MONMOUTH, Ill. – Cornell's baseball team blasted three home runs, punctuated by Chris Rana's grand slam in Saturday's series-ending 16-4 rout of Midwest Conference foe Monmouth at Glasgow Field.
The Rams were edged in the opener, 5-4, and wound up splitting the four-game set with the Fighting Scots. Cornell (16-9 overall) accumulated 55 hits and 41 runs in the series, moving to 5-3 in the South Division with eight league games to go.
Monmouth dropped to 13-14 overall, 5-7 in the South.
Cornell tallied a season-high 19 hits in Saturday's finale, seven of which went for extra bases. Rana led the charge, going 3-for-4 with a double, a homer, two runs and six RBIs from the No. 7 slot in the lineup.
Rana broke open a 5-2 game with a grand slam over the center-field wall in the top of the fifth inning. It was the first home run in 20 at-bats this spring for the junior first baseman, who added a two-run double the next inning that pushed Cornell's lead to 11-2.
The Rams plated four more runs in the seventh, ending the game via the 10-run mercy rule. Cornell scored at least one run in all seven innings.
Cornell got solo home runs from sophomores Buddy Mattern and Wyatt Kurzejeski. Mattern also had a double and finished 3-for-5 with three runs. Max Freilinger and Brandon Davis added three hits apiece, with Davis doubling and driving in two. John Tesensky and Chuck Rocker both chipped in two hits.
Senior right-hander Jeremy Ryan (3-1) went the distance on the mound. He allowed eight hits, four runs and struck out three in his first complete game of the year.
The Rams hit into a double play in each of the final three innings of a tough opening-game loss. Cornell took a 3-1 lead in the top of the third, but Monmouth tied it in the fourth and pushed ahead 5-3 in the sixth.
A Nate Streb sacrifice fly pulled the Rams within 5-4 in the seventh. Cornell left the tying run on second base in the ninth.
Catcher Tony Medina went 3-for-4 with a double to lead Cornell's 13-hit attack. The Rams received two hits apiece from Beriah Quick, Streb, Mattern and Davis.
Jared Henry (0-1) gave up five runs and nine hits over six innings for the Rams. He fanned five. Tyler Riggs pitched two perfect innings in relief.
Coming up – The Rams take on the rival Coe Kohawks (11-19) Tuesday night for one nine-inning game at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids. First pitch is 5 p.m.