PHILADELPHIA - It was better late than never for the Quakers, who scored in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 7-7 tie and come away with an 8-7 win over visiting Keystone College at Meiklejohn Stadium on Wednesday.
Penn gave up a lead for the third time in five games, but like the previous two instances the Red and Blue found a way to pull it out, getting an RBI single from freshman Brandon Engelhardt with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Freshman righty Cody Thomson then came on to finish the game for his team-leading fourth win of the season.
Thomson was one of six pitchers for the Quakers on Wednesday. He tossed the final two innings, allowing two hits and striking out a pair. Sophomore John Beasley got the start and was the only other Penn pitcher to go 2.0 innings. He didn't allow a run and struck out two over the first two frames.
At the plate, the Red and Blue scored eight times on seven hits, with sophomore Greg Zebrack going 2-for-3 with a run and two RBI. Senior Mike Mariano recorded his first extra base hit of the season, belting a double down the third-base line that scored a pair of runners.
For the second time in as many games, the Quakers jumped on the opposition early, scoring four times in the bottom of the first. After a groundout by Engelhardt, senior Dan Williams drew a walk and moved over to third on some excellent execution in the hit and run by senior Jeremy Maas. Will Davis was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Mariano doubled down the left-field line, scoring a pair. Rick Brebner followed with a run-scoring groundout and Zebrack plated the last run with a bunt single.
Keystone cut into Penn's lead with two runs in the top of the third on four hits to make the score 4-2. The Red and Blue got a run back in the bottom of the frame on an RBI double from Zebrack to push the advantage back to three.
In the fifth, the Giants came all the way back to take the lead. Keystone scored five times, and though only two of the runs were earned, it left Penn on the wrong side of a 7-5 score.
The Red and Blue offense came alive in the bottom of the sixth as Brebner and Zebrack both walked to lead off the inning. With two on, Derek Vigoa laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third. With Adrian Lorenzo batting, Brebner scored on a passed ball, and just one pitch later a wild pitch brought Zebrack in from third to tie the game at six apiece. Lorenzo walked but was stranded on first to end the inning.
After a scoreless seventh, Vigoa led off the bottom of the eighth with a bunt single down the third-base line. The junior advanced to second on a wild pitch and came home on the single by Engelhardt.
The Quakers run their win streak to five games, their longest since winning five straight in March last season, and improve to 13-10 overall. Penn embarks on its first Ivy road trip of the year this weekend when the team faces Yale and Brown on Saturday and Sunday.