PHILADELPHIA – After 11 games on the road to begin the 2014 season, the University of Pennsylvania baseball team opened up at home in style, winning two games versus visiting Lafayette, 3-0 and 8-3, in a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Meiklejohn Stadium.
In game one, the Quakers (4-9) right-hander Cuff threw a complete game, seven shutout innings, earning his first win of the season.
Game two starter, Ronnie Glenn, also went seven innings for the Quakers allowing only three runs on four hits, while striking out seven. The left-hander joined Cuff in the win column for the first time this spring.
Penn jumped out to a 1-0 lead early, putting together a Brandon Engelhardt single, followed by a Jeff McGarry walk, before Mike Vilardo punched an RBI single through the left side scoring Engelhardt in the bottom of the first inning.
The Quakers would score again in the bottom of the second after Rick Brebner doubled to right center and advanced to third when the Lafayette pitcher threw the ball into center field on an attempted pick off play. One batter later, Ryan Mincher would single in Brebner, giving the Quakers a 2-0 lead.
The Red and Blue would score a third and final time in the fourth inning on a quirky play. After Mitch Montaldo reached on an error by the Leopards second baseman, Brebner legged out a base hit off a bunt that drew a wild throw from the Lafayette catcher. Montaldo would reach third base off the errant throw and then be awarded home after the third baseman impeded him rounding the third base bag.
Cuff scattered Lafayette’s six hits across his seven innings of work, striking out four Leopard batters, while walking none.
The Quakers bats would come alive in the game two, when Mitch Montaldo doubled off the center field wall and advanced to third when the Lafayette center fielder misplayed the ricochet off the wall. Rick Brebner would bring Montaldo home on a sacrifice fly. Ryan Mincher would draw a walk, before Gary Tesch hit a two-run home run to left field giving the Quakers a 3-0 lead.
In the fourth inning the Quakers would score again after Brandon Engelhardt doubled and Jeff McGarry followed with a double of his own, collecting an RBI. Mike Vilardo would drive in McGarry with and RBI single up the middle, giving Penn a 5-1 lead.
Penn would show its power once again in the seventh inning with Montaldo homering after a Matt McKinnon double, making it 7-1.
After the Leopards added two in the top of the eighth, the Quakers added one more insurance run in the bottom of the inning when Vilardo was picked off at first base, but managed to stay in a rundown long enough for Engelhardt to score from third base before the out was recorded.
After Glenn’s quality start in game two, senior reliever Pat Bet threw a scoreless inning, striking out one batter, before freshman Jake Cousins pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out two Lafayette batters.
Penn will travel to Lafayette to face the Leopards in two more games tomorrow, rounding out the weekend series with a doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m.