PHILADELPHIA – Senior Brandon Engelhardt and juniors Austin Bossart and Connor Cuff will serve as the 2014 University of Pennsylvania baseball team captains. The three individuals were selected by their teammates and will help lead the Quakers in W. Joseph Blood Head Coach John Yurkow’s first year at the helm.
“I thought our team did a great job selecting our captains this year,” said Yurkow. “All three have a great work ethic on and off the field. More importantly, they possess outstanding leadership qualities and I am quite confident they will do a great job for us as captains.”
Engelhardt has started 101 games in his Penn career as a designated hitter and most recently in the outfield. The Pottstown, Pa., native has totaled 108 hits, 60 runs and 48 RBIs over three years.
Coach on Brandon…
“Brandon is our lone senior captain, he has a wealth of experience and he knows what it takes to win. Brandon is willing to do all of the little things and he always puts the team first. He’s a tough player and he energizes our team in practice and in game settings.”
Bossart has started and played in all but four games during his first two years for the Quakers. The catcher from O’Fallon, Ill., threw out 57 percent of base runners from behind the plate, while totaling 20 extra-base hits and 42 RBIs in 2013.
Coach on Austin…
“This is Austin’s second year as a team captain. He is the heart and soul of our team. He’s our defensive leader and we give him a ton of responsibility on the field. When the game is on the line he will find a way to win it for us. Whether it’s throwing out a base runner or coming up with the game-winning hit.”
Cuff has pitched in 16 games in two years for Penn, starting 13, with a record of 6-5. Another Illinois native (Western Springs), the right-handed pitcher led the Quakers with 43 strikeouts in 2013 and is averaging a strikeout per inning for his career (77so, 77.0 in). As a sophomore, Cuff was named Ivy Pitcher of the Week for April 2 and Co-Big 5 Pitcher of the Week for April 21.
Coach on Connor…
“Connor has established himself as a dependable pitcher for us. He’s a confident player who doesn’t mind the spotlight. He’s had some minor injuries his first two years, but he should be 100 percent this spring. Connor is a great competitor on the mound, and our players believe in him.”
The Quakers will begin the season February 28 at Dallas (Texas) Baptist and will travel to Annapolis, Md., Dover, Del. and Richmond, Va. before their first home game at Meiklejohn Stadium on March 22 against Lafayette. Penn will be looking to improve upon a 22-21 (7-13 Ivy) record and fourth-place finish in the Ivy League in 2013.