New Faces of 1974. That's the way the Cornell prospectus bills its varsity baseball team this year. But despite the influx of new personnel, a current 6-12 record belies the claim that things have really changed for Big Red hardball.
Cornell invades Harvard's home grounds today for a double-header starting at 1 p.m., and from the looks of things, the two-game set may be the most important opportunity the Big Red squad may have all season to move up in the EIBL.
One of coach Ted Thoren's objectives for this season was to dig up some guys who can hit the ball, to provide some backing for his reasonably solid mound crew. From the looks of things, this facet of Cornell baseball has taken a turn for the better.
Outfielder and transfer student Joe Murdock leads the Big Red offensive corps with .348 overall batting average--.444 in the EIBL. Another transfer, catcher Paul Mangano, is also clipping along with an average over .340.
The list of transfers goes on and on, with some other notables on the New Faces squad being infielder Mike Ryan (.288), and outfielders Shane St. Claire and Jim McElroy. Shortstop Chris Stocke provides some much needed experience in the infield. Last year's team captain is currently hitting .327.
Pitching is the strong suit of this season's Red squad. Senior Kirk Brink has yet to give up an earned run in EIBL play, having authored a 3-2 victory over a tough Penn team.
Another senior, Steve Hamrick, ranks among the nation's leaders in strikeouts. Despite having whiffed 47 men in 30 innings, while compiling a 2.40 ERA, Hamrick is winless in three outings so far this year.
Sophomore Scott Milhouse leads the Red pitchers with two wins in as many outings.
Loyal Park will send Mike O'Malley and Milt Holt to the mound for the Crimson today in the doubleheader, looking to improve on a 15-5 record, 3-2 in the EIBL.