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Andrew McCreery pitched his fourth consecutive complete league game on Saturday. Behind his strong pitching, the Quakers got their lone win of the weekend, beating Princeton 2-1. (Will Burhop/The Daily Pennsylvanian)

When Mike Goldblatt crossed the plate with the winning run in the first game of the Penn baseball team's Saturday doubleheader with Princeton, it seemed like a sign that the Quakers had a chance to claw back into the Gehrig Division race. Three losses later, the Red and Blue (20-15, 6-10 Ivy League) find themselves eliminated from that race, unable to catch the Tigers (17-19, 11-5), who are now one win away from clinching their seventh consecutive Gehrig crown. The Quakers did have their chances. After a thrilling 2-1 victory to open the four-game set, Penn lost 6-4 in the nightcap. Yesterday, the home team was pounded 8-2 in the first game, then blew a four-run lead to drop the second game, 8-7. "In a way, we were under the gun, because we were behind the eight-ball," Penn coach Bob Seddon said. "But we should have won that game." Chris May's single in the bottom of the seventh inning of yesterday's finale drove in Oliver Hahl and brought the Red and Blue as close as they would get. The RBI was May's 49th of the season, breaking Tom Olszak's single-season Penn record, set in 1979. "I would have liked to have broken the record under better circumstances," May said. "It's quite an honor, but I couldn't have done it without my teammates getting on base." There were plenty of baserunners this weekend, but the Quakers struggled to bring those runners home. Penn stranded 23 men on base in its three losses. Penn's pitching staff also struggled, especially in yesterday's twin bill. Dan Fitzgerald, who had pitched two complete games in a row, was knocked around for seven runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings in the second game. In yesterday's opener, starter Ben Krantz lasted just five innings, allowing six runs on six hits and five walks. The Tigers scored three runs off the sophomore before the Quakers even came to bat in the first inning. "Krantz has struggled," Seddon said. "He got hit hard." The capper on Krantz's bad afternoon yesterday was a two-run homer off the bat of Princeton right fielder Max Krance that made the score 6-0. Even in that 8-2 game, though, the Quakers had opportunities. They left the bases loaded in the fifth and sixth innings. The lone highlight of yesterday's opener for the Red and Blue was a true baseball oddity: pitching coach Bill Wagner convinced the umpires to reverse a balk call. "Basically, they were pretty lenient on us," Wagner said. "We kind of convinced it a little bit. I basically said, 'Explain to me what he did wrong,' and he [couldn't]." Saturday's nightcap was even worse for the Quakers, who had 12 hits, but scored just four runs. Penn battled back from deficits of 1-0 and 3-1 before the bullpen collapsed behind starter Mike Mattern. "Our bullpen has failed us in the past week," Seddon said. One aspect of the pitching staff that hasn't failed the Quakers is starter Andrew McCreery. The sophomore, who tossed a no-hitter earlier this season, was the winning pitcher in Penn's comeback on Saturday, going the distance for his fourth consecutive complete game in league play. But since it was the only win of the weekend for the Red and Blue, his start next weekend against Columbia will be McCreery's last of the season. Neither he nor his teammates will get to go to the Ivy League playoffs this season.

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