Penn baseball was just happy to be playing at all this weekend.
After the snow hit on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, the Quakers were forced to relocate their weekend series with Marist, in a series of postponements, delays and updates. When the games finally took place, the Quakers failed to improve upon their Spring Break trip to Florida, losing the three-game series 2-1.
Penn (3-9) led for most of game one on Saturday before falling 4-3 to the Red Foxes (9-7). The Red and Blue only got four hits in the game but capitalized on the few base runners they had. Senior pitcher Jake Cousins allowed only six hits in his six innings of work, but an unearned run in his final frame allowed Marist to tie the game at three before scoring the go-ahead run in the next inning. Sophomore Matt McGeagh provided all of Penn’s offensive contributions in the game, going 1-4 with a homer and three RBIs.
Game two, played as the first half of a double header on Sunday, was scheduled as a seven-inning game. Marist junior Scott Boches pitched a complete game shutout on the way to a 5-0 win for the Red Foxes.
“He had a solid arm, but we were pressing a little too much sometimes,” junior center fielder Andrew Murnane said.
The Quakers did have seven hits, including two doubles, but they failed to score with runners in scoring position. The game also featured senior pitcher Mike Reitcheck’s first allowed runs of the season, ending a 19.1 inning scoreless streak with a three-run second inning.
The crown jewel of the series though was its final game. The Quakers started game three where they left off, taking their third consecutive early deficit in the second. By the end of the sixth, the score was Marist 3, Penn 0. Penn only had one hit, and it looked like a repeat of game two. But the Red and Blue fought back to tie it at three in the seventh with some small ball. The first two runs came from consecutive ground balls to second before Junior Daniel Halevy singled to close out the inning.
Marist wasn’t done yet though, scoring the very next inning to go up 4-3. After a 1-2-3 eighth, the Quakers were down to their last outs in the bottom of the ninth with the top of the order on deck. Freshman Chris Adams delivered from the leadoff spot with a clutch single that would be the only hit of the inning. Adams did manage to score on some more small ball, advancing on a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch before scoring on a sacrifice fly. Two walks and a player hit by a pitch loaded the bases with two outs, but Sophomore Kevin Thomas struck out to end the inning.
The Quakers would end the deadlock and win the game 5-4 in the 12th inning on an infield single by Murnane.
“I just wanted to put the ball in play... I knew [Marist pitcher Connor McNamara] had a fastball/slider combo and I was looking for a pitch up,” Murnane said.
He must have found it because his bloop single was just enough to score pinch-runner Jacob Levison from third.
Any dream of the ideal weekend for Penn baseball ended with the news of the relocation of the games on Wednesday. The Quakers salvaged one game out of the three, but the weekend just showed once again that Penn has work to do before the Ivy League season opens in two weeks.
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