Game One - Princeton 7, Penn 3
Last year's Ivy League Rookie of the Year Mike Ford put on a show in Saturday's opener, throwing six no-hit innings on his way to a complete game victory over Penn, winning 7-3. Ford improved to 3-3 with the win while Cody Thomson suffered the loss for the Quakers, falling to 2-2.
Both pitchers looked sharp in the early going as the only baserunner conceded in the first inning for either team was on a two-out walk for Princeton. Thomson quickly handled the situation, getting slugger Sam Mulroy to pop out to second to end the side.
Penn's trouble started in the second. After Thomson struck out Ford - a rare pitcher who also has a regular spot in the batting order - to get the first out, Princeton strung together three straight singles to score its first run, followed by a double from Alex Flink to make it 2-0. Thomson's second strikeout of the inning had him nearly out of the jam, but Matt Bowman came through with the Tigers' fifth hit of the frame to score one more, putting the lead at 3-0 after two.
The Quakers went down in order again in both the third and fourth innings as Ford's attempt at a perfect game continued, and Princeton again put a crooked number up on the board in the bottom of the fourth. After a pair of singles to open the inning, a throwing error from Thomson on a bunt play scored both runners to extend the lead to 5-0. The Tigers added one more with a Mulroy double to take a 6-0 lead into the fifth inning and a solo shot their next time up from Steve Harrington made it 7-0.
A pair of errors in the sixth inning finally put runners on base for Penn, but the Ford no-hitter continued when he was able to get Austin Bossart to fly out to center with two outs. Greg Zebrack put a stop to Ford's quest with the first pitch of the seventh, depositing a solo shot over the wall in left field to make it 7-1. Spencer Branigan and Brandon Engelhardt added RBIs in the inning to cut the lead to 7-3 but a double play ended any hope of a Quakers comeback.
Game Two - Princeton 4, Penn 3
Down to its last out, Princeton stunned Penn in Saturday's second game with three consecutive base hits with runners on in the ninth inning, roaring back to take a 4-3 decision over the Quakers. Kyle Toomey had a pair of base hits and Zebrack and Ryan Deitrich each homered for the Red and Blue in the game.
Scoreless entering the third inning, Mitch Montaldo doubled down the left field line and advanced on to third as Toomey bunted himself on base. Princeton was able to record a pair of outs without Montaldo scoring but Branigan brought the freshman in to score with a two-out single to give Penn the 1-0 lead.
Penn starter Matt Gotschall pitched well, allowing only one run over six innings, but walked seven Tigers in the game and paid for it in the bottom of the third. Mulroy drew a one-out walk and stole second before Ford brought him all the way around with a RBI single to knot the score at 1-1.
Gotschall and Princeton starter Zak Hermans were on-point all afternoon and after Stephen Silvestri threw a spotless seventh inning, the game continued on into the eighth still tied at one. Things changed with two down and the bases empty in the top half of the inning when Zebrack mashed his second home run of the day and seventh of the season, putting Penn out in front by a score of 2-1. After Ronnie Glenn worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning for the Quakers, Deitrich came up in the ninth inning and added an insurance run with a solo blast, upping the Penn lead to 3-1.
After Branigan corralled a ground ball and went to the bag unassisted for the first out in the bottom of the ninth inning, the game seemed well in hand for the Red and Blue, but Princeton had some other ideas. John Mishu was hit by a pitch and Mulroy drew a walk to put two men on. Though Glenn struck out Ford for the second out, the Tigers followed with a pair of clutch RBI singles to tie the game again at 3-3, chasing Glenn from the contest. With Dan Gautieri on the mound to try to stem the tide, pinch-hitter Alec Keller singled into center field to bring the winning run around to score.
Despite Penn's late power surge, Hermens went the distance for Princeton, giving up nine hits while striking out seven and walking none to move to 3-2 on the season. Glenn fell to 0-3 with the loss.