New York, N.Y. - The Quakers' offense carried them to a split on Friday as they dropped the day's first contest 7-4, but hit their way to a 13-7 victory over Columbia in the nightcap at Satow Stadium.
Penn hit .381 for the day as three different players had at least four hits. Leading the way was senior Dan Williams. The third baseman went 5-for-8 on the afternoon with three doubles, and scored four runs, three in the second game of the day. Williams' four runs gave him 136 for his career, breaking Tom Olszak's school record of 135 runs scored. His five hits also made him the first player in Penn history with 200 in a career.
Williams wasn't alone in his hot hitting, as sophomores Spencer Branigan and Greg Zebrack each had four hits. Branigan was 4-for-8 with three runs and three RBI, while Zebrack finished 4-for-9 with a double, a home run and three runs. Freshman Brandon Engelhardt also added three hits and had a team-high four RBI in the nightcap.
The Lions got on the Red and Blue early, scoring three times in the bottom of the first inning off Cusick. With the bases loaded and two down, Cusick gave up an infield single and consecutive walks to allow three runs to score. One inning later Columbia ran their lead to 5-0 on a two-out solo home run by Dario Pizzano, and an RBI double.
The Penn offense woke up in third inning as Engelhardt and Adrian Lorenzo both walked to lead off the inning. Zebrack then singled to load the bases for Williams. Williams came through with a single to right, scoring Engelhardt and Branigan followed with another run-scoring single to cut the deficit to 5-2. Will Davis lined into a double play, but a throwing error loaded the bases once again. Brebner walked on five pitches to cut the lead to 5-3 before a strikeout ended the inning.
The Red and Blue cut the lead to one an inning later as Zebrack singled with no one on and two outs. Williams followed with a run-scoring double down the left-field line to make it a 5-4 game, but was stranded on second to end the inning.
Columbia added another run in the sixth and one in the seventh to push the lead to 7-4. Down to Penn's last at-bats in the top of the seventh, the Quakers loaded the bases with one out before a strikeout and a ground out to short ended the scoring threat.
In the nightcap the Lions came out swinging again, scoring twice in the bottom of the first to take the early 2-0 lead. The Quakers responded in the top of the second as Engelhardt singled home Brebner with two outs to cut the Columbia lead in half.
After a fly out to open the third, the Penn bats came alive. Lorenzo started the rally with a single and Zebrack followed with a double to put runners on second and third. Williams walked to load the bases and Branigan doubled down the left-field line, scoring two and giving the Red and Blue a 3-2 lead. Davis walked to load up the bases again and Derek Vigoa singled in a run. After a strikeout, Engelhardt belted a three-run triple to right to push the Penn advantage to 7-2. Ryan Deitrich then made it back-to-back triples with one of his own, scoring Engelhardt..
Columbia scored one run in the bottom of the frame and then in the fourth starter Vince Voiro gave up a solo home run to cut the Penn lead 8-4. In the sixth, the Quakers responded with a pair of runs as Davis doubled home Williams and Branigan with one out.
The Lions made a last ditch effort in the bottom of the seventh, scoring three more times on Voiro to close the gap to 10-7. They wouldn't get any closer as each of the first three runners in the eighth reached safely. With the bases loaded, Vigoa hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Williams. Brebner followed with a single to drive in Davis and make it a 12-7 ballgame.
An inning later Zebrack belted his sixth homer run of the season to close the scoring for Penn. Freshman Cody Thomson pitched the final two innings of scoreless relief to preserve the victory for Voiro. The junior went seven innings, giving up seven earned runs on eight hits. He also walked five batters and struck out three for his fourth win of the season.
With the split the Red and Blue move to 18-20 on the season. They conclude their year tomorrow in a doubleheader against Columbia at Meiklejohn Stadium.