PRINCETON, N.J. – Having won 18 of their last 21 games, the University of Pennsylvania baseball team split an Ivy League doubleheader with Princeton on Saturday, winning game one 2-0, before falling in game two, 6-4.
Junior catcher Austin Bossart went 7-for-8 in the doubleheader, with a home run and a double, totaling three RBIs and scoring two runs. Bossart is now hitting .319 on the season, with nine doubles and four home runs.
Penn (21-13, 12-2 Ivy) saw starting right-handed pitcher Connor Cuff (5-1) continue his string of impressive Ivy League outings, throwing seven scoreless innings, while striking out seven Tiger batters in game one. Cuff has now won his last four starts, having allowed only four runs in 27 1/3 innings. He has recorded 19 strikeouts in that span.
Bossart, extended the Quakers, adding an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning, with a solo home run.
The Quakers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning, taking advantage of Princeton miscues with two outs. Matt Greskoff walked, followed by a Ryan Mincher walk. Tigers’ starter Chad Powers then balked, sending Greskoff to third. Connor Betbeze then hit a groundball to the second baseman that should have been the third out, but the ball was mishandled, allowing Betbeze to reach, and Greskoff to score.
Game two saw Penn tally just seven hits, with Austin Bossart collecting four of them, going 4-for-5 with two RBIs.
Penn took an early 3-0 lead in the top-half of the first inning after Brandon Engelhardt was hit by a pitch, before a Bossart RBI double. With one out, Rick Brebner walked, bringing up Mike Vilardo, who would hit a ball in the hole at shortstop and beat out the throw for an RBI base hit. The throw from the shortstop would get past the Princeton first baseman also allowing Brebner to score on the error by the shortstop.
Princeton (11-21, 6-8 Ivy) answered, scoring once in the fourth and twice in the sixth against Penn starter Jake Cousins, to tie the game. Cousins threw 5 1/3 innings, allowing five hits, while striking out two, and earned a no decision.
The Tigers would rally to score three more runs in the eighth inning off reliever Stephen Silvestri (0-1). The left-hander threw 2 1/3 innings in relief allowing three runs on one hit and two walks. Silvestri struck out one.
Trailing 6-3 heading into the ninth inning, Penn managed to push one more run across on a Bossart single, scoring Mitch Montaldo.
Engelhardt was hit by a pitch three times in game two.
Penn and Princeton face off again tomorrow in a doubleheader, wrapping up their four-game series. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 12 p.m.