Lakeland, Fla. - The Penn baseball team wrapped up its trip through the Sunshine State in less-than-ideal fashion on Sunday afternoon, falling to North Dakota State by a score of 15-3. The Quakers end their time in Florida with an overall record of 3-5.
North Dakota St. got on the board quickly in the bottom of the first inning. Though lead-off batter Tim Colwell was tagged out at second trying to stretch a single into an extra-base hit, the next three Bison batters reached to load the bags with one away. A Wes Satzinger sacrifice fly to center field scored Nick Colwell from third base for a 1-0 lead. With Gautieri one pitch away from escaping the inning, Nick Anderson hit a chopper to shortstop Kyle Toomey. Though Toomey was able to field the ball relatively cleanly, his throw to Matt McKinnon short-hopped the first baseman and allowed a second NDSU run to score. Toomey was able to limit the damage on the next batter, robbing Tyler Steen of a single up the middle to end the inning.
Three straight hits in the second inning by the Bison left Penn in a 4-0 hole and a botched pick-off attempt put Nick Colwell on third with only one out. Though Gautieri was able to get Zach Wentz to pop out in foul ground for the second out, Colwell came in for a 5-0 NDSU lead when Gautieri dropped a throw back to the mound from Austin Bossart.
North Dakota St. continued to pound the ball in the third inning, picking up another five runs off Alex Ott before Mike Zuppe could close out the inning. The Bison picked up four more runs in the fourth inning and scratched one more across in the fifth to go up 15-0 as the Penn pitching staff struggled to contain the explosive Bison hitters.
Penn finally broke through in the top of the 9th. Evan Schreyer led off with a walk and he advanced to second off a Cody Dillabough single. Mitch Montaldo then hit a ground ball towards the shortstop who misplayed the ball and threw it past the first baseman, bringing in Schreyer from second. Pinch-hitter James Mraz then brought in the second Penn run of the inning with a single past the second baseman. With the bases loaded and one out, Ryan Deitrich drove in the final Quaker run of the afternoon with a deep fly to right field in foul territory, scoring Montaldo.
NDSU ace Luke Anderson improved to 4-0, going six innings and giving up three hits. John Beasley had three innings of effective relief for the Quakers, holding the Bison scoreless on just one hit.
Penn opens its home schedule on Wednesday, hosting Temple at Meiklejohn Stadium. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.