JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – Senior Zach Rogers set a pair of single-season school records and Cornell climbed back into postseason contention with a 7-5, 4-0 Midwest Conference baseball sweep at Illinois College Saturday afternoon.
The Rams (10-21 overall) bounced back from two disappointing losses Friday to salvage a split in the four-game series. Cornell moved to 5-7 in the South Division, two games back of Illinois College (13-15, 7-5 MWC) in second place.
The top two teams in each division qualify for the MWC Tournament. The Rams wrap up league play next weekend with a four-game home-and-away series against Monmouth. The teams play Saturday, May 4, in Mount Vernon, and then Sunday, April 5, in Monmouth, Ill.
Rogers became Cornell's new record holder for RBIs in a season with a grand slam in the third inning of Game 1. He also had an RBI in the second game, raising his season total to 49. Rogers broke the previous mark of 46 RBIs, set by Paul John Zobeck in 2005.
Winning pitcher Jeremy Ryan (1-2) worked into the ninth, and freshman Tyler Riggs recorded the final three outs for the save. Ryan gave up five hits and four earned runs while striking out two. The Blueboys managed just three hits off Ryan through eight innings.
Brandon Davis went 3-for-3 with an RBI. Jake Lehman had two hits, including his 12th double of the spring. Joe Gerace drove in a pair of runs.
Kevin Stahmer and Beriah Quick combined on an impressive complete-game shutout to carry Cornell in the nightcap. Stahmer (1-1), a freshman right-hander, struck out six, walked four and limited the hosts to three hits in seven innings of work. Quick fired two hitless innings in relief for his first save.
It was Cornell's second shutout win of the season, the first in conference play.
Cornell broke a scoreless game with three runs in the top of the seventh. Gerace singled home two runs, and Rogers tripled in another. Rogers' seventh triple of the season broke the previous school record of six, set by Jeff Rinck in 1996.
Gerace went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run. Davis added two singles to his five-hit day. Tony Medina scored twice, including the last run in the ninth on a bases-loaded walk by Max Freilinger.