The game of baseball is unpredictable.
It is always changing and the final result does not come until all the innings — or sometimes extra innings — are complete.
In this weekend’s four-game series at Princeton, the Penn baseball team struggled against a tough Tigers team, losing three of four.
On Saturday, during the first matchup of the day, the Red and Blue took some time to find its groove. After spotting Princeton a 7-0 lead for the first six innings, Greg Zebrack hit a solo home run to change the pace of the game. Penn put up another two runs in that inning, but couldn’t find a way to add any more, falling, 7-3.
In the second game, Penn jumped out to an early lead. Zebrack emerged yet again with a solo homer followed by another by Ryan Deitrich in the top of the ninth to put the Quakers up 3-1.
But despite trailing in the last frame, the Tigers came back with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, putting up three consecutive hits to win, 4-3.
“The game begins and ends with pitching,” pitcher Vince Voiro said. “If we don’t have good performances on the mound, it’s difficult for the offense to keep going.”
The Quakers finally bounced back Sunday morning in the first contest of the second doubleheader.
Voiro, Penn’s ace righty, turned in five scoreless innings, as did his opponent, Tigers’ pitcher Matt Bowman. However, in the sixth inning each offense finally found its groove.
The Quakers were the first team to put runs on the board, and the frame culminated in Austin Bossart’s two-run triple that put Penn up, 4-0.
Though Princeton fought back and eventually took the lead, Deitrich and Derek Vigoa clinched the matchup with RBIs in the top of the ninth, putting the Quakers up, 7-5.
The difference, according to Voiro, was getting on base and solid pitching.
But despite the momentum-building win, Penn couldn’t sweep the day.
Though game four started off with doubles from Brandon Engelhardt and Zebrack in the first inning, Princeton quickly responded.
The Tigers began the bottom of the first inning with a grand slam and continued to pile on the runs to take an 8-1 lead. The Quakers rallied later, scoring four runs in the third inning, but could not catch up, ultimately losing, 13-7.
Losing three of four drops Penn to 5-5 in the Lou Gehrig Division, four games behind division-leading Cornell and three behind second-place Princeton.
The Quakers don’t have much time to recover before they face St. Joseph’sin the final of the Liberty Bell Classic at Citizens Bank Park Tuesday.
“It’s an important weekend, but we still have two weekends left in our conference,” Voiro said. “We can’t just hang our heads … we kind of have to pick ourselves up.”