Game 1 - Penn 2, George Washington 1
In a true pitcher's duel, Connor Cuff came away with a 2-1 win in a seven-inning contest, negating a complete game from George Washington starter Luke Staub. Cuff limited the Colonials to only three hits in six innings of work, improving to 2-1 on the year in the process.
Penn jumped on top immediately in the top of the first inning. Brandon Engelhardt led off with a double to the gap in right-center and scored as Ryan Deitrich hit a one-out single into left for a 1-0 lead. That lead held up through two innings as Cuff sat down six straight to open the game.
The Quakers doubled their lead in the top of the third despite having two down and no one on base. Deitrich started the rally with a double into left field for his second hit of the day. That was followed with a Joey Greco single back up the middle that had the senior off on contact and in to score for the 2-0 lead.
Penn managed only one more hit following the third inning, but they had all the offense they needed. Cuff stranded one runner in the third inning and two in the fourth before working a perfect fifth inning. A hit batter in the sixth inning paved the way for a two-out double to cut the Quakers' lead in half at 2-1, but the sophomore escaped any further damage with a fly out to right to end the side.
Ronnie Glenn came on to pitch the final frame for Penn but immediately put a runner on by walking the lead-off hitter. GW put its man into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, but Glenn put his foot down from there. The lefty finished off the game with consecutive strikeouts to give Penn the 2-1 win and pick up his fourth save of the season.
Game 2 - Penn 9, George Washington 2
Cuff passed the torch onto Jeff McGarry in the second game of the afternoon for the Quakers. McGarry, a sophomore, earned his first career collegiate victory by allowing only two George Washington runs over eight innings as Penn established a big lead by the middle innings and cruised to the finish.
Colonials' starter Aaron Weisberg put the Red and Blue down in order in the first and second innings, but immediately ran into trouble in the third. Mitch Montaldo led off with a walk and then moved to second after Ryan Mincher reached on an error, the first of three for GW in the ballgame. A bunt single from Gary Tesch loaded the bags with no one out, and a rattled Weisberg then hit Engelhardt to give Penn a 1-0 lead. Mike Vilardo followed that up with a soft ground ball to second that brought Mincher in, but George Washington ended the Penn side with a double play off a hard-hit Deitrich line drive.
Deitrich returned the favor in the bottom of the third, initiating a double play off a putout in right field and throwing back to Branigan to double off Travers Nammack. The Penn offense then went back to work in the top half of the fourth inning, giving McGarry all the cushion he would need. Branigan hit a one-out single through the left side of the infield and moved on to third after an error by the catcher allowed Austin Bossart to reach. Singles from Montaldo and Tesch brought both Branigan and Bossart in for a 4-0 lead. With two men on and two men out, Engelhardt doubled them both home to extend the Quakers to a 6-0 edge.
The Colonials struck back for one run in the fifth inning, but Penn eliminated any doubt by tacking on three more in the seventh and eighth. Greco and Bossart each had RBI base hits in the seventh inning and Vilardo smoked a ground-rule double to left field in the top of the eighth to put the Quakers on top, 9-1. McGarry worked around a couple of hits in the eighth to allow only one more run before being lifted going into the ninth. John Beasley struck out the first batter of the ninth and then ended the game by inducing a 6-4-3 double play.
Vilardo led the Red and Blue at the plate in the second game, going 3-for-5 with two runs batted in. Engelhardt led Penn with three RBI in the contest, while Deitrich pushed his hitting streak to 12 games - at least one hit in every game this year - with a single in the seventh inning.