As Penn baseball opened up its April slate on Wednesday afternoon, Saint Peter’s stood no chance of fooling the Quakers at Meiklejohn Stadium.
Behind senior infielder Mitch Montaldo’s two home runs and three RBI and a masterful outing by senior pitcher Dan Gautieri, Penn scored their seventh win in their last eight contests with an 11-4 victory over the Peacocks.
The Quakers entered the game on the heels of three walk-off wins in four games between Sunday and Monday. However, with four more Ivy League games on the horizon this coming weekend, Penn (8-9, 3-1 Ivy) ensured there would be no need for late-inning heroics from the beginning of the contest.
Gautieri’s first three frames were a work of art, as the Roseland, N.J., native set Saint Peter’s (2-15-1) first nine batters down in order. Bolstered by the veteran’s strong start, Penn’s bats followed suit early and often.
After Gautieri retired the side in the first, senior catcher Austin Bossart and junior outfielder Jonah Campbell had consecutive RBI groundouts in the bottom half of the inning to get the Quakers on the board, 2-0. After junior infielder Ryan Mincher led off the second with a double, sophomore catcher Tim Graul singled to bring him home and push Penn’s lead to three.
As Gautieri continued to roll through three, the rest of the Quakers did their part, scoring in each of the first five innings. Leading 3-0 in the bottom of the third, Campbell smacked an RBI single before junior outfielder Matt Greskoff was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to give Penn a 5-0 advantage.
Gautieri’s only blemish came in the top of the fourth, when he allowed a solo home run to Peacocks’ junior shortstop Jon Kristoffersen. However, the senior bounced back with two strikeouts, ending his day after four innings with five total punchouts.
Montaldo kicked off the fireworks for the Quakers in the bottom of the fourth with a solo shot of his own. Junior outfielder Gary Tesch added an RBI single later in the frame, and Penn’s route was on. As the Quakers substituted new pitchers each inning, the squad added a run in the fifth and three in the seventh to seal the victory.
Up next for the Red and Blue is its second consecutive Ivy weekend doubleheader. After splitting with Dartmouth and sweeping Harvard at home, the Quakers are set to hit the road for two games each with Yale on Friday and Brown on Saturday.
After a rough start to its 2015 campaign, Penn has righted the ship of late, with its only blemish since March 18 coming in its loss to the Big Green last weekend. However, the Quakers breezed through their four-game set in the upper northeast last season, sweeping the Elis by a combined seven runs before notching a pair of 3-2 wins over the Bears.
Coming off a midweek loss to Hartford, Yale (8-9, 2-2) fell in both games to Cornell last weekend before picking up two wins against Princeton. Brown (6-14, 2-2) split each of its doubleheaders with the Tigers and Big Red.
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