Baseball Clinches Share of Division Title with Game 1 Win; Drops Game 2 in 12 innings

Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score

ITHACA, N.Y. - The University of Pennsylvania baseball team clinched at least a share of the Gehrig Divisiontitle with a 13-1 win in Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader with Cornell. The Quakers dropped the nightcap, 11-10 in 12 innings and now must wait and see how things shake out between the Big Red and Princeton this weekend.

Joey Boaen and Jeff Cellucci ignited the offense in Game 1. Boaen collected three hits, including a three-run homer in the seventh. Cellucci went 4-for-4 with four RBI.

Working on short rest, Jim Birmingham and Doug Brown (3-5) held down the Big Red offense. Brimingham surrendered a first inning run and that was all for Cornell (14-20, 7-9 Ivy). Birmingham tossed three innings and Brown threw the final four innings; allowing no runs and one hit while striking out five.

Penn’s (20-17, 12-8 Ivy) offensive onslaught started in the third inning. Cornell starter Matt Hill (1-2) loaded the bases with no outs. Consecutive sacrifice flies by Joey Boaen and William Gordon gave the Quakers a 2-1 lead.

In the fifth, the first five batters for Penn reached base and came around to score. Stephen Osterer relieved Hill after singles by Jarron Smith and Boaen. Osterer walked Gordon to load the bases, and then uncorked a wild pitch that scored Smith. Osterer was not done there as he issued two more walks to bring in the second run that ended his brief outing. Adam Loeding came in from the bullpen to try to clean up the mess, but walked in a run. He struck out Tim May for the first out of the inning, but Cellucci delivered a base-hit to left that scored two runs and gave Penn a 7-1 lead.

The Quakers added five more runs in the seventh. The big blow was a three-run homer to right by Boaen.

Game 2 was a 12-inning whirlwind affair that saw runs in all but three of the first nine innings. Every time Penn scored a run, the Big Red answered right back.

The Quakers tied the game at 3-3 in the fifth on a homer by William Gordon. Cornell struck back with two runs in bottom half. Robbie Seymour loaded the bases with two walks and hit batter which ended his day. Andy Console limited the damage, allowing two runs on sacrifice flies.

The Big Red increased their lead to 6-3 with one run in the sixth. Penn got within a run by scoring twice in the seventh. Kyle Armeny doubled, scoring Gordon, who reached on a lead off walk. Penn took advantage of two walks and a hit batter to plate the second run.

Todd Roth came in to pitch the seventh and ran into trouble. He surrendered two base-hits to start the frame. After a ground out and an intentional walk to set up the force, Roth got Ryan Michael to go down swinging for the second out. Ry Kagan sent a 1-2 pitch from Roth to the gap in right center, Boaenalmost made an outstadning play, butthe ball popped out of his glove when he collided with the fence. Kaganrounded the basesfor an inside-the-parkgrand slam that gave Cornell a 10-5 lead.

Reid Terry led off the ninth with a homer to bring the Red and Blue within four runs. However, a comeback look unlikely after Cornell reliever Blake Hamilton retired the next two batters. Hamilton loaded the bases on two walks and a single and walked in the Quakers’ seventh run. Walker Toma (4-4) came in for Hamilton and hit Alex Nwaka to force in another run. With the score 10-8 and down to their last strike, Matt Toffaletti singled through the left side, scoring Armeny and Gordon for the tying run to pull off the improbable comeback. Toma struck out Terry to end the inning.

Cornell had the bases loaded with two outs in the ninth, but Roth induced a ground out to send the game to extra innings.

The Quakers had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 12th. Cellucci led off with a single and Jim Farrell was hit by a pitch. Smith laid down a sacrifice bunt and Boaen was intentionally walked to set up the force. The strategy paid off as Toma got Gordon to ground into an inning-ending double play.

In the bottom-half, Steve Dannaway reached on an error by Gordon. A ground out advanced him into scoring position and a single by Jimmy Heinz got Dannaway 90 feet closer to winning the game. Terry (2-3) got Justin Milo to foul out to Toffaletti for the second out. Next batter, Nathan Ford hit a grounder to short and Gordon went to second for the force, but Heinz beat the throw to the bag and Dannaway scored the winning run.

Penn will now have to wait and see how Princeton and Cornell’s series plays out this weekend. One win by Cornell eliminates Princeton from contention and gives the Quakers the division title outright. A sweep by the Tigers ties them with Penn and forces a one-game playoff to determine the division champion.