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The team's infielders huddle on the pitcher's mound during the game against Villanova on March 15. Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

Like in any sport, preparing for competition is just as important as competing, and Penn baseball puts a lot of effort into making sure they're ready for games. 

The baseball season is in full swing, with the Quakers currently sitting at 17-11 overall and 6-3 record against Ivy League opponents. But the Quakers still have series against Ivy League opponents left, hosting Columbia and Yale, and visiting Brown and Cornell. 

“With baseball, we play so many games that our practices, once [the] season begins, are usually very quick, like two hours max,” Head Coach John Yurkow said. “And then there's certain days where position players, we may not even throw to give them a day off.”

A lot of this comes down to the fact that in addition to the sheer frequency of games, most conference series include a Saturday doubleheader plus a day game on Sunday. “We're trying to keep guys fresh for the weekend because we do play three games on a weekend. It's a lot of baseball,” Yurkow added.

Weight training also plays a major role in the practice routines for the team. “We usually head straight to the weight room for about a 45 to 50 minute lift on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but we really back off as far as the reps and stuff like that go [during the season],” Yurkow continued.

In terms of timing, the schedule varies based on what part of the season the team is in. 

According to Yurkow, the team practices Tuesday though Sunday for most of January and February. The team also has to consider class schedules and other teams sharing the same facilities.

Pitchers also tend to follow a different practice routine than the rest of the team. This is critical, as each pitcher is different in terms of how many pitches they have thrown recently. 

“Usually at the start of practice, the pitchers will break off and they'll get their individual throwing programs done," Yurkow said. "Depending on how many innings they threw on the weekend, some guys might be able to do more work during practice than others. [Assistant Coach Josh] Schwartz has to do a pretty good job of managing that.” 

Yurkow did mention that relievers follow a slightly different regimen than starters, given that it is harder for them to know when they'll be called upon to pitch, saying “it's a lot easier for the starters to prepare because they know when they're throwing.” 

As for the upcoming schedule, following Wednesday's trouncing of Villanova, the Quakers will head to Providence, R.I. for a crucial three-game series against Brown. 

“It'll be a big series for us," Yurkow said. "Our goal every weekend is to win the series. If you do that, you'll be in a pretty good position at the end of the year."