While many were at Easter church services celebrating Jesus’ rise, Penn baseball was at Meikeljohn Stadium celebrating their rise in the standings.
Coming off a sweep of Dartmouth, the Quakers blew the Tigers out of the water on Saturday afternoon, winning game one, 10-5, before getting shut out later that evening and losing the second game of the doubleheader, 5-0. On Sunday afternoon, Penn settled business, winning 5-2 to take the series and improve their record to 16-11 overall and 6-3 in Ivy play, while Princeton fell to 11-16 overall and 5-4 against conference opponents.
Senior pitcher Owen Coady picked up the win in game one, allowing three runs over five innings, improving his overall record to 3-2. He was helped on offense initially by disciplined baserunning, timely hits, and equally timely Tiger errors, as the Quakers built a lead without being flashy. However, freshman infielder Davis Baker put the game largely out of reach with a home run in the fourth inning, which put Penn up 9-3. The home run was the first of Baker's career, and he finished the game with three RBIs.
The Quakers’ bats ran out of juice later in the day, though, and the same could be said for Princeton, as both teams remained scoreless through the first three innings of the second game of the day. However, the Tigers launched a solo shot in the fourth inning and added some insurance runs later on while the Quakers could never wake up. After scoring at least nine runs in the five games prior, Penn was only able to muster five hits and never sent a runner past second base.
Coming into Sunday’s rubber match there was more on the line than just the series win – the teams went in with identical Ivy League records and are jockeying for a spot in a two-team Ivy League playoff.
Starting pitcher Ryan Drombowski was more than up for the challenge, as he tallied a program-record 15 strikeouts in 7.2 innings of action, allowing zero earned runs in what was easily the best performance of his college career so far. The sophomore, who appeared strictly as a reliever last season, improved his record on the year to 4-2.
Meanwhile, on offense, Penn got on the board quickly if unconventionally, as two players were walked home and another scored as a result of a hit-by-pitch. Two Tigers scored unearned runs in the third inning, and the two teams remained locked in a 3-2 game for several innings before the Quakers pulled away. In the bottom of the eighth inning, junior third baseman Wyatt Henseler knocked a home run — his seventh of the year — with Baker on base, giving Penn a 5-2 lead that would hold to be the final score.
Henseler was the clear offensive star of the weekend, finishing with five hits and four RBIs across the three games.
Looking ahead, Penn is off to Villanova for a one-game matchup with the Wildcats on April 12 before embarking to Providence, R.I. to play a three-game series with Brown this weekend. Though Brown (7-17, 4-5) is in the bottom half of the Ivy standings, the series will nonetheless be meaningful for the Quakers as they jockey for playoff positioning as part of their attempt to win their first Ivy title since 1995.