Philadelphia - Senior lefty Josh Appell had a career day with 13 punch outs in Penn's Ivy League opening 7-2 victory over Columbia on Friday at Murphy Field. Appell earned his first win of the season with a complete game performance on 123 strikes, 75 for strikes. Penn held on to take game two, 11-9, on the strength of a career-high seven strike outs from Brian Cirri.
Penn (4-9, 1-0 Ivy) jumped all over Columbia's (2-11, 0-1 Ivy) starting pitcher Greg Mullens, scoring four runs on four hits in the first inning. Matt Horn doubled down the left field line to jumpstart the Red and Blue offense, bringing home Alex Blagojevich and Nate Moffie who had each reached on singles. Horn later scored on a Sean Abate ground out. Bryan Graves tripled to keep the inning alive and later scored on an Evan Sobel fielder's choice. Blagojevich led with three singles in four at bats, while Horn was 1-for-2 with two runs and two RBI. Graves was 2-for-3 with a run scored.
The Quakers added a fifth run in the bottom of the third inning when Spencer Witte doubled down the left field line to score Horn who led off the inning with a walk. Moffie closed out the offensive onslaught in game one with a two-run home run, his third of the season, to left-center field. Moffie was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI in the first half of the double-dip.
Moffie's two runs answered Columbia's only offense of the first game as Appell (1-2) held the Lions to just the two tallies on four scattered hits. Appell fanned five of the 13 batters he rung up in succession, striking out the side to end the second inning and two more to begin the third. Noah Cooper and Tighe Holden each drove in a run for the Lions in game one.
The Red and Blue's offense did not let up in the second half of the twin bill as Moffie began things with a two-RBI double to score Blagojevich and Kyle Armeny who led off the inning with a pair of base knocks. Horn then walked and later scored on an Abate single to right center. After the Lions pulled within two with runs in the second and fourth innings, Penn broke the game open in its half of the fourth. Abate started things with an RBI single, scoring Armeny who reached on a walk. With the bases loaded, Witte laced a double to straight away center field to bring home Abate, Horn and Moffie, all unearned due to a throwing error on the shortstop earlier in the frame. Abate was 3-for-4 with one run and three RBI in the second half of the day's action.
Armeny stepped to the plate in the fifth inning and calmly crushed his first-career home run over the right field wall to extend Penn's lead to 10-2. Armeny was 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBI in the second game. Alex Nwaka pinch hit in the sixth inning and recorded his first-career hit and RBI to give the Red and Blue an 11-2 advantage through six innings.
Cirri (2-2) also had a career day, allowing just two runs on six hits and fanning a career-high seven batters in his second win of the season. Columbia made things interesting in its half of the seventh, scoring five runs, four unearned, on seven hits. Holden led the Lions in game two with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate. The Lions scored another in the eighth to bring in Andy Console to earn his first career save. The rookie struck out Mike Malfettone looking with the bases loaded. Henry Perkins led with two RBI for Columbia.
Penn and Columbia resume their Ivy League weekend against each other with a twin bill in New York City at Andy Coakley Field. First pitch is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.
Written by Mat Kanan, associate director of athletic communications