PHILADELPHIA – With the opportunity to play two games and beat the inclement weather headed to the region in the latter half of the week, the University of Pennsylvania baseball team will square off in a doubleheader against Delaware State on Tuesday, in Dover, beginning at 12 p.m.
The Quakers and Hornets (8-2) were originally scheduled to play a single game on Tuesday and then again on Wednesday, but the change was made to avoid the threat of rain on Wednesday.
Penn (0-6) is coming off three close losses in Annapolis, Md., losing to Navy 2-1 on Friday, Towson 6-3 on Saturday, and Monmouth 7-5 on Sunday. The Quakers will be looking for their first win of the 2014 season on Tuesday.
SCOUTING DELAWARE STATE: The Hornets have started the season 8-2, after wrapping up their series with a win against Saint Peter’s Monday afternoon. Delaware State has split with Iona, defeated Bucknell and George Washington, taken two of three from Akron, and completed a three-game sweep of Saint Peter's.
Offensively, the Hornets have scored 69 runs through nine games, averaging over seven runs a game. They are led by senior outfielder Aaron Nardone (9 GMs, 11-for-34, .324, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBI ),senior infielder DJ Miller (8 GMs, 14-for-29, .483, 6 2B, 7 RBI), and junior infielder David Kimbrough (5 GMs, 11-for-16,.688, 1 2B, 5 RBI).
LAST WEEKEND IN ANNAPOLIS: Penn traveled to Annapolis, and Navy’s Max Bishop Stadium for a game each, with the Midshipmen, Towson, and Monmouth. On Friday afternoon, the Quakers were narrowly edged, 2-1, by Navy. Junior right-hander Connor Cuff threw well tallying eight innings, allowing two runs (one earned), on five hits, while striking out six batters. Sophomore designated hitter Marshall Harden drove in the only Penn run.
On Saturday afternoon, the Quakers weren't quite able to figure out Towson freshman left-handed pitcher Bruce Zimmerman (6.0 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 5 H, 8 K) until the seventh, when Rick Brebner reached on an error, scoring on a Mitch Montaldo double, before Brandon Engelhardt singled to score Montaldo. Penn fell to the Tigers, 4-2.
Sunday saw the Quakers jump out to an early 1-0 lead over Mounmouth. It would stay that way until the fifth inning when Penn gave up four runs, relenting three more in the eighth. The Quakers would mount a comeback effort in the bottom of the eighth, scoring three runs on a bases loaded double by Jeff McGarry and a sacrifice fly by Brebner. Penn would score once more in the ninth after Mike Vilardo scored on a Connor Betbeze single, before ultimately falling, 7-5.
LOOKING FOR A JOLT OF OFFENSE: Penn has scored 21 runs in six games, thus far, averaging 3.5 runs per game. The Quakers have only put up a crooked number on the scoreboard on three occasions in an inning to date, scoring two runs twice, and three runs once. They have recorded one run in an inning 14 times.
YOUNG ARMS: Freshmen Jake Cousins and Jack Hartman will start the two games against Delaware State. Cousins saw his first collegiate action on Saturday against Towson. Coming in to pitch in a 4-2 deficit, the right-hander pitched two scoreless innings, striking out three Tiger batters, while facing the minimum. Hartman will be making his second appearance after throwing a scoreless inning against Dallas Baptist in the opening series.
The Quakers have thrown two other freshman pitchers, in addition to Cousins and Hartman, early in the season. Mike Reitcheck has appeared twice, allowing no runs, with two walks and two strikeouts, and Andrew Burnick has appeared three times, allowing three runs, on four hits, with two walks and a strikeout.