CEDAR RAPIDS — The game was a case of feast or famine for Cornell College.
The Rams were starved for runs for most of the contest against rival Coe. Then, they binged on a few miscues the Kohawks served on a silver platter, plating all their runs in their final at-bat.
“We kept telling the guys you have more at-bats coming,” Cornell Coach Seth Wing said. “I told the guys to keep setting the table and someone’s going to eat.”
Senior Eric Daubach delivered a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the eighth, propelling Cornell to a 4-3 come-from-behind victory Thursday at Memorial Stadium. The baseball team’s win helped Cornell capture the Bremner Cup, winning the series, 8-7, and taking home the five-year-old traveling trophy named after Barron Bremner, who served as Athletics Director at both schools.
Cornell students and fans chanted, “Bremner Cup” after the game. It’s the first year the Rams have taken the series.
“It’s amazing,” said Daubach, who had two of the Rams five hits. “It’s a great feeling. It seems like it all came down to us but in reality there are seven other teams back home that had to win to give us a chance. It was an all-school effort and I’m glad we’re the ones that can take it home.”
Coe (19-14) led after scoring twice in the second inning. Andrew Brierton and Ben Jacobson led off with a walk and double, scoring on sacrifice flies from Nolan Arp and Jordan Kaplan.
The Rams (14-14) were scoreless until two outs in the eighth. A dropped fly ball to center to lead off the inning seemed harmless when starter Jack Greene register to straight fly outs.
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Keenan Bryant extended the inning with a base hit past a diving shortstop that chased Greene from the game. Lucas Larson followed with a walk to load the bases.
Then the Kohawks began to unravel, committing all of their errors in the frame. Josh Dimmitt hit a chopper up the middle but a poor flip for an inning-ending force at second base was off the mark, allowing two to score and tying the game.
“You have to make plays,” Coe Coach Steve Cook said. “We had three in the inning.
“I don’t have an explanation for it. You have to have people to make plays.”
Joe Orisek’s hopper to third resulted in a throwing error, loading the bases and setting up Daubach’s heroics that brought in Larson and Dimmitt with the winning run.
“Our guys are a really resilient bunch,” Wing said. “Our guys just hung around and we took advantage of a couple mistakes they made.
“It’s baseball and if you hang around long enough you give yourself a chance just liked we did, getting a two-out hit to take the lead.”
Daubach anticipated a chance to get to the plate with a tie game and was ready for it. He worked the count full and just wanted to get something to the outfield.
“He came back with that slider,” Daubach said. “All I was trying to do was drive it to right field with two strikes. I tried to flick it over there and it worked out perfectly.”
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Cornell received a strong outing from starter Caleb Wichman, who improved to 2-0. Despite allowing a solo home run to Dan Urban, Zach Greenwald pitched the ninth for the save.
Wichman, who is returning from an injury, kept the Rams within striking distance.
“He battled,” Wing said. “I was so proud of him the way he competed, mixed up his pitches and spotted up. They were squaring him up, but he gave guys a chance to make plays.”
Greene was just as impressive for Coe, giving up just four hits and striking out six in 7 2/3 innings.
“We faced a legit pitcher,” Wing said. “Unfortunately for us, he’s a freshman. Thank God we’re not in the Iowa Conference.
“I’m really impressed with him. He kept guys off balance all night. He overcame walks so well.”
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