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Junior right fielder Peter Matt set an NCAA record with 12 at-bats in the 21-inning marathon game Saturday.

Credit: Eliud Vargas

Penn baseball made history in a number of different ways this weekend. 

After lighting up the scoreboard against Saint Joseph's earlier in the week, the Quakers tallied 49 runs in a three-game series sweep over Dartmouth. The Red and Blue took home their first conference series sweep since 2017 and have now won six of their past seven games by an average margin of 9.5 runs. 

"We've been playing really hard as of late, and I think this sweep gives us something to show for it," coach John Yurkow said. 

The wins move the Quakers (17-8, 6-3 Ivy) into second place in the Ivy League — just a half game behind Harvard — while also giving them momentum heading into their series with the other half of the League. 

Penn kicked off the weekend with a lengthy, record-setting marathon that saw the Quakers rack up 30 hits, the most in program history. They notched the first run of the game when freshman left fielder Craig Larsen doubled and sent junior second baseman Chris Adams home. 

The Big Green, however, were resilient, and both teams traded punches until the eighth inning, when Penn took a 10-6 lead thanks to Larsen's two-out grand slam. Dartmouth wound up tying the game in the bottom of the eighth and forced extra innings. 

"It's funny because the scoreboard [at Dartmouth] only goes up to 11 innings, so after a while, we lost track of what inning it was," Yurkow said.

Both teams scored three runs in the 13th before going seven innings without a run. Finally, in the 21st inning of play, Penn outscored Dartmouth, 8-2, thanks to some clutch hitting from junior right fielder Peter Matt, senior first baseman Sean Phelan, and Larsen. 

"This was a crazy start to our weekend, and both teams scored a bunch of runs," Yurkow said. "We didn't really play good defense and walked a good amount of guys, but we hung in there and broke back with a big 21st inning." 

The game marked a number of records for both sides. It was the longest game in Ivy League history and the 11th game in NCAA history to last for 20 or more innings. The teams' combined 206 plate appearances and 176 at-bats also marked NCAA records. Penn's 92 at-bats and Matt and Larsen's 12 at-bats each are the most in college baseball history.

"When you're in the game, you're just trying to score runs, but after the stats started coming in afterwards, the history we made started to sink in," Yurkow said. "Penn baseball is over 150 years old, and the fact that we were able to do the things we did and come out with a win is something I don't think I'll forget." 

In addition, Larsen made use of his 12 opportunities by hitting for the cycle. In the 13th inning — after already hitting a double, triple, and home run — he dropped a bunt and reached base safely to complete the first Penn cycle in 19 years.

After competing with Penn for over six hours the previous day, Dartmouth had no answer for the Red and Blue on Sunday. 

In the first matchup of the doubleheader, Penn slowly mounted a 3-1 lead through six innings, thanks in part to a home run by Larsen. In the top of the seventh, the Quakers exploded with five runs, and they tacked on five more in the ninth inning to cap off a 13-1 win. Junior pitcher Mitchell Holcomb pitched a complete game and limited Dartmouth to just three hits in 27 at-bats, while the Quakers stayed hot by recording 17 hits. 

Just a few hours later, Penn completed the sweep in a 15-3 rout. Senior catcher Matt O'Neill and Matt each tallied three hits, three runs and two RBIs to get Penn out to a 15-0 lead. Dartmouth scored three times in the ninth, but it wasn't enough to overcome a 15-run deficit. Junior pitcher Christian Scafidi fanned seven batters and shut out Dartmouth over eight innings to pick up the win. 

"When we travel, we can't take as many people, and after we had a 21-inning game on Saturday, we were worried about our pitching," Yurkow said. "But we had two great performances from Mitchell and Christian that were really big in netting us two wins." 

The Red and Blue will look to carry their offensive efficiency into the second half of conference play. They will face Monmouth on Wednesday before traveling to Princeton next weekend to face the Tigers. 

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