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With 11 losses in its first 15 games this season, the Penn baseball team has performed at anything but a major league level so far this spring.

Still, the Quakers will be playing under the bright lights of a big league ballpark tonight when they face St. Joseph's in the annual Liberty Bell Classic at Veterans Stadium, warming up the not-so-fabled turf for the Phillies, who open their home season next Friday.

For their own part, the Hawks have looked like the only way they could see a game at the Vet this season would be as paying customers. The Cityliners are 2-17-1 on the year, with a 1-11-1 mark for the month.

The Philadelphia rivals were scheduled to play at Murphy Field last Wednesday, but that game was postponed due to rain.

Both teams are on veritable hot streaks considering their season records. St. Joe's split a doubleheader with George Washington on Saturday, while Penn did the same against Hartford on Sunday.

The Hawks' win was their first since Feb. 26. The Quakers' victory over Hartford marked Penn's first notch in the win column since March 14.

Tonight's game figures to be a hitting showcase. Penn enters the contest with a staff earned run average of 8.70. Hawks pitchers, meanwhile, have posted an 8.44 mark while allowing the opposition's hitters a gaudy .361 batting average.

The Penn offense has done its part so far this season. In 15 games, the Quakers have scored 82 runs -- nearly five and a half per game. The Red and Blue have been betrayed by their pitching and defense, however, as Penn hurlers have allowed 50 extra-base hits, and the fielders have committed more than two errors per game.

St. Joe's has not played much better defensively, making 33 errors in 20 games.

Last season, the Quakers and Hawks played solid defense in their lone meeting -- the Red and Blue made one error in a 6-5 loss at Latshaw/McCarthy Field.

John Kokol, who was the winning pitcher that afternoon, is currently the Hawks' leading hitter with a .347 batting average. Justin Godusky is the leading slugger for St. Joe's with six home runs, matching the total for Penn's entire team this season.

Nick Italiano has one of the Penn homeruns this season, the first of his career. The second baseman doubled against St. Joe's last year and is currently Penn's leading hitter with a .400 batting average. Italiano also leads the team with a .540 slugging percentage.

Italiano was named to the Ivy League's weekly honor roll after his homer and a .533 batting average last week.

Tonight's game will be the 45th meeting between the Quakers and the Hawks. The Quakers hold a slight edge in the all-time series with a record of 22-21-1.

The Quakers, however, have lost seven consecutive games against in-state opponents since a 10-3 win at La Salle last April 10.

That streak includes two losses to Temple on this season's opening trip to Florida. The Quakers went 6-2 against Pennsylvania foes last season, but are 0-5 against competition from the Keystone State this season.

The winner of tonight's contest will face either Lehigh or Temple in the Liberty Bell Classic semifinals on Tuesday. The Engineers took a pair from Penn at Murphy Field over the weekend, 13-4 and 6-3.

The Owls and Engineers will do battle in an afternoon game today at the Vet.

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