Armeny's Two-Out Hit Earns Penn a Split at Columbia

Box Score - Game 1
Box Score - Game 2

New York City – Penn earned a split with Columbia at Andy Coakley Field as a three-run ninth inning gave the Quakers a 9-7 win in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Kyle Armeny laced a single into left field, placing the decisive runs across the plate.

The Quakers (6-10, 3-1 Ivy) had the tying run cross the plate when Witte drew a two-out walk to score Blagojevich from third who led off the inning by reaching on an error by the third baseman. Armeny gave Penn its third Ancient Eight victory, 9-7 in the second game of the doubleheader at Columbia, with a frozen rope single to left field to score Nate Moffie and Bryan Graves who reached on a walk and a infield single, respectively. Armeny finished the second game 1-for-4 with two RBI.

Remington Chin (2-0) turned in another fine relief performance, closing the last two-thirds of the eighth inning, earning his second win of the season, after Penn had given up a three-run lead. Andy Console (2) earned his second-consecutive save by working a scoreless ninth inning.

Nick Francona pitched a strong 7.1 innings despite suffering the loss. The rookie left-hander sat down 14 Lions in a row between the second and seventh innings but gave up a three-run bomb to Holden to allow Columbia to regain the lead at 7-6 in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Columbia (3-13, 1-3 Ivy) got started its offense early in game two, jumping out to a 3-0 lead after two innings when Val Miklausich and Andrew Ward hit a center field double and triple, respectively. Ward’s three-bagger scored two of the Lions runs and the right fielder later scored on a Bill Niosi single to right field.

Penn answered in the following inning as Sobel singled and advanced to third on an error. He scored on a Blagojevich ground out to shortstop. The Quakers had bases loaded with two outs but only brought the lone tally across home plate. After a three and out by the Lions, the Quakers tied the score when Andrew Bechta singled and scored from first on a Blagojevich doubled off the center field wall. Blagojevich scored two batters later when Nate Moffie grounded out to first base.

The Red and Blue took their first lead of the day on a Sobel single to right field, scoring Witte who drew a walk to reach base. Penn added to its lead when Moffie doubled off the top of the center field wall to score Smith who doubled to left field to lead off the top of the seventh. The senior stole third on a Bryan Graves walk and scored, to give Penn a 6-3 lead, when Horn flied out to center field.

Like Penn on Friday, the Lions jumped out to a first inning lead in the first game of the Ivy doubleheader when Mike DFazio doubled to left field to score Noah Cooper and Tighe Holden who had each reached on singles. Columbia threatened again in the bottom of the second, stranding two on the base paths. DeFazio finished the opener 1-for-2 with three RBI.

Penn answered in its half of the fifth inning. Evan Sobel led off with a infield back up the middle. Sobel’s base knock was followed by pinch-hitter Jarron Smith being hit by a pitch. Each advanced one base on a sacrifice bunt from Alex Blagojevich and Sobel scored from third on a sacrifice fly to left off the bat of Kyle Armeny for his 10th RBI of the season. Despite the Red and Blue cutting Columbia’s lead in half, the Lions took back their two-run advantage and added to it by plating a pair in the bottom of the fifth.

Sean Abate led off the sixth with a double to the left-center field wall and later scored from third on a Spencer Witte ground out to shortstop to cut the Lions’ lead to 4-2. Abate finished the game 1-for-2 with a run scored. The Red and Blue brought the tying run to the plate twice in the bottom of the seventh but could not manufacture enough offense to tie the score and Columbia took the opener, 4-2.

Billy Purdy earned his first win of the year with a complete, four-hit effort. Bill Kirk (1-2) suffered the loss despite giving up just three earned runs and fanning seven Lions.

Penn travels to Saint Joseph’s on March 29 for a non-conference showdown with the Hawks at 3 p.m.

Written by Mat Kanan, associate director of athletic communications