Way's Walkoff Grand Slam Gives Baseball Split vs. Cornell

Harvard celebrates Marcus Way's game-winning grand slam against Cornell on April 10, 2011 (Gil Talbot) Buy Now
Harvard celebrates Marcus Way's game-winning grand slam against Cornell on April 10, 2011 (Gil Talbot)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Marcus Way hit a walk-off grand slam in the first game of an Ivy League doubleheader against Cornell as the Crimson split the twinbill at O'Donnell Field on Sunday.  Way's slam gave the Crimson an 11-8 win in the opener while Cornell connected for four homers to take the nightcap, 18-5.

The opener was a back-and-forth affair that saw four lead changes in the first four innings.

Back-to-back homers on consecutive pitches for Cornell's Frank Hager and Chris Cruz gave the Big red a 2-0 lead in the second inning but Jeff Reynolds erased the deficit and gave the home side a 3-2 lead with a bases-clearing triple in the bottom of the frame.   

Hager reclaimed the lead for Cornell with a two-run double in the third but Harvard answered again in its at bat on RBI singles from Carlton Bailey and Danny Moskovits.

In the fourth, Cornell put two more runs on the board to take a 6-5 lead before reliever Anthony Irigoyen steadied the Cornell defensive effort with two effective innings. The Big red claimed an 8-5 lead with two more runs in the sixth inning before Harvard reliever Andrew Hatch (1-0) came on the shut down the Big Red with two innings of one-hit relief.

Irigoyen got the leadoff man in the bottom of the seventh inning but a throwing error and an RBI single by Moskovits turned over the Crimson lineup with one out and the score now at 8-6. Following an infield single, Cornell went to closer Rick Marks (0-3) to face the middle of Harvard's order. Reynolds singled sharply to left and Sean O'Hara drew a four-pitch RBI walk to bring up Way. The designated hitter swung at a 1-1 fastball and belted a mammoth, towering fly ball deep over the right field trees in a no-doubter to give the Crimson its win.

It was the only hit of the game for Way while Reynolds went 3-for-5 to pace the Crimson.

Cornell turned the tables on Harvard in the nightcap as a 25 miles-per-hour wind turned around and blew straight out to left-center.  

Harvard took a 1-0 lead through one inning on an RBI double by O'Hara but Cornell scored 12 runs on eight hits and two Harvard errors to break the game open in the second. The big red sent 15 batters to the plate. Brian Billigan hit the first of two homers, a three-run shot and number-nine batter Mike Lopez connected for a two-run shot while Brenton Peters had a two-run double and an RBI single in the inning.

Harvard's lone bright spot in the game offensively was Reynolds who connected for a three-run shot that stayed inside the left field foul pole as he recorded another 3-for-5 effort.

Taylor Wood (2-4) earned the win for Cornell while throwing 126 pitches in 7.2 innings in which he struck out 10 while allowing five runs on eight hits and five walks.

Billigen was 4-for-6 with four RBI while Tom D'Alessandro was 5-for-6 with five RBI, including a three-run homer.

For Harvard, Jonah Klees provided solid relief with four strikeouts and no walks in 3.2 innings of work.

Harvard is back in action this weekend with a home game on Tuesday against Northeastern.