2008 Baseball Spring Blog - 3/10/08 - Quakers to Take on UConn

BOCA RATON – 1:32 p.m. – We are about 30 minutes from game time and we have the lineups in. Penn is the home team and is dressed in all white today after sporting the reds yesterday and the blues on Saturday.

For the Quakers:

Nwaka – LF Gable – 2B Armeny – 1B Toffaleti – DH Gordon – 3B Williams – SS Grandieri – RF Cellucci – C Lorenzo – CF

SP – Cusick

This will be the first collegiate start for Paul Cusick.

And for UConn ...

LePage – 2B Fatse – RF Mahoney, P. – 3B Olt, M. – SS Karl – DH Nemeth – 1B Burnett – RF Pavone – C Brantley – CF

SP – Glynn

Glynn has started two games for the Huskies and is 0-1 on the season with a 5.73 ERA. He has struck out nine batters over his 11 innings. Mike Olt has started all eights games for UConn at shortstop and leads the team in hitting at .367.

1:08 p.m. - One of the great things about sprint training, and baseball in general, is the accessibility of the players. The Quakers are taking batting practice right now and I was able to talk with some of the key players in yesterday’s win over Maine to get their thoughts on the win and how the team looks in general this early in the season.

Sophomore captain Todd Roth took a few minutes away from hitting fungoes to the infielders to discuss his win yesterday and how it will hopefully build momentum for the end of the trip.

“I think offensively, we showed what kind of team we are capable of being,” he said while standing to the right of the batting cage. “As a team, we were a little tight when we got down here. We put a little too much pressure on to win every game and started pressing. Yesterday, we all loosened up and became aggressive. Hopefully, that continues.”

Roth was also happy that he was able to stretch out his innings yesterday. He went seven innings against the Black Bears, more than doubling his only other outing of the season when he threw three innings in the opener against West Chester. He took advantage of the increased innings, striking out nine Maine hitters.

“As a pitcher, you always want to go as long as you can in a game,” he said. “When you stretch out longer this early in the season you can work on all your pitches in different situations. I was able to get ahead of some guys today and that puts the pressure on the other team. I was able to get them to swing at pitches out of the zone and get some strikeouts.”

Roth was also quick to mention Matt Toffaletti who came into the game in relief in the eighth inning. Toffaletti, in his first appearance on the mound for Penn in his two years on the team, struck out four batters – including all three who stepped to the plate in the ninth inning.

“Matt is an even-keeled guy who isn’t fazed by much,” Roth said. I don’t think he felt any pressure out there. If he can contribute out of the pen just as well as he can from the DH spot, he will be a valuable weapon for us.”

Steve Gable had a good day at the plate. The sophomore second baseman went 6-for-8 over the two games and scored four runs while driving in two.

“I just wanted to have a good approach at the plate and hit the ball hard,” Gable said in between rounds in the cage. “Things went my way yesterday, but today is another day.”