Search Results

Below are your search results. You can also try a Basic Search.

Lions split ends season for Baseball

(05/02/01 9:00am)

For the Penn baseball team, the closing weekend of the 2001 season was as bittersweet as the entire season. The Quakers wrapped up their first winning campaign since 1996 with a 22-18 overall record, but they closed out the Ivy League season 8-12, one game worse than a year ago. The Red and Blue split a pair of games with Columbia (18-26, 10-10 Ivy League) in New York on Saturday, then halved another twin bill with the Lions on Sunday at Murphy Field. Near the banks of the Harlem at Andy Coakley Field, the matinee was a pitcher's duel between Columbia's Adam Schwartz and Penn right-hander Dan Fitzgerald, both of whom pitched the full seven innings. This complete game marked the third of the year for Fitzgerald since he took on the role of weekend starter. The Lions jumped out to an early lead, posting a pair of runs in the first inning -- one earned and one unearned -- but that was all the offense they could muster in the early game. The Red and Blue evened things up at two in the second inning on four base hits. The score stayed that way until the sixth inning, when the Quakers got the go-ahead run. Penn third baseman Oliver Hahl belted a double to advance Nick Italiano to third. The second baseman would cross the plate with the decisive run on the next play when Andrew Pisano, Columbia's man at the hot corner, mishandled a grounder. During the nightcap in New York, the Quakers managed to piece together eight hits, but runs were scarce, as the Lions won going away, 7-2. "We didn't hit the ball at all," Penn senior Chris May said. "They really shut us down." Brian Doveala went the distance for the Lions, striking out eight on the afternoon. When the scene shifted to Murphy Field for Sunday's doubleheader, Penn had to be confident with ace Andrew McCreery going to the hill. But McCreery was pounded early, giving up six runs in the first inning on the way to his only Ivy League loss of the season. McCreery's final line was ugly -- over four and two-thirds innings, he gave up all 11 Columbia runs on 13 hits, including a monster shot by Columbia designated hitter Nick Solaro that hit the scoreboard. He walked two and struck out three. Only six of the runs were earned, but by the time the sophomore starter left the mound, Penn trailed, 11-1. Then, however, the comeback was on. Matt Hepler pitched two and a third solid innings of shutout relief and Penn's bats came alive. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, McCreery, still in the game as the DH, tripled home Italiano. Then May extended his single-season RBI record with a double that brought home McCreery. Still, with two innings to play in the seven-inning game, Penn trailed by eight. It would take a miracle for the Quakers to defeat the Lions. And a miracle is what they very nearly got. With five runs already home in the bottom of the seventh, Penn shortstop Steve Glass stepped to the plate with runners on first and third. He was the tying run at the plate, but had not hit a home run all season. He hit a fly ball deep to right field that drew his teammates out of the dugout, but it was foul. Glass then flied out to end the game. The second game was another story, as Penn jumped out to a 4-0 lead behind starter Ben Krantz and never trailed in an 8-3 win. Krantz ended his season solidly, with six innings of work in which he scattered seven hits and three runs, striking out three. "We wanted to go out with a bang," May said. They did, and he did. May became just the second man in Quakers history to hit 10 homers in a season when he thumped a Brian McKittish offering to dead center field for a long two-run bomb in the fifth. Another senior making his final appearance on Sunday was closer Nick Barnhorst, who sandwiched a ninth-inning walk between three strikeouts to wrap up a season in which he set the Penn single-season record for saves. "I struck him out with four sliders yesterday," said Barnhorst, who is also a Daily Pennsylvanian sports writer. "It's a good way to go out.. I'm happy personally."

Baseball sophomore trio ready for St. Joe's

(04/25/01 9:00am)

There's an old baseball adage that says a team is generally only as strong as its players up the middle, namely its double-play combination and center fielder. The Penn baseball team currently has three strong players at those spots, and those players will all be there in the years to come. "Only good things can happen when you play with the same guys for years," Penn shortstop Steve Glass said. "The defense will be one constant throughout the years where we have this young infield." Glass and second baseman Nick Italiano, as well as center fielder Andrew McCreery, are all sophomores. The middle infield pair in particular has grown together this season, as the Quakers (20-15) head into their final five games of the season, starting today against St. Joseph's (16-18). "We really have a strong bond," Italiano said. "We definitely work really well together. We're on the same page. It's amazing how when I turn to him to figure out who's covering the base, we both say the exact same thing every time." At the plate, as well as in the field, both have performed well for the Red and Blue this season. Out of the lead off spot, Italiano's 12 doubles are the most by a Penn hitter in five years. His .360 average ranks third among the Quakers starters. Glass is batting just .269 but easily leads the Red and Blue with 25 walks. His on-base percentage is a much more robust .412. * One player who won't be back in the coming years is Penn right fielder Chris May, one of four seniors in the starting lineup. May has made the most out of his final season with the Red and Blue, though. He broke the Penn record for RBIs in a season with his 49th of the year on Sunday against Princeton and still has a chance to set some other records. May's .461 batting average currently ranks second in the country behind UCLA's Brian Baron(.485). If May's average holds, he will break the 67-year-old Penn record of .459, set by Donald Kellett. And if he does manage to break Kellett's record, May will probably also exceed Mike Shannon's school mark of 70 hits in 1995. May currently has 59, which ties him for third all-time with Glenn Partridge's 1976 total. May is also one home run away from becoming the second player in Penn history to hit 10 round-trippers in a season. Tom Olszak, who held the single-season RBI mark until this weekend, hit 11 homers in 1978 and swatted 12 a year later. * The Quakers can clinch a winning record for the season with a victory today over the Hawks. A win would also move Penn to 3-2 against teams from Philadelphia. It won't be easy, however, as Penn lost a 6-5 game to St. Joe's back on April 4. "I think we felt last time that we definitely should have won that game," Glass said. "You never want to lose to any of the other Philadelphia schools -- there's a bit of a rivalry there. I think they got their revenge on us from last year, but hopefully we can return the favor this time around." Russ Brocato will be the starting pitcher for the Red and Blue today against a Hawks lineup that boasts a .314 team batting average. * May did not practice yesterday due to a bruised elbow he suffered when he was hit by a pitch on Sunday. "I don't want to see it effect him, because he's way up in the stats," Penn coach Bob Seddon said. "We've got some boo-boos out there." Still, May expects to play today, as does Glass, who sprained a ligament in his right hand.

Baseball falls out of title race

(04/23/01 9:00am)

When Mike Goldblatt crossed the plate with the winning run in the first game of the Penn baseball team's Saturday doubleheader with Princeton, it seemed like a sign that the Quakers had a chance to claw back into the Gehrig Division race. Three losses later, the Red and Blue (20-15, 6-10 Ivy League) find themselves eliminated from that race, unable to catch the Tigers (17-19, 11-5), who are now one win away from clinching their seventh consecutive Gehrig crown. The Quakers did have their chances. After a thrilling 2-1 victory to open the four-game set, Penn lost 6-4 in the nightcap. Yesterday, the home team was pounded 8-2 in the first game, then blew a four-run lead to drop the second game, 8-7. "In a way, we were under the gun, because we were behind the eight-ball," Penn coach Bob Seddon said. "But we should have won that game." Chris May's single in the bottom of the seventh inning of yesterday's finale drove in Oliver Hahl and brought the Red and Blue as close as they would get. The RBI was May's 49th of the season, breaking Tom Olszak's single-season Penn record, set in 1979. "I would have liked to have broken the record under better circumstances," May said. "It's quite an honor, but I couldn't have done it without my teammates getting on base." There were plenty of baserunners this weekend, but the Quakers struggled to bring those runners home. Penn stranded 23 men on base in its three losses. Penn's pitching staff also struggled, especially in yesterday's twin bill. Dan Fitzgerald, who had pitched two complete games in a row, was knocked around for seven runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings in the second game. In yesterday's opener, starter Ben Krantz lasted just five innings, allowing six runs on six hits and five walks. The Tigers scored three runs off the sophomore before the Quakers even came to bat in the first inning. "Krantz has struggled," Seddon said. "He got hit hard." The capper on Krantz's bad afternoon yesterday was a two-run homer off the bat of Princeton right fielder Max Krance that made the score 6-0. Even in that 8-2 game, though, the Quakers had opportunities. They left the bases loaded in the fifth and sixth innings. The lone highlight of yesterday's opener for the Red and Blue was a true baseball oddity: pitching coach Bill Wagner convinced the umpires to reverse a balk call. "Basically, they were pretty lenient on us," Wagner said. "We kind of convinced it a little bit. I basically said, 'Explain to me what he did wrong,' and he [couldn't]." Saturday's nightcap was even worse for the Quakers, who had 12 hits, but scored just four runs. Penn battled back from deficits of 1-0 and 3-1 before the bullpen collapsed behind starter Mike Mattern. "Our bullpen has failed us in the past week," Seddon said. One aspect of the pitching staff that hasn't failed the Quakers is starter Andrew McCreery. The sophomore, who tossed a no-hitter earlier this season, was the winning pitcher in Penn's comeback on Saturday, going the distance for his fourth consecutive complete game in league play. But since it was the only win of the weekend for the Red and Blue, his start next weekend against Columbia will be McCreery's last of the season. Neither he nor his teammates will get to go to the Ivy League playoffs this season.