After an explosive weekend, Penn’s offense went quiet Tuesday afternoon against Lafayette, and the Leopards handed Penn its first home loss of the season, 9-3.
The Quakers (14-7, 2-1 Ivy) put up nine hits, a steep dropoff compared to their 19 on Sunday against Columbia. Penn also falls to 0-1 in the the Liberty Bell Classic, the annual tournament held between Philadelphia-area Division I baseball teams that returned this season following a two-year hiatus.
The Red and Blue left ten runners on base, but a lack of pitch control was the nail in the coffin for Penn. Seven Quakers split the job on the mound, totaling six walks and three batters hit by pitches between them.
The game started off within reach. Junior right-hander Bryce Mangene tossed the first three innings, striking out three and surrendering one run off an RBI double.
In the bottom of the third, a two-out single from sophomore third baseman Wyatt Hensler scored sophomore designated hitter Carson Ozmer to tie the game. Freshman right fielder Nate Polo then scored on a wild pitch to give Penn the lead.
With two outs in the fourth inning, Ozmer hit a solo home run over the left field fence, his first four-bagger at the college level. It was also the last run Penn would score in the game.
Freshman rightie Noah Millikan was on the bump in the fourth inning, and ultimately took the loss for Penn. In the fifth, back-to-back Leopards were hit by pitches, and another drew a walk to load the bases. Sophomore right hander Edward Sarti entered the game and walked in a run, then gave up a single that plated two more.
Junior southpaw David Shoemaker came in to get the Quakers out of the jam. Lafayette struck out swinging to end the inning, but the Leopards regained the lead, 4-3.
The Quakers surrendered another run in the sixth before senior rightie Sam Bennett blanked the Leopards for the next two innings. Sophomore right-hander Danny Heintz then gave up four runs in the ninth on a walk, a strikeout, two hits, and a wild pitch. Senior right-hander Seth Devries was called from the bullpen and ended the Lafayette offensive outburst with a strikeout.
Back-to-back singles from senior outfielder Tommy Courtney and Hensler in the bottom of the ninth looked to start a rally, but a double play and a strikeout saw Penn’s comeback bid fall short.
Penn coach John Yurkow did not make himself available for interviews after the game.
The Quakers will look to regain their offensive spark as they host Dartmouth this weekend for a three-game series, starting with a double-header at Meiklejohn Stadium on April 2.