After impressing on the mound this past spring, Penn lefty Ronnie Glenn was provided a summer opportunity most college ballplayers only dream of — a chance to play in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
He’s made the most of it so far.
Glenn, a rising senior from Silver Springs, Fla., has been getting significant innings of relief work for the Harwich Mariners, who currently sit in a three-way tie atop the East Division with a 22-15-2 record.
Against the best competition college baseball has to offer, he has posted an impressive 1.38 ERA in 11 relief appearances — each of which has been earned quite literally.
Initially signed to a temporary contract with the Mariners, Glenn had to prove himself day in and day out from the time he arrived in order to stay on the roster for the duration of the summer.
“It was a little nerve-wracking coming into it,” Glenn admitted. “You drive from Florida to Cape Cod and you don’t know if you’re leaving the next day. They literally can release you at any point.”
Glenn pitched like he belonged in the Cape, allowing just one earned run while striking out seven in his first four relief appearances.
That turned out to be enough to satisfy Glenn’s club.
“Once I got a full contract in early July, I was as blessed as they come,” the lefty said.
Glenn is thrilled to be competing against the nation’s top college talent, but at the same time he has embraced the opportunity to work with his new teammates to improve his game.
“I’ve been learning a lot of stuff, which is probably one of the best parts [of the Cape league],” Glenn said. “A lot of the coaching comes from each other. Playing with guys from programs across the country really teaches you a lot of things.”
Glenn, an Honorable Mention All-Ivy selection with a 5-2 record last season for the Red and Blue, has been working on several aspects of his attack that he hopes will make him more dominant in his senior campaign.
“I’m trying to be more consistent with some things, trying to add an extra mile per hour of velocity here and there,” Glenn said. “A big thing is my changeup . Having that pitch working changes the game for sure.”
Glenn has done this fine-tuning while simultaneously making a temporary switch back to a relief role, something that initially came with challenges but has since worked out. Glenn served in a relief role for the Quakers during his first two seasons before stepping up as one of the team’s starting pitchers last spring.
“[Switching to relief] was an adjustment,” Glenn said. “I had a little trouble with my command early on, but about a week and a half ago I broke down my delivery altogether and tried to repair some things.
“My last two outings I’ve felt really confident. I’m honestly very happy with where I’m at.”
Making swift and successful transitions is something familiar to Glenn — and Penn baseball — as of late.
In his first season as a starter at Penn this past spring, Glenn emerged as a reliable southpaw who could win games with the best of the Ivy League competition for a Red and Blue club that more than doubled its conference win total from the previous year.
The tone shift for the Quakers started at the top with new skipper John Yurkow, but the veteran arms, including Glenn, played a large role readying Penn’s younger arms for Ivy League success.
“This past year was a big transition into teaching the younger guys that we expect to win every time we’re on the field, and that’s helped us turn into a winning program,” Glenn said.
And with the band of arms the Quakers are set to return, the senior sees only more big things to come from the Red and Blue.
“With the talent we have — having our senior arms coming back and having some good young pitchers — I think we can really do something special.”
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