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With Penn baseball a game out of first place in the Lou Gehrig Division approaching the midway point of the conference season, freshmen catcher Matt O'Neill and his .487 slugging percentage will be crucial if the Quakers want to break their 21-year title drought.

Credit: Jashley Bido

For the second time this season, Penn baseball will sandwich an out-of-league matchup between two strings of four straight Ivy League doubleheaders. This week’s trip to NYIT will take place on Wednesday against a Bears squad (13-17) that plays unaffiliated from any Division I conference.

The Red and Blue (13-14, 5-3 Ivy) need to capture a victory during the midweek contest in order to move back to .500 heading into the final stretch of conference play.

After Penn's 2-2 performance last weekend against Harvard and Dartmouth, the game will serve as a chance for the Quakers to gather themselves in preparation for their upcoming four-game set with Princeton beginning on Saturday.

It’s unclear what to expect from NYIT, seeing as they play unaffiliated. Without any conference games for which to save their star pitchers, the Bears could very well throw their ace against the Quakers on Wednesday.

The contest will also be the fifth of nine straight games Penn will play away from Meiklejohn Stadium. However, after this weekend, the road games will end and the Red and Blue will return home for seven straight before heading back to Manhattan to finish the year against a struggling Columbia squad.

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