On a cold, blustery afternoon at Meiklejohn Stadium, the Quakers and Leopards took part in a hotly contested baseball battle.
Penn (12-7) took on Lafayette (3-17) in two doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday, winning the first three games before dropping the last one on Sunday afternoon.
The first doubleheader took place in Easton, Pa., where the Quakers demonstrated their offense prowess and pitching strength, scoring a combined 20 runs and allowing only six. The Red and Blue then took the ride back to Penn for the second half of the duel.
The third contest was a tight one throughout, and neither team had an edge until the seventh inning. Down by two going into the bottom of the frame, the Quakers got a walk-off 7-6 victory on a throwing error on the infield by the Leopards that allowed two runners to score.
“We got good starting pitching the first three games and we did a pretty good job swinging the bats [Saturday],” coach John Cole said.
In Sunday’s second game, the Quakers looked to turn a 3-0 series lead into a sweep, but the Leopards had other plans, dropping Penn, 8-6, in a game that reached the 10th inning.
The theme of this game was messy pitching creating offense.
Junior Pat Bet started for Penn and got roughed up in the first inning. A one-out double, along with a couple of wild pitches, set the table for a two-run first inning for Lafayette.
The Penn offense did its best to pick up the slack for its pitcher, scoring two of its own in the bottom of the first.
Junior Brandon Engelhardt hit an opposite field lead off home run that just cleared the short porch in right field. The Quakers would tack on the tying run thanks to an RBI single from catcher Austin Bossart.
After the Leopards retook the lead on a run-scoring single in the top of the second, Bet settled down in the third, setting down the Leopards 1-2-3 in each frame.
This gave the Quakers offense the chance to play catch-up, and they capitalized by scoring two runs in the bottom of the third, punctuated by a home run from senior outfielder Ryan Deitrich.
The Red and Blue held a 6-5 lead going into the top of the eighth, and after a series of clutch hits from the Leopards offense and some shaky control from Penn pitching, the game was all knotted up at 6.
The Quakers then had a chance to go back in the bottom of the inning, as they loaded the bases with two away for Ronnie Glenn, who worked a gutsy at-bat before the Lafayette pitching finally wore him down and he struck out to end the inning.
The game continued to the 10th inning where the Leopards eventually scored two runs, while the Red and Blue could not manage to answer back.
“I’m not real satisfied with the way we played today,” Cole said. “I was a little disappointed because we made some mistakes. We gave them too many opportunities to hang around and it bit us a little bit.”
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