Penn baseball deal with Devils easily

Eight runs in the second inning are more than enough vs. USciences

· April 16, 2014, 6:38 pm   ·  Updated April 17, 2014, 12:56 am

Steven Tydings | DP

Sophomore second baseman Michael Vilardo had himself a day, going 3-for-4 at the plate with three doubles and three runs scored. Vilardo is now second on the team with a .322 batting average, two points better than his .320 average in 2013.


The rain only delayed the inevitable.

After having its game put off by one day due to heavy downpour , Penn baseball continued its hot streak by crushing Division II USciences, 16-1. With the win, the Quakers (20-12) captured their 18th win in 21 games.

“The team has bought in to what the coaching staff is trying to do here,” coach John Yurkow said. “And the results have shown.”

The Red and Blue got involved in the scoring early and often.

After a second-inning double by sophomore Mike Vilardo, Devils’ pitcher Michael Janas walked four straight batters to give Penn its first two runs without a ball in play.

The Quakers went on to score eight runs in the bottom of the second inning off only four hits thanks to the walks.

“I think we got out to a good start,” Yurkow said. “We got a few good swings with runners in scoring position.”

The Devils (5-26) would respond in the next half inning, scoring a run off second baseman Derek DeMaria’s sacrifice fly. This however proved to be their only significant offensive production on the day.

The Red and Blue continued their offensive onslaught, bringing in three more runs in the bottom of the third with RBIs from Austin Bossart, Jeff McGarry and Rick Brebner. Cooler heads prevailed for the Devils as the pitching trio of Dylan Mengel, T.J. Maiorino and Mark Gervasi was able to stifle the Quakers’ bats for only three hits and two runs from the third to the seventh innings.

Penn’s pitching staff was potent, combining to allow only five hits and one run. Freshman pitcher Jack Hartman picked up his fourth victory of the season with three innings of work, allowing just one earned run and three hits.

“I think we did a good job throwing strikes, and keeping them down all day,” Yurkow said. “We were able to get some of our younger arms some experience today.”

An 11-1 conference mark has put the Red and Blue in the driver’s seat to capture its first berth to the Ivy League Championship series since 2007 and their first Ancient Eight crown since 1995. With only series against Princeton and defending Ivy League Champs Columbia remaining, Penn baseball can’t let its foot off the gas just yet.

“We just have to stay in attack mode and be aggressive in all aspects of the game,” Yurkow said. “We’ve been doing that for the past three -and-a-half weeks and we’ve been winning a lot of games.”

For a team that struggled in Meiklejohn Stadium last year, the Quakers have made their home stadium into a place to fear, posting an 11-2 record on the field. On their most recent hot stretch, the Red and Blue have found ways to win by using their strong pitching and powerful hitting to put teams away early.

“It all started in the fall,” Yurkow said. “We’re starting to change the culture around here and the guys have done a great job.”

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