Rain delay stifles Penn baseball
A flight to Philly and thunder force Penn to abandon game after five frames
March 19, 2012, 1:50 am·
Michelle Bigony | DP
In the rubber match of a three-game set at Charleston Southern University, Penn baseball had finally battled back.
With bases loaded and no outs in the top of the sixth inning, the Quakers cut a 5-1 deficit to just one run.
But with the lead in sight, mother nature had different plans. Lightning in the distance forced the umpires to postpone the game. The lengthy delay, coupled with the Quakers’ travel plans later that evening, forced the game to be called with just five innings complete. The three runs Penn put up in the inning were deleted, and the Quakers fell, 5-1.
“It kinda feels like we got cheated a little bit,” senior Derek Vigoa said.
Besides Sunday’s heartbreaker, Penn (4-8) experienced mixed results in the three-game showdown with Charleston Southern (7-14).
In the first game of a doubleheader Saturday, junior Greg Zebrack started the Quakers out right with a solo home run in the top of the first. In the sixth, freshman Austin Bossart singled with men on second and third, scoring both runners.
In the eighth, sophomore Rick Brebner hit a solo homer that proved to be vital insurance. The Bucs scored one in the sixth and two in the eighth, bringing the score to 4-3.
Vigoa credited senior pitcher Vince Voiro, who allowed three runs in over seven innings pitched, with the victory.
“Vince kept us in the game the whole time,” Vigoa said. “Kept lights out.”
Vigoa, on the other hand, was vital in the Quakers’ offense, managing three hits in three at bats during the game. He is currently batting .359 on the season, the best of any starter.
The next game of the doubleheader was characterized partially by sloppy pitching.
Penn jumped out to a 2-0 lead. But with bases loaded in the second inning, sophomore Matt Gotschall walked a batter and hit another, giving the Bucs their first runs of the game. A fielder’s choice brought the score to 3-2 in favor of Charleston Southern.
In the sixth, Gotschall gave up a lead-off walk and a triple, which resulted in two runs. The Bucs bunted another run in. By the end of the sixth, the score was 7-2.
In the seventh, freshman Matt McKinnon hit a two-run shot for his first career home run. After that, the Bucs’ bullpen retired the next six batters.
The Quakers added one final run in the ninth, but the day ended with an 8-5 loss.
Despite the results, the weekend offered many lessons for the Quakers. Penn had only two errors in three games, a sign that the squad is becoming less sloppy in the field.
“Defensively, we’re getting a little better,” Vigoa said. “It’s just a matter of striving to be perfect every game.”
However, Penn will look to work on their relief pitching. On Saturday, Charleston Southern scored six of their eleven total runs in their last three innings at bat.
“In the later innings, you just need to be mentally stronger than the other team,” Vigoa added. “The relievers need to set the tone.”