Tulane likes to call itself a hidden Ivy, or an Ivy of the South. But when faced against a team from the actual Ivy League this weekend, the Green Wave were overwhelmed by the Quakers' multifaceted offensive attack.
Following an intensely competitive three-game series, the Quakers emerged with two wins and improved to 5-6 on the season. The Green Wave fall to 3-14 this season, with both teams yet to start conference play.
In the first game of the series, Penn struggled to keep its pitch count low as senior left-handed pitcher Owen Coady racked up 103 pitches in just four innings — an outing that showcased a recurring problem for the Quakers so far this year. While he only allowed two runs, it left fellow senior left-handed pitcher David Shoemaker in a difficult position coming out of the bullpen.
Shoemaker has set a career high in innings pitched in each of his appearances this year. This trend continued on Friday when he put in 4.2 innings of work in relief. Despite giving up three runs, Shoemaker still earned the win — largely due to excellent run support from the team's offense. The top seven batters were especially impressive, combining for 12-31 with six RBIs. While congratulations are in order for each of their hits, freshman designated hitter Jarrett Pokrovsky gets the spotlight — leading the Quakers with three RBIs during the 8-5 Penn win.
The second game went less favorably for the Red and Blue as it squandered a 3-0 lead and eventually lost 8-5, a mirror image to Friday's outcome. The game started well, as junior right-handed pitcher Cole Zaffiro secured a career-high eight strikeouts in only 4.1 innings to start the game. Senior first baseman Ben Miller went on to hit two home runs in Saturday's game, but it was all for naught as Tulane's bats got hot late. The Green Wave scored four runs in the sixth inning with sophomore Chandler Welch's dominant relief appearance securing Tulane's win.
With the series tied 1-1, the stage was set for a rubber game on Sunday. Right-handed pitcher Ryan Dromboski took the starting mound for Penn, which turned out to be a great decision. The sophomore's stellar situational pitching kept the Green Wave from filling up the scorebook, allowing two runs in six innings. Dromboski was backed by loud Quaker bats, with junior third baseman Wyatt Henseler going yard in the third to put Penn up 2-1. Tulane got plenty of hits and walks — another persistent weak spot in the Quakers' pitching — but the Green Wave stranded 10 on base during Sunday's match.
Despite leading 7-4 after seven innings, it was in the eighth when the Red and Blue unleashed its full offensive firepower. The Quakers scored six in the frame, taking advantage of a wild pitch and a double by junior outfielder Calvin Brown. After this, Penn's lead seemed secure at 13-4 — but a rally by Tulane in the bottom of the ninth caused a scare, as the Green Wave scored six runs of their own. However, this proved to be too little, too late. Penn emerged victorious at 13-10, a final score too close for comfort given that the team was up by nine runs at one point.
This weekend marks the second series win of the year for the Quakers, and the last of a string of away series to start the season. So far, Penn has shown promise from both upperclassmen and underclassmen, as the team heads home before its home opener at Meiklejohn Stadium on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. against Villanova.