PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania baseball team travels to Dallas, Texas this weekend to face Dallas Baptist University in a four-game series to open up the 2014 season.
The Quakers are heading to the southwest for the first time to take on the Patriots (6-2). Penn and DBU have met only one time previously, back in 2005 in Fresno, Calif., where the Quakers fell, 9-2.
Penn and DBU will play Friday night at 7:30 p.m., followed by a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 3 p.m., wrapping up the series on Sunday at 2 p.m. All start times are Eastern time.
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Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday Penn: Connor Cuff, RHP (Jr., 5-3, 4.38 ERA, 51.1 IP in 2013)
DBU: Paul Voelker, RHP (Jr., 2-0 0.75 ERA 12 IP 3 BB 13 K)
Saturday (#1) Penn: Dan Gautieri, RHP (Jr., 5-3, 2.17 ERA, 58.0 IP in 2013)
DBU: Cy Sneed, RHP (Jr., 1-1 3.09 ERA 11.2 IP 4 BB 9 K)
Saturday (#2) Penn: Ronnie Glenn, LHP (Jr., 1-1, 4.42 ERA, 18.1 IP in 2013)
DBU: Drew Smith, RHP (So., 1-1 5.41 ERA 6.2 IP 6 BB 5 K)
*Note: Penn and Dallas Baptist did not play a fourth game on Sunday. Penn returned to Philadelphia early in advance of an oncoming winter storm.
Sunday Penn: Cody Thomson, RHP (Sr., 2-3, 6.05 ERA, 38.2 IP in 2013)
SCOUTING DALLAS BAPTIST: The Patriots swept their opening series a week ago, outscoring Mississippi Valley State, 52-5, in three games. DBU then traveled to Sam Houston State taking one of two games against the Bearkats. The Patriots came back to defeat Texas-San Antonio in 12 innings on Tuesday, 6-5, to run their record to 6-2 overall. DBU has scored a total of 68 runs in eight games on offense.
HEAD COACH JOHN YURKOW: Taking over the reins of the Penn baseball program, first year W. Joseph Blood Head Coach of Baseball John Yurkow, spent the previous seven seasons as the Quakers’ top assistant coach. In that position, his duties included handling all aspects of recruiting, hitting instruction, infield instruction, and coaching third base. “Penn is a great place to work. I am excited to take on this endeavor and lead the next generation of Quaker baseball, said Yurkow at the time of his hiring. “Over the past seven years I have developed the utmost respect for what it takes to be a standout student-athlete at the University of Pennsylvania, and I cannot wait to begin my new role with the tremendous group of talent we have.”
PENN PITCHING: Looking to be a strength this year for the Quakers, Penn lost only one senior from a year ago. The Red and Blue will look to juniors Connor Cuff (5-3, 4.38 ERA), Dan Gautieri (5-3, 2.17 ERA), Ronnie Glenn (1-1, 4.42 ERA), and senior Cody Thomson (2-3, 6.05 ERA) to lead the staff as starters. In relief Penn will rely on the likes of senior Matt Gotschall, junior Jeff McGarry, and sophomore Jeremy Witt, along with freshman Andrew Burnick, Jake Cousins, and Jack Hartman. Anchoring the bullpen will be sophomore Mitch Holtz (1-0, 2.08 ERA) and freshman Mike Reitcheck.
IN THE OUTFIELD: Seniors Brandon Engelhardt (.279, 5 2B, 14 RBI) and Rick Brebner, along with sophomore Matt Greskoff, will man the outfield for the Quakers in 2014, after the departure of Ryan Deitrich. Junior Connor Betbeze (.275, 11 RBI, 10 SB) and Gary Tesch will also see time in the outfield for Penn.
AROUND THE HORN: Penn returns its starting infield in 2014. Leading the way for the Quakers will be sophomore second baseman Mike Vilardo (.320, 19 2B, 31 RBI) and junior catcher Austin Bossart (.283, 3 HR, 25 RBI). Playing shortstop will be sophomore Ryan Mincher (.214, 10 2B, 16 RBI), with junior Mitch Montaldo handling the hot corner and Jeff McGarry playing first base. Penn will look to sophomore Marshall Harden to man the designated-hitter position to begin the season.
PENN HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2013: The Quakers finished the season with an overall record of 22-21, and 7-13 (T-5) in the Ivy League. Senior Ryan Deitrich earned the Big 5 Player of the Year honors, while freshman Michael Vilardo took home Rookie of the Year in the Big 5. Sophomore Dan Gautieri joined the two on the All-Big 5 Team. Senior Spencer Branigan was named a CoSIDA Academic All-District, along with being Academic All-Big 5. Deitrich and junior Rick Brebner earned first-team All-Ivy recognition. Notable wins for the Quakers included a 6-0 victory at Duke, taking two of three at Winthrop and three of four from George Washington, and a sweep of Dartmouth in Ivy play.