PHILADELPHIA - Having little to show for in run production early in the game, sophomore shortstop Ryan Mincher ignited the University of Pennsylvania offense in the bottom of the fifth inning, hitting a three-run home run to jumpstart the Quakers' bats, leading to an 11-5 victory over Lafayette on Wednesday afternoon in the opening round of the Liberty Bell Classic at Meiklejohn stadium.
The win for Penn (11-10, 4-0 Ivy) on Wednesday, marked its seventh straight victory, and also a 7-0 start at Meiklejohn. It is the best start for the Quakers at home since 2010, when they started 5-0 in Philadelphia.
Mincher went 2-for-4, driving in three runs on the afternoon, with the home run and a double later in the game. Senior outfielder, and recently named Ivy League Player of the Week, Rick Brebner continued to swing a hot bat for Penn, going 2-for-4 with two home runs and five RBIs. Junior outfielder Connor Betbeze also added a multi-hit day to the mix for Penn, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored, and two RBI.
In the midweek matchup, Penn saw 20 players get game action against the Leopards (7-12).
The Quakers used seven pitchers in the game, with junior Jeff McGarry starting and throwing two innings, allowing one run. Following McGarry were freshman Mitchell Hammonds, sophomore Jeremy Witt, senior Pat Bet, and freshman Andrew Burnick combining for five scoreless innings of work. Hammonds, Witt, and Burnick each struck out two Lafayette batters. Witt picked up the win, his first, for his inning of work.
After trailing 1-0 for the first four and a half innings, in the bottom of the fifth, Penn exploded for six runs. Junior Austin Bossart doubled to lead off the inning that culminated with the Mincher home run. The Quakers wouldn’t be done scoring, tacking on five more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take an 11-1 lead that they would never relinquish.
Penn would relinquish four runs in the top of the eighth inning before, sophomore reliever Mitch Holtz came on to end the eighth, and close out the game in the ninth.
Up Next: Penn goes on the road for its first road games in Ivy League play this season. The Quakers travel to Cambridge, Mass. to take on Harvard (5-14, 1-1 Ivy) on Saturday, before heading to Hanover, N.H. to face Dartmouth (4-13, 1-3 Ivy) on Sunday. Both days will be doubleheader matchups beginning at 12 p.m.