PHILADELPHIA – With just eight games remaining in the regular season, and Ivy League play, the University of Pennsylvania baseball team travels to Princeton for a four-game series with the Tigers on Saturday and Sunday.
Penn (20-12, 11-1 Ivy) has won 18 of its last 21 games and has only dropped one league game this season. The Tigers (10-20, 5-7 Ivy) split with Harvard in an Ivy League matchup on Wednesday. The midweek matchup was the result of a postponement earlier in the season. Princeton lost game one, 4-3, in extra innings, before winning the game two, 6-2.
In 2013, Princeton took three of four games from Penn in Philadelphia. The Tigers won the first game, 7-2, before Penn took game two, 8-7. On the second day, Penn lost 7-1, before falling, 7-6, in extra innings.
The Quakers and Tigers will play a doubleheader on Saturday and Sunday, with games beginning at 12 p.m. each day. You can follow the Red and Blue on Twitter all weekend long - @PennBaseball, or watch/listen on the Ivy League Digital Network. Live stats are available on PennAthletics.com
SCOUTING PRINCETON: On offense the Tigers are led by senior Alec Keller (.364, 5 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 14 RBI), sophomore Danny Hoy (.301, 7 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 12 RBI), and freshman Paul Tupper (.278, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 19 RBI). On the mound, Princeton has a 5.95 team ERA in 242.0 innings pitched. They have 174 strikeouts, led by senior left-handed pitcher Michael Fagan, with 55, leading the Ivy League.
IVY LEAGUE NOTES: After winning three-straight Ivy League Player of the Week awards, Penn captured honor roll nods this week. Gary Tesch, and Rick Brebner (back-to-back) had been named Players of the Week for the previous three weeks. This week, Ryan Mincher, Cody Thomson, and Tim Graul were recognized on the honor roll. Mincher hit .316 this week, with four doubles, and eight RBIs. Thomson threw 8.1 innings in relief this past week, allowing no runs, and only one hit, while striking out 12. He came on in relief in the seventh inning of a 2-2 game against Saint Joseph’s in the Liberty Bell Classic, and left the game in the 11th inning allowing only a hit, and striking out seven. Graul also received honor roll mention after going 4-for-4 against Saint Peter’s, collecting his first collegiate hit, and hit a home run and a double, while tallying three RBIs.
PRETTY GOOD IN LEAGUE PLAY: At 11-1, the 2014 Quakers have put themselves in good company in Penn baseball history. After producing its best start in program history in the Ivy League, beginning 8-0, Penn has continued to play well versus the Ancient Eight. The Quakers started 10-0 in league play in 1989, in what was then the Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League (EIBL). Penn and the other Ivy League teams participated in the EIBL from 1930 to 1992. That league included Army and Navy. Beginning in 1993, the eight League schools have competed in an Ivy-only conference schedule. The 8-0 start in league play was the best by an Ivy school since Dartmouth in 2009. The Big Green started 11-0, finishing the season with a 16-4 league record and winning the championships series over Cornell.
PENN POWER NUMBERS: Penn has remained in the top-10 nationally in home runs per game virtually the entire 2014 season. Currently, the Quakers are ranked ninth in the country averaging 0.91 round-trippers per game (29 total home runs). Leading the nation is Louisiana-Lafayette who has hit 46 home runs in 38 games for a 1.21 average.