PHILADELPHIA – Finishing the season with a 24-17 overall record and going 15-5 in the Ivy League, the University of Pennsylvania baseball team completed one of its most successful season in recent memory, and collected the seventh most victories in program history, in W. Joseph Blood Head Coach John Yurkow’s first season managing the Quakers.
Finishing 15-5, tied atop the Ivy League Gehrig Division with Columbia at the end of the regular season, the Quakers and Lions faced off in a one game playoff for the right to play in the Ivy League Championship series, where Penn fell 4-0. The 15 Ivy victories are the most for Penn since the 1989 season, when the Red and Blue went 15-3 on their way to an Ivy League championship.
Throughout the course of the season, the team and individuals were recognized for their outstanding performances including finishing with nine individuals being named All-Ivy, with four first-team selections, two second-team selections, and three named honorable mention. Earning first-team All-Ivy were Austin Bossart, Rick Brebner, Connor Cuff and Ryan Mincher, while earning second-team nods were Jeff McGarry and Mike Vilardo. Honorable mentions were Jake Cousins, Brandon Engelhardt, and Ronnie Glenn.
Penn players earned four Ivy League Player of the Weeks awards, received by Gary Tesch, Rick Brebner – twice – and Austin Bossart. As a senior, Brebner won the award back-to-back weeks, the first time ever a player from Penn has done so. The four player of the week honors, mark the most ever in a season for the baseball program.
The Quakers also racked up six Big 5 Player or Pitcher of the Weeks honors, with Jeff McGarry, Rick Brebner, Austin Bossart, and Ronnie Glenn honored once each, and Connor Cuff honored twice.
After starting the season at Dallas Baptist, Annapolis (Navy, Towson, Monmouth), Richmond and Delaware State, the Quakers began 2-9 with eight of their nine losses coming by two runs or less.
Penn would win 13 of its next 15 games, including 11_straight, pushing them to 8-0 in the Ivy League, the best Ivy-only start in program history and the best start by an Ivy school since Dartmouth in 2009.
During that span, wins came against Lafayette, Villanova, and two-game Ivy sweeps of Yale, Brown, Harvard, and Dartmouth. In the midst of their 11-game winning streak, Penn was also named CollegeBaseballInsider.com’s National Team of the Week on April 8th.
The Quakers streak came to a close in an extra-inning game that took 13 frames, before Saint Joseph’s defeated Penn 4-2 in a Liberty Bell Classic game at Meiklejohn Stadium. Penn continued on thought, defeating Saint Peter’s, and taking three of four from Cornell. The Quakers then defeated University of Sciences, before ending the regular season splitting four-game Ivy series’ with Princeton and Columbia, leading to the one-game playoff.
Statistically, the Quakers pitching staff recorded 176 strikeouts in 2014, the most all-time in a single season in program history.On offense, the Red and Blue tied for fifth all-time in a season in doubles (85), seventh in at bats (1,327), and eighth in home runs (32).