The Penn baseball squad dropped its second playoff game in as many years. West Hartford, Conn. Penn and Princeton played their second Gehrig playoff in as many years, after Cornell took two games from Princeton in their four-game series, and Penn lost its continuation of a suspended game against Columbia. Both teams finished the regular season with identical 10-10 Ivy League records. Penn took three of four games from the Tigers during the regular season to earn home-field advantage, but the one game the Quakers' dropped was to Princeton ace Tim Killgoar, who held the Quakers to one run in the final game between the two squads. So it wasn't surprising when Killgoar took the mound on May 7. Over seven innings, the sophomore southpaw allowed just six hits and three runs over seven innings. More impressively, Killgoar held Penn's three, four and five hitters -- Armen Simonian, Mark Nagata and Jeremy Milken -- hitless. Nagata, the Ivy League batting champion, would get the only hit from those three batters -- a double in the bottom of the ninth against Princeton reliever Brian Volpp. "Killgoar's good," Penn coach Bob Seddon said. "He's tough. He's off-speed a lot. He's won five in a row, he's 5-1 in the league. He's legit." The only Quakers batter to look good against Killgoar was captain Joe Carlon, who went 3-for-3 from the plate, despite sustaining an ankle injury in the fourth inning. The shortstop caught a ball from Penn first baseman Russ Farscht, but was forced to tag Princeton's Matt Evans out at second and was unable to turn the double play. On the tag, however, Carlon's foot got caught and twisted under the sliding Evans. Carlon played through the injury, however. "You can't come out of a game like this. It would hurt, but it wasn't a career-ending injury or anything. I just rolled my ankle, and there was a little pain," Carlon said. But with such limited offense, it was the baserunning mistakes that killed the Quakers. Down 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth, Carlon stepped up to bat with one out and the bases loaded. Carlon ripped a single to leftfield to drive in two runs, but Oliver Hahl tried to make it from first base to third on the play. The Tigers on the left side of the playing field had no trouble catching Hahl in a rundown shortly after leaving second. The result was two outs and a man on first. Third baseman Glen Ambrosius would ground out to Killgoar to end the inning. The second mistake was much worse. Down 5-3 with no outs and men on first and second in the bottom of the eighth, Ambrosius put down a perfect bunt off Volpp. However, freshman Kevin McCabe froze at second base, and was an easy out at third for Evans charging in from first. Simonian then hit into a double play to end the inning. "With a man on first and second with no outs, we really expected to score a run. And when we didn't, it really took the wind out of our sails," Carlon said. That play was a catalyst for the destruction of the Penn defense. In the top of the ninth, Penn would give up six more runs to put the game way, way out of reach at 11-3. Reliever Travis Arbogast beaned three batters to lead the bases, and A.B. Fischer, who relieved Arbogast, beaned yet another in a season-ending debacle. By the time Nagata led off the bottom of the inning with his double, all hopes had faded. So the Quakers are now forced to look toward next year, which will display a lot of competition in several positions. For starters, the pitching staff will be completely revamped. Of the four Quakers graduating, three of them -- Mike Greenwood, Alex Hayden and Fischer -- were all starting pitchers in the past two seasons. While Simonian will return as the staff ace, Seddon also mentioned that Arbogast could be moved up into the starting rotation. Junior Ed Kimlin has shown he can pitch in the Ivies, but the rest of the staff, both in the starting rotation and in the bullpen could be made of of freshmen. Several current Penn pitchers could have suited up for their last game despite not graduating, as Seddon hauled in eight pitching recruits this year. Also returning from taking a year off from school is Sean McDonald, who saw a lot of action in relieve and during midweek games last season. In addition, the entire infield could stake claim as the most experienced in the Ancient Eight next year, as the Quakers will be returning everybody. The only position lost outside of the pitching staff is leftfielder Jeremy Milkin, who takes with him a slew of RBIs. Several Quakers will go abroad to play summer ball. Simonian will be living at Ohio State, where he'll play for Columbus of the Great Lakes League. Carlon could play in the Alaskan League, and if not, he will join catcher Dave Corleto in the Illinois Bat League. · Princeton faced Harvard in the Ivy League Championships May 10 and 11 in Cambridge, Mass. The two teams split the opening games of the best-of-three series, Princeton took the first game, 2-1, before falling in the nightcap, 4-2. The deciding game on May 11 was an embarrassment to the Orange and Black. Killgoar would pick up the loss for the Tigers, but the Crimson exploded for 20 hits, including a second-inning grand slam to cruise 22-4. Not since 1974 has Harvard had a 30-win season, as the Crimson finish out the season 30-13, 18-2 in the Ivies.Comments powered by Disqus
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