For many teams, the last regular season home game is dedicated to honoring that year’s senior class. Penn baseball is no different and used the opening ceremony of the third game of its series this weekend to celebrate its seniors. The five soon-to-be-graduates walked with their families onto the field, as their younger teammates observed and applauded.
Unfortunately for the Red and Blue, Penn lost its final home series of the year to Cornell two games to one, including a 7-6 loss on Senior Day at Meiklejohn Stadium.
The Quakers (12-21-1, 6-8-1 Ivy) and the Big Red (8-17-1, 4-8) split Saturday’s doubleheader to open the weekend. Senior pitcher Gabe Kleiman struggled in the opener, giving up eight runs before the end of the fourth inning. Freshman Brendan Bean came on in relief, allowing two runs for the rest of the game.
The Quakers’ offense rallied in the bottom of the ninth, but their six-run frame wasn't enough to complete the comeback. Junior Matt McGeagh's three-run blast put Penn within one, with Cornell still needing all three outs to escape the inning. Sophomore Peter Matt's two-out single put the tying run in scoring position a few batters later, but the Quakers couldn't get the run across, falling 10-9 to the Big Red.
Sophomore pitcher Christian Scafidi started the second game of the day, allowing just one run in five innings of duty. This time, Penn's bats were enough to put the Quakers in front, sandwiching Cornell's four-run seventh around two four-run innings of their own. Matt featured heavily in both of those innings, mashing a three-run homer in the sixth before hitting the game-winning RBI double. The Quakers took the game, 9-5.
Sunday's Senior Day would decide the series. Freshman Eduardo Malinowski hit consecutive home runs in the first and third innings to bring the score to 3-0. The Big Red put up all seven of its runs in the seventh and eighth innings, wiping out what had been a 5-0 Penn lead. The Quakers were only able to score one more, falling short, 7-6.
Although the final game and the series did not work out in the Quakers’ favor, the team's senior class was still able to make its mark — over the weekend as well as during their four years at Penn.
“We’ve grown so close with them throughout the season, and they’ve definitely made a big contribution to this team. This whole off-season we worked on getting closer with them, and that’s what we’ve been doing,” Malinowski said of his seniors.
“It was a tough last game to have, but soon enough I’m going to look back and remember all the good times, because some of the best memories I have will have been on this this field,” senior Andrew Murnane said.
The Quakers will continue Ivy play next weekend with a visit to Columbia starting on Friday.