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Baseball vs. St Joes Credit: Pete Lodato

In Wednesday’s game against Lehigh, the Quakers (17-16, 6-6 Ivy) had an outfielder playing third base; their regular third baseman had assumed shortstop; the team used up seven pitchers before summoning their regular shortstop to the mound.

As he does with most weekday games, head coach John Cole was forced to patch together a pitching staff and lineup to fit between two busy weekends, each with four conference games.

Amidst all the changes, however, Penn managed six runs in the first inning and didn’t stop there, pounding out 17 hits en route to a 12-4 drumming of Lehigh (14-22).

“We had good offensive execution. A nice couple of hit and runs put a few balls in play with two strikes to score some guys, and we got some momentum,” Cole said. “I was very happy with our first inning.”

Although Cole employed nine arms yesterday — two of which regularly start in the field — no Penn pitcher gave up more than one walk and only one gave up more than one run.

Junior catcher Will Davis made his debut in the cleanup spot for the Red and Blue and picked up right where he left off this weekend. He hit his fourth home run in as many games, improving on his team-leading eleven round-trippers.

“I think the biggest thing would be that we’ve been playing at home, and right now I’ve mastered the 347-foot shot to right center [345-foot fence],” Davis said. “We’ve got a short porch out there so I’ve been snaking some home runs.”

Davis almost hit for the cycle, picking up a single and a two-RBI triple, along with the homer in his first three at bats. Unfortunately, Davis popped up in the 6th and was lifted before he could get another chance.

“I was a little bit upset I didn’t get another shot,” Davis said, “but I blew it in my fourth at bat. I knew that might be my last chance to get a double.”

However, it seems Davis shouldn’t worry about getting lifted from his spot in the heart of the Quaker order.

“He’s gonna be in that 4-5 hole, he’s done a good job,” Cole said. “I think he’s feeling confident in his swing right now and I like what I see.”

Another bright spot on the day was shortstop-turned-shutdown reliever Derek Vigoa. Making his first appearance on the mound this season, Vigoa looked wild in warm-ups. He regained his composure, however, and dispatched the only three Lehigh hitters he faced, striking out one.

“It was pretty funny in his warm-up,” Davis said. “He didn’t throw one strike and his first pitch hit the backstop, so I thought it could be a long inning. But some of the pitchers yelled stuff to him and calmed him down.”

Though his teammates may have gotten a kick out of the infielder’s first crack at toeing the rubber, Cole wasn’t laughing.

“I wanted to see Vigoa throw a little bit,” Cole said. “He may have a chance to help us and he’s got a quick arm, so I wanted to get him some work. I was pleased to see the ball in the zone.”

Looking forward, Davis believes the team needs to become more consistent in its pitching. He added that the long fences at Princeton this weekend might save the team runs.

When asked about his chances to keep his home run streak alive at such a large venue, Davis laughed.

“I might be working on my doubles at Princeton.”

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