BOCA RATON 8:31 p.m. Some good Williams-on-Williams crime here, as Penn’s Dan Williams just threw out Pitt’s Danny Williams at first to start the bottom of the fifth inning. The “good” Williams if you are a Penn fan followed up with a diving catch of a soft line-drive off the bat of Leonard. Console then walked the bases loaded with the two outs. That was all for Console and Robbie Seymour is now in for the Quakers. He strikes out Matt Litzinger swining to end the inning without any damage. 5-1 Pitt heading into the sixth. Let’s see if the big stop by Seymour wakes up the bats ...
8:06 p.m. After the Panther connected for two runs in the bottom of the third inning when Joe Leonard launched a two-run homer to deep left-center, the Quakers responded in the top of the fourth with their first run of the game when Dan Williams drove in Matt Toffaletti with a single down the left field line. Toffaletti reached via base on balls and then advanced to second when pitcher Nate Reed balked. The Quakers had runners on the corners with two out when William Gordon singled, but Reed snagged a hard grounder right back at him off the bat of Jeff Cellucci to squash the rally. After 3 and a half innings, Penn trails, 5-1.
7:36 p.m. Michael Gatti has come through so far in the field, corralling all three balls hit to center field through two innings. His best catch was a diving stab of a soft line drive off the bat of Danny Lopez in the second. Andy Console sat the Panthers down, 1-2-3 in the second after allowing three runs in the first inning. Pitt connected for four hits, including a double, to plate the trifecta. After 2 and a half innings, Pitt leads, 3-0.
7:05 p.m. Nice touch as they announce the starting lineups for both teams. A stirring rendition of the National Anthem from Whitney Houston followed. It was a copy, they didn’t actually fly her in for the night.
6:47 p.m. We have the lineups for tonight’s game between the Penn Quakers and the Pitt Panthers. Penn is the visiting team and will be batting first.
1. Steve Gable 2B
2. Matt Toffaletti RF
3. Kyle Armeny 1B
4. Tim May DH
5. Dan Williams SS
6. William Gordon 3B
7. Jeff Cellucci C
8. Alex Nwaka LF
9. Michael Gatti RF
SP Andy Console (0-1)
1. Conley LF
2. Lopez SS
3. Kielty 1B
4. Williams 2B
5. Leonard 3B
6. Warner DH
7. Mullins C
8. Herr CF
9. Litzinger RF
SP Reed (1-2)
Two quick pre-game notes ... Penn’s starting shortstop is Dan Williams. The starting second baseman for Pitt is Danny Williams ...
Secondly, there is some pre-game music tonight. I am not sure about the guys, but Guns N’ Roses and Linkin Park have me fired up to score the game. Also, the first song they played was the theme from “Rocky”. The Philly boys have to be pumped now. As I write this, Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s “Takin’ Care of Business” is blaring over the speakers ... Seems pretty appropriate tonight.
4:56 p.m. - Welcome back to a game-day edition of the blog. After two days away from competition, the Quakers are back on the diamond tonight to take on Pittsburgh at 7 p.m.
The Panthers are 3-7 on the season, with losses in their last four games. Last time out, Pitt lost to Central Florida, 8-2, in Orlando. Pitt is expected to throw lefthander Nate Reed tonight against the Quakers. Reed has appeared in three games for Pitt this season, and had a 1-2 record with an 8.68 ERA.
Offensively, the Panthers are led by Danny Lopez. He is batting .341 and leads the team in hits (14) and runs (10). He is also 5-for-5 in stolen base attempts. Sean Conley leads Pitt in RBI with 14.
The Quakers are looking to bounce back from an extremely tough defeat suffered at the hands of UConn on Monday. The Red and Blue have had two days to think about the 18-0 loss and have combined relaxation with an intense practice last night over the pair of off days.
On Tuesday, we headed to Jupiter to watch the major leaguer's play and last night we were back at Santaluces High School for a nightime practice to adjust to playing under the lights as we will the next two evenings. Last night was a "back to basics" evening, with the pitchers working on their fielding with PFPs and a lot of situational hitting. It appeared that the coaching staff wanted the guys to focus on the simple things and do them well.
It will be important for the Quakers to be aggressive from the first inning tonight and put pressure on the Panthers, who have been struggling as of late themselves. An early lead for the Red and Blue will go a long way to erasing the lingering feelings from Monday.
We got here a little ealry today for some pictures. The guys took a team photo and them some individual ones. All you Penn parents out there can expect some nice glamour shots of your sons in front of palm trees ... Along with a nice bill for those photos.
We are in the middle of batting practice here now, so I will update again before the game when I have lineups. As always, the game will be on Game Tracker after first pitch.