate, retiring no one while giving up six runs on one hit and four walks.
Voorhees’ third pitcher, freshman Jake Shelley, retired six of the nine batters he faced and got help from sophomore centerfielder Hunter Sherwood, who made all the putouts in the fifth and the first one of the sixth.
“It’s early in the season,” Voorhees said, regarding the decision to take Rumsey out. “And the other reality of it is, at that point it was 2-0 but it didn’t really seem like we were being that fortunate offensively. It was a good time to get some other arms out there.”
Voorhees said playing an actual game, even though it was a loss, was invaluable as far as certain aspects of the game are concerned.
“In the gym, you don’t have that true sense of things like the outfield play,” he said. “I think our outfielders did a nice job, but they were tentative a few times where we would like to see them be more aggressive on balls that fell in.
“Combine that with some wild pitches and passed balls and too many walks,” he said, “and they get eight runs.”
Lansing is scheduled to host Moravia on Wednesday, then travel to Elmira Heights on Friday to face Thomas A. Edison. Trumansburg is scheduled to travel to Whitney Point on Wednesday, then play host to Groton on Friday in a game that was supposed to be an Indians home game but moved due to poor field conditions in Groton.
The forecast calls for cooler temperatures and rain the next two days, so that schedule is definitely subject to change.
“This is the time of year,” Voorhees said, “where you say, ‘Supposed to (play).'”
Ithaca 12, Owego 5: On Sunday at Moresco Stadium, Juliette Miettunen and Lauren Duthie scored four goals apiece as the Little Red (3-1) pulled away in the second half for the victory.