Winter Park, Fla. - It was a mixed bag for the Quakers on Tuesday, as they beat Georgetown 9-5 behind a great pitching performance in the first game of the day and lost a tough 8-4 game to Rollins on Tuesday evening.
Penn had a chance to tie the game down 6-4 in the eighth against Rollins but came up empty. In the top of the ninth, the Tars added two more runs for the 8-4 lead and the Quakers couldn't mount a final inning comeback.
In the first game of the afternoon the Red and Blue got a dominating pitching performance from freshman Matt Gotschall and the offense gave him plenty of cushion as Penn finished with a 9-5 victory over Georgetown. The southpaw deftly kept Georgetown at bay, allowing just two hits and one earned run over eight innings of work. He also struck out eight batters and walked just three for his first career victory.
Freshman Brandon Engelhardt had a pair of hits in each contest and finished 4-for-9 with a double, a triple and five RBI on the day. Senior Adrian Lorenzo went just 2-for-5 but reached base in five of his eight plate appearances and scored a run. Greg Zebrack scored all three of the four times he reached base during the day.
In the first game, both pitchers kept the offenses off the board through the first three innings. Georgetown took the one-run lead in the fourth but the Quakers responded with three runs in the top of the fifth.
Eight different batters came to the plate in the inning as Penn got an RBI single from Derek Vigoa with one out and then a two-run single from Englehardt one out later. In the seventh, the Red and Blue added to their lead with three more runs, all with two outs. Zebrack reached on a throwing error and came around to score on a passed ball and Engelhardt belted a triple later in the inning to score two more for the 6-1 lead.
Penn added a run in the eighth and two more in the ninth off a Jeremy Maas home run to grab a 9-1 advantage. In the last of the ninth, Georgetown tried to make it interesting but their comeback fell short as they lost 9-5.
In the second game of the day, it was Rollins who jumped out to the early start, scoring a run apiece in the first and second inning. Freshman hurler Adam Ogburn also kept the Quaker bats at bay, with three scoreless innings to start the game, despite Penn loading the bases with no outs in the first inning.
Penn finally broke though in the fourth as Zebrack singled with two outs through the left side. Lorenzo followed with a double to score the centerfielder and cut the deficit in half, 2-1.
Rollins added to their lead in the sixth with four runs to take the 6-1 lead. It was short lived as the Quakers came back in the bottom of the frame. Penn loaded the bases with one out and Engelhardt delivered with a two-run double. Senior Dan Williams followed with a sacrifice fly to center to score one more as Penn finished the inning down 6-4.
The Quakers threatened again in the eighth as Lorenzo singled to left and Engelhardt followed with a walk. With one out, Williams flied to deep center field, advancing Lorenzo to third, however, a ground out ended the inning.
Two more from Rollins in the final inning put the game out of reach as Penn managed just two baserunners and no runs in the bottom of the ninth.
Freshman Cody Thomson got the start in the second came, going 5.1 innings and allowing four earned runs without walking a batter and striking out three. Sophomore John Beasley added two innings of relief and didn't allow an earned run while striking out three batters.
The split puts the Quakers at 2-3 overall. Penn does improve to 8-4 over Georgetown over the past three years with the early win. Penn returns to action on Thursday for a 6 p.m. matchup with Rollins.