Philadelphia - Numbers do not lie. Penn recorded this season's most runs (14) and hits (19) in a game, runs in an inning (seven) and tied for the most home runs (three) in a game en route to a 14-3 dismantling of Saint Joseph's Wednesday afternoon at Murphy Field. Andrew Bechta came up one two-base hit shy of hitting for the cycle as the sophomore registered a single, a triple and his first-career home run.
Penn (9-18) looked to be back on its heels as the Hawks (7-21) opened the scoring with a run in the third and another in the top of the fourth inning. The Red and Blue answered mightily with seven runs on seven hits in the home half of the fourth. Nate Moffie led off the frame with a single, followed by Bryan Graves double to right-center field. Sean Abate flied out to sacrifice in the Quakers' first run. After Spencer Witte drew a base on balls, one of six given up by Saint Joseph's pitching, Matt Horn singled up the middle for his first run batted in. Evan Sobel followed with a base hit to score Witte and Bechta cleared the bases with a double off a 2-1 pitch. Alex Blagojevich plated Bechta with a single to right field and later scored when Kyle Armeny drew a bases loaded walk. When the dust had settled, Penn had turned a two-run deficit into a five-run lead, 7-2. The seven runs in the fourth were the most scored in a single inning by Penn this season, having scored four runs in a single inning nine times prior to today.
Horn led off the fifth with his third home run of the season and ninth of his career on a 1-0 pitch from relief pitcher Al Braun. Two batters later, Bechta grooved the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for the first home run of his season and career. Penn plated another run in the sixth when Horn singled again to center field to score Graves. The Quakers recorded its third multi-run inning with three in the seventh. Graves doubled to score Moffie and Armeny who had reached with a single and a base on balls, but Graves was thrown out at third, aggressively trying to stretch the double into a triple. The next batter was Abate and the junior calmly blasted a 1-0 pitch over the right field netting for his fourth bomb of the season. In the eighth, Hank Watson doubled to left field and advanced to third base on a passed ball. He later scored on an Alex Nwaka single.
Five Quakers recorded multiple hits against the Hawks and a trio collected three hits. Blagovich ended his day 3-for-4 at the plate. Horn was also 3-for-4 with three RBI and Bechta was a perfect 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored. Graves had two hits in two at bats with two RBI and two runs scored. Abate was the third Quaker to drive in three RBI.
Penn used seven pitchers in the win with Joe Wilamowski (1-0) earning his first-career victory, going two innings and throwing 28 pitches. Remington Chin earned his first start of the season in his 14th appearance and worked a pair of solid innings, fanning one batter. Joe Thornton, Michael Gibbons, Dan Finkelstein and Andy Console all pitched scoreless innings in relief. The Red and Blue dominated, allowing just two earned runs on four hits. Joel Grimshaw (0-2) suffered the loss for the Hawks with seven earned runs on eight hits in three and one-third innings.
Murphy Field will play host to the season's final Ivy League doubleheaders on April 16-17 when Lou Gehrig Division rival Princeton comes to town for a pair of twin bills, beginning each day at noon. Head Coach Bob Seddon will be honored between games one and two on Saturday, while the Penn seniors will be honored prior to the day's action on Sunday and the Penn Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2005 will be inducted during the intermission on Sunday as well.
Written by Mat Kanan, associate director of athletic communications