RICHMOND, Va. - Going into extra innings tied at three, the University of Pennsylvania baseball team took the lead in the top of the 11th inning on a two-run home run by Connor Betbeze, before surrendering three runs to Richmond in the bottom half of the inning, allowing the Spiders to snatch away victory, 6-5, Friday afternoon at Pitt Field in Richmond, Va.
After the Betbeze home run in the top of the 11th, sophomore reliever Mitch Holtz came in to pitch for the Quakers and yielded two straight walks, struck out a batter, allowed another walk to load th bases before giving up a single through the left side, scoring two Richmond runs. With the game tied at five and runners at first and second, Holtz got a pop-out to catcher Austin Bossart for the second out, before giving up the game-winning single to right field.
Penn (2-7) led the game early on after jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning, on the strength of Jeff McGarry RBI double, scoring Gary Tesch, with McGarry coming around to score on a Richmond fielding error of a ball hit by Marshall Harden.
In the sixth inning, junior Mitch Montaldo gave Penn a 3-2 lead on a solo home run to left field.
Quakers starter Connor Cuff allowed a run in the fourth on three singles and one more in the fifth on a single and double, the only two runs he would relinquish on the afternoon. Cuff would throw one more inning, leaving with a 3-2 lead, throwing six innings, scattering nine hits, giving up two runs, while striking out five batters. The junior right-hander earned his second no decision of the year.
Richmond (5-10-1) would score a run in the eighth inning off Penn’s Mike Reitcheck to tie the game 3-3. The score would remain that way until the 11th, thanks to 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief work from the Quakers Pat Bet.
Penn and Richmond will face off in game two of the three-game series Saturday afternoon. First-pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Pitt Field.