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Penn sophomore Matt Horn blasted a walkoff home run in the first game of Friday's doubleheader at Murphy Field. The Quakers fell to the Tigers in the remaining three contests over the weekend. [Phil Leff/The Daily Pennsylvanian]

Ivy League rivals Penn and Princeton squared off this weekend in two doubleheaders that proved to be decisive in the Lou Gehrig division standings.

The Penn baseball team (19-14, 10-6 Ivy) was separated from Princeton (18-16, 10-2 Ivy) by percentage points in the Ivy standings entering the weekend, with home field advantage and the Lou Gehrig division title on the line.

Penn handed Princeton its second Ivy loss of the season in the opening game, but scored only four runs on 17 hits over the next three games -- all losses.

The Red and Blue went 1-3 on the weekend and in the process, fell two games behind the Tigers in the standings.

"They're a team that has very good pitching, and they came and showed it," Penn coach Bob Seddon said.

"They were competitive games, but their pitching just controlled."

Late-inning dramatics by sophomore catcher Matt Horn and senior pitcher and outfielder Andrew McCreery spearheaded the Red and Blue victory in the opening game of the series.

McCreery launched a two-run home run to give Penn a 7-5 lead in the seven-inning contest. The senior, who also pitched on Saturday, characterized the pitch as "a mistake pitch high, a high fastball."

Princeton's Andy Salini tied the game in the top of the final inning with two runs batted in. Princeton reliever Thomas Pauly was called on to preserve the tie in the bottom of the seventh.

The reliever was clocked as high as 94 miles per hour in the appearance, and Seddon commented that he expected him to "get drafted very, very high" in the Major League Baseball amateur draft.

This set up a power-versus-power showdown for Horn, who is second on the team with four home runs.

His walkoff blast gave the Quakers an 8-7 win.

"Andrew McCreery had a great home run, and he put us in a position to win the game," Horn said.

"Pauly gave me a fastball down, and he's the type of guy that I hit. I drove it the opposite way."

Penn senior second baseman Nick Italiano added a solo blast in the ninth inning of a losing 6-2 effort in the second game Friday. Penn managed only two runs on six hits against Princeton starter David Boehle, who went the full nine and struck out nine Quakers batters.

Saturday -- Penn's final home league doubleheader of the season -- turned into pitchers' duels. The Tigers came out ahead with 3-0 and 4-2 wins.

McCreery went the distance in a four-hitter for the Quakers, but Princeton leadoff hitter Steve Young did enough damage to offset the Penn senior's stellar outing. Princeton's second baseman knocked in two runs and another runner scored on a Coba Canales throwing error.

McCreery, possibly taking the mound for the last time at Murphy Field, struck out five and added one of Penn's three hits.

Losing "was probably even tougher considering how I lost last year," McCreery said. "I was facing the same pitcher."

Princeton starter Ryan Quillian hurled a complete game three-hit shutout to nail down the win in the matinee.

Penn sophomore Billy Kirk, who earned the win in the first game with a relief appearance, took the mound in the final game of the series.

Kirk went eight innings and gave up four runs, but was hurt by solo home runs by designated hitter Will Venable -- also a Princeton basketball player -- and first baseman Ryan Eldridge.

Pauly earned a four-inning save in the final game, striking out six Quakers in the process.

Penn senior leadoff hitter Steve Glass went 2-for-3 at the plate and scored a run for the Red and Blue.

The loss puts the Quakers behind the eight ball after leading the Ivy League for much of the season. To catch Princeton now, Penn will likely need to sweep its season-closing series against Cornell.

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