To pick just one star from Penn baseball’s four-game demolition of bitter rival and defending Ivy League champion Princeton — a series that saw the Quakers take four wins by a combined score of 35-12 — seems like it’d be a crime. But even in a weekend full of standout performances, the consistent offensive dominance from senior outfielder Tim Graul stood out from the pack.
With the Quakers trailing the first-place Tigers by only one game in the Lou Gehrig Division standings entering the weekend, every contest would be crucial as these longtime foes battled for that top spot. Graul wasted no time making a major impact in each and every game.
In the series opener, the senior produced his most clutch effort of the year in a instant classic game, poking a walk-off RBI single in the ninth inning of what was initially planned to be a seven-inning game as part of a 2-for-5 effort in a crazy 5-4 win. The second Saturday contest saw an eerily similar stat line — though there were no walk-off heroics, Graul did go 2-for-4 at the plate, scoring two of his team’s three runs in a tight 3-1 victory that gave Penn sole possession of first place.
As for Sunday’s games? With Penn winning the two contests by a combined 20 runs, Graul’s offensive output wasn’t quite as necessary, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. The first game saw the defending Ivy League Player of the Year reach base four times in five plate appearances (two hits, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch) en route to a three-run, two-RBI effort.
In the series finale going up against Princeton star Ben Gross, who led the Ivy League in ERA entering the afternoon, Graul spearheaded a fantastic team offensive effort that bounced the Tigers’ ace from the game after not even three innings. The senior’s stat line: 4-for-5, three runs, three RBI, a double and a triple, as he saved the best for last in a 10-2 win.
For those too lazy to do the math, here are his numbers for the weekend: 10-for-17 at the plate, a .632 on-base percentage, six RBI, eight runs and, most importantly, four wins. Thanks to Graul’s heroics, the Red and Blue find themselves with a two-game lead over Cornell in prime position to take their first Ivy League title in 22 years — and for that, he’s the Penn Athletics Weekend MVP.
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