PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers lost another tight game in the opener, 4-2, but came out swinging in the second game as they scored ten runs on their way to a 10-2 victory over Cornell to earn a split on Sunday in Ithaca.
Helping the offense on Sunday was senior Dan Williams, who earned his spot in the Penn record books with a 4-for-6 performance on the afternoon. The third baseman's four hits gave him 196 for his career, breaking Nick Italiano's eight-year old school record of 194 hits. With four more hits he will also become just the 17th Ivy League player with 200 career hits. Williams has also started 155 straight games for the Red and Blue, a school record.
In the opener, the Quaker offense was held in check as they managed just six hits over seven innings and starter Vince Voiro gave up four earned runs in his six innings of work. In the nightcap, the Red and Blue gave senior Paul Cusick all the offense he needed with three runs in the first four innings, while he pitched another fantastic.
The righty tossed his first career nine-inning complete-game and gave up just two unearned runs on four singles while tying a career high with 12 strikeouts. The total gives him 74 K's on the season, the sixth highest single-season total in school history. It also gave him 194 career strikeouts, good for fourth all-time in Penn history.
Neither team scored a run in the first game until the Big Red got a pair off of Voiro in the third inning courtesy of a pair of singles and a wild pitch. An inning later, Cornell made it 4-0 with two runs and three more singles.
The Quaker offense finally showed signs of life in the sixth inning as Greg Zebrack led off the game with a single up the middle. After a pair of outs, sophomore Spencer Branigan doubled down the left field line, scoring Zebrack from first. Williams walked and freshman Rick Brebner doubled to cut the deficit to 4-2. However, Derek Vigoa struck out in a seven-pitch at-bat to end the scoring threat.
Voiro worked out of trouble in the bottom of the frame, and then with two outs in the seventh Zebrack was hit by a pitch. The comeback fell short however, as Jeremy Mass popped up to end the contest.
Penn jumped on Cornell starter Corey Pappel in the second game, scoring twice in the opening frame. Zebrack led off the game with a double and Williams followed with another double to score the centerfielder. Branigan came to bat and singled home Williams to make it a 2-0 contest before three straight outs ended the scoring.
The Red and Blue added a run in the fourth as Williams hit a one-out bases-loaded single up the middle. Branigan hit into a double-play to the end the inning, but the Quakers led 3-0. In the sixth, Zebrack drove in freshman Brandon Engelhardt on a single through the right side.
After going up 5-0 in the top of the seventh, Cornell scored a pair of unearned runs on a single and a Penn error to cut the deficit to 5-2.
The Quakers scored again in the eighth as Zebrack led off the inning with a home run, his fifth of the season. In the ninth the Red and Blue left no doubt as they scored four times. Sophomore Ryan Deitrich highlighted the frame with a two RBI triple to centerfield with one out.
Zebrack finished the day 5-for-8 with four runs and three RBI while Branigan also finished 5-for-8 with three RBI and two runs scored.
The split on Sunday moves Penn to 17-17 on the season and 8-6 in the Ivy League. With Princeton's split on Sunday against Columbia, the Red and Blue still trail the Tigers by two games in the division standings. The two teams face each other in a doubleheader at Princeton on Monday.
The Quakes return to the field on Monday when they play the Big Red in a doubleheader beginning at noon.