Last spring, Penn visited La Salle and came away with a 33-13 victory that, in terms of scoring, was more like a half of basketball than your average nine innings of baseball. There were no such fireworks in yesterday's quick-moving, 4-3 Quakers win at Murphy Field. Instead, the Red and Blue simply hung on for a short and sweet midweek victory. "In these midweek games you get a chance to work on some things that you need to be doing well, and that's what we did today," Penn senior first baseman Ron Rolph said. The win upped Penn's overall record to 13-6 and capped off a 10-game homestand in which the Quakers went 7-3 at the Murph. The loss dropped La Salle's season mark to 5-16; the Explorers have fallen in seven of their last eight outings. Senior Brian Burket started the game for Penn, pitching three scoreless, one-hit innings. The Quakers co-captain placed his pitches beautifully, yielding no walks and striking out two. "He's been bothered by a back injury," Penn pitching coach Bill Wagner said. "It's real important for him to get a chance to get on the mound right now." Quakers freshman right-hander Matt Winn came on to pitch the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and was credited with the win, bringing his season record to 2-0. After Winn left the game with the score 4-2, Paul Grumet came on, retiring the side 1-2-3 in the seventh and giving up a solo home run to make it 4-3 in the eighth. Grumet set up Penn closer Nick Barnhorst, who came on to pitch the ninth inning with a one-run lead. After a single, a walk and a sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third with one out, Barnhorst was able to bear down and strike out La Salle's Steve Harris on three pitches. In the game's final at-bat, James Kelly checked his swing on a Barnhorst fastball, sending a grounder up the middle. Penn freshman second baseman Mike Goldblatt snagged the ball and made the tough throw just in time to nip Kelly at first base. "It was real important that Barnhorst got that guy, because they had their three and four hitters coming up," Penn coach Bob Seddon said. The save, which was Barnhorst's fifth on the year, set a new Penn record for saves in a season. It also brought the team's total number of saves to seven, which ties the all-time Penn mark. "It's real nice to see [Barnhorst] do this," Wagner said. "He's always had a good fastball and slider, but things haven't worked out for him before this year. He worked really hard before this season, and it's good to see." Penn got on the scoreboard first yesterday afternoon, scoring a run in the bottom of the second inning. Quakers center fielder Andrew McCreery reached first and made it all the way to second on a throwing error. He scored on an RBI single by Rolph, who went 2-for-3 on the day. The Red and Blue's next two runs came in the third. Goldblatt tripled to right field and then trotted home after a Steve Glass double. Glass, who batted leadoff in place of an injured Nick Italiano, scored on a Chris May bloop single to center two outs later. Goldblatt, a freshman in his fourth start, went 3-for-3 at the plate with a run scored to increase his season average to .333. Although he was brilliant with the stick, Goldblatt was both picked off and doubled up at first on a fly ball. The Quakers generally had some trouble on the basepaths, as two other runners were doubled up on fly balls on the day, another at first and a third at the plate. "Those are the types of things that you work out in midweek games," Rolph said. Penn has another game today at St. Joseph's at 3 p.m. Look for the Quakers coaching staff to give some different pitchers a chance to take the hill.Comments powered by Disqus
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