Some good baseball weather finally arrived at Murphy Field yesterday.
Unfortunately, for the Penn baseball team, so did the Drexel bats.
Drexel (13-20), a team that has been shut out five times this season, erupted for 12 runs on 14 hits against five Penn pitchers. The Dragons torched their city rivals, 12-4.
The Quakers (6-19) got off to a hot start, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first off Drexel starter Ryan Higgins. Penn rightfielder Bryan Graves, who has been hitting the ball hard as of late, had the big hit of the inning -- a two-out, two-run double off the wall.
Penn starter Russ Brocato stifled the Dragons in his brief stint on the mound. The hard-throwing righty didn't surrender a hit in two innings of work.
But Penn coach Bob Seddon implemented a pitching-by-committee strategy to rest his staff for today's game at La Salle and doubleheaders this weekend against Harvard and Dartmouth.
Brocato hit the showers after the second, and from there it was all downhill for the Quakers.
Penn senior Mark Lacerenza could not even finish the third inning. The six-foot-three southpaw got two of the first three Drexel batters to fly out, but got into trouble after that.
After Drexel's Rob Martine and Bruce Boehm crushed RBI extra-base hits, Seddon had seen enough and called sophomore Matt Winn out of the bullpen.
But Winn could not bail his teammate out of trouble and served up a two-run homer to Dragons' third baseman Braden Watson, giving Drexel a 5-3 lead.
That would be all the runs the Dragons would need on the afternoon. Penn loaded the bases with no one out in the fourth, but could only manage one run on a Jon Slaughter sacrifice fly.
"We've been struggling lately, so we concentrated on hitting the ball up the middle," Drexel shortstop David West said. "Everyone was buying into it and we really hit the ball well."
For his part, West had a phenomenal day at the plate, going 2 for 6 with three RBIs and three runs scored.
The quick shortstop also had three of his team's nine stolen bases.
"Me and a couple of other guys work hard on getting good jumps," West said. "It gives guys at the bottom of the order the chance to pick up some RBIs. And [Penn's pickoff] moves weren't as good as some other team's we've seen."
West, clearly the star of yesterday's game drew the highest praise from his teammate, roommate and the guy who hits right behind him.
"He's on fire," said Dragons centerfielder Mike Francis, who scored two runs himself. "Don't get too close or you'll get burned by the molten lava."
The Quakers did get burned and Seddon knows exactly why.
"We stopped hitting, but we lost the game out there," the Penn headman said, pointing to the pitching mound. "Brocato looked real good and [Dan] Fitzgerald did all right, but Lacerenza had a tough outing and Wynn gave up that big home run."
Freshman Bill Kirk, a promising righty who throws gas, also struggled in limited action, giving up three earned runs in the final inning.
"They were good, but it wasn't a 12-4 game," Seddon said. "We made it look bigger than it really was. We broke down on the mound and we stopped hitting."
The Quakers get right back to action this afternoon, as they take on La Salle in another City Series game. Penn will again send many pitchers to the mound, but freshman Remington Chin is scheduled to make the start.Comments powered by Disqus
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