PHILADELPHIA – With a 7-1 Ivy League record after playing the Rolfe Division, the University of Pennsylvania baseball team begins Gehrig Division play this weekend with a four-game set at Cornell Saturday and Sunday.
The Quakers (12-10, 7-1 Ivy) come into the series having won 8 of its last 10 games, including Ivy sweeps of Harvard, Yale, and Brown in that stretch. Cornell (8-17, 5-3 Ivy) has won 5 of its last 11 contests, including a sweep of Yale, and splits with Brown, Dartmouth, and Harvard.
Fans can follow the Quakers versus Cornell by watch live on ILDN.tv($), listening live on ILDN, on live stats, and on Twitter - @PennBaseball. First pitch for game one from Cornell on both Saturday and Sunday is scheduled for 12 p.m.
SCOUTING CORNELL: The Big Red have two of their last five games after falling to Binghamton midweek, 7-3. Cornell is led on offense by senior Kevin Tatum (.341, 5 2B, 1 HR, 22 RBI) and senior Dan Morris (.320, 10 2B, 1 3B, 13 RBI). The Big Red offense has produced 106 runs in 25 games this spring, and has 46 extra base hits, with 94 runs driven in.
CORNELL PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS: The Big Red will turn to right-handed pitcher Brian McAfee (0.95 ERA, 4-1, 38.0 IP, 28 K) in game one, followed by left-handed pitcher Eric Upton (5.59 ERA, 1-2, 19.1 IP, 17 K) in game two Saturday. On Sunday in game one it will be RHP Kellen Urbon (1.48 ERA, 1-2, 30.1 IP, 20 K), with game two to be determined, but most likely left-handed pitcher Michael Byrne (7.11, 0-5, 25.1 IP, 30 K).
LAST SEASON VERSUS CORNELL: Last year in the first Gehrig Division series of 2014 at Meiklejohn Stadium, Penn took three of four games from Cornell, dropping the opener 9-0, before winning 11-2, 4-2, and 9-2.
PENN PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS: The Quakers will turn to senior right-handed pitcher Connor Cuff (1.78 ERA, 3-1, 30.1 IP, 20 K) and sophomore left-handed pitcher Mike Reitcheck (2.20 ERA, 3-1, 28.2 IP, 13 K) on Saturday. For Sunday’s games senior left-handed pitcher Ronnie Glenn (2.35 ERA, 2-2, 30.2 IP, 30 K) will pitch game one, followed by sophomore right-handed pitcher Jake Cousins (2.54 ERA, 2-1, 28.1 IP, 19 K).
MONTALDO CO-IVY LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Helping propel the University of Pennsylvania baseball team to five wins this past week, senior infielder Mitch Montaldo was named Co-Ivy League Player of the Week after hitting five home runs while collecting 10 RBI. Montaldo collected hits in each of the five games, going 9-for-19 (.474), with two doubles and five home runs. Batting from the right side, Montaldo hit two home runs in Wednesday’s game versus Saint Peter’s at home, before hitting two more home runs in game two at Yale Saturday. He ended the weekend with a home run in game two at Brown on Sunday. On his way to totaling 10 RBI, Montaldo drove in three runs Wednesday versus the Peacocks, and five runs in the game two performance versus Yale. Against Brown, he drove in two runs.
IVY LEAGUE NOTES: Penn’s Mitch Montaldo leads the Ivy League in home runs with six … Junior outfielder Matt Greskoff ranks fifth in the Ivies with 20 RBI … Junior outfielder Gary Tesch is tied for third in stolen bases with eight (8-for-8) … Three of Penn’s four weekend starters rank at the top of the Ivies – Connor Cuff (1.78), Mike Reitcheck (2.20), and Ronnie Glenn (2.35) … Reitcheck is tied for third in wins, with three … Glenn is tied for fourth in the league with 30 strikeouts.
BIG5 AWARD WINNERS: Penn swept the Big 5 awards this week with senior Connor Betbeze winning player of the week, and senior left-hander Ronnie Glenn winning pitcher of the week. Betbeze totaled 13 hits in 26 at bats (.500) and scored 14 runs, in games from March 30-April 5. In those seven games, he tallied eight RBI with five extra base hits, including two home runs. Glenn picked up two complete game wins, one over Harvard and one over Brown, totaling 16.0 innings pitched, allowing just three runs, while striking out 13 batters.
MONTALDO PICKS UP NATIONAL MENTIONS: Penn’s Mitch Montaldo was recognized twice this week by D1Baseball.com as a top performer for a mid-major school. The senior infielder picked up the attention for his two home run performance on Wednesday versus Saint Peter’s and his second two home run performance of the week versus Yale on Saturday.
THERE’S MORE…: Montaldo was joined by teammates Ryan Mincher and Connor Betbeze in being mentioned nationally for offensive performance. Mincher and Betbeze were both named as mid-major top performers for their days versus Brown on Sunday. Mincher hit two home runs in game one, while Betbeze hit one home run in each game versus the Bears.
PENN OFFENSE LAST IVY WEEKEND: Over the four games this past weekend versus Ivy League opponents Yale and Brown, the Penn offense totaled 54 hits, 29 of which went for extra bases. The Quakers hit 13 home runs, one triple, and 15 doubles. They also totaled 51 RBI, scoring 52 runs.
PENN RANKS TOP-20 NATIONALLY: After hitting 13 home runs last weekend, the Quakers have now hit 24 home runs in 22 game this spring, averaging 1.09 home runs a game. That mark is good enough to rank 11th in the NCAA for home runs per game. Penn’s power has been supplied by senior Mitch Montaldo (six home runs), senior Jeff McGarry and junior Matt Greskoff (four home runs), along with seniors Austin Bossart and Connor Betbeze, and junior Ryan Mincher (two home runs). Four Quakers have a single home runs – Matt McKinnon, Gary Tesch, Jonah Campbell, and Tim Graul.
NCAA NOTES: In addition to being ranked top-20 nationally in home runs per game, the Quakers rank rather high in a number of other categories. Penn is 15th in the country in slugging-percentage (.458), and 29th in doubles per game (2.14).