Baseball Faces Columbia in Gehrig Division Playoff

PHILADELPHIA – One game between the University of Pennsylvania baseball team and Columbia will decide the Ivy League Gehrig Division title.

After splitting the regular season series a weekend ago, Penn (22-14, 16-4 Ivy) and Columbia (26-14, 16-4 Ivy) will meet in a playoff game on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Robertson Field at Satow Stadium in New York. The winner will move on to host Dartmouth (20-20, 16-4 Ivy) in the Ivy League Championships Series, May 9-10.

It’s the second consecutive season that the Quakers and Lions are meeting in a playoff game to decide who advances to the championships series. In 2014, Penn and Columbia were tied atop the division at 15-5, before the Lions defeated the Red and Blue, 4-0, in the deciding game.

Saturday’s playoff game will be available live on ESPN3 and on the Ivy League Digital Network ($), and fans can follow on live stats, and Twitter - @PennBaseball.

NOTES

COLUMBIA STARTING PITCHER: The Lions will turn to junior right-handed pitcher George Thanopoulos on the mound Saturday. Thanopoulos has a 3-4 record on the season with a 3.54 ERA in 53.1 innings pitched. He has surrendered 53 hits and 17 base on balls, while allowing 31 runs, and has struck out 48 batters. In game one of the regular season series, he worked 6.0 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits in a 4-3 Penn victory.

PENN STARTING PITCHER: On Saturday, the Quakers will employ left-handed pitcher senior Ronnie Glenn against Columbia. Glenn is 4-3 with a 2.84 ERA in 50.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 21 runs on 46 hits, with 16 walks and 48 strikeouts. Glenn opposed Columbia’s George Thanopoulos in game one of the regular season series, throwing a complete game seven innings, allowing three runs, while striking out five.

REGULAR SEASON SERIES: In the Penn and Columbia regular season series played last weekend, the Quakers won game one in New York, 4-3, and game three in Philadelphia, 2-0, while the Lions took game two, 1-0, and game four, 8-6 in 10 innings. Highlights for the Red and Blue were Ronnie Glenn’s complete game win, and an Austin Bossart home run in the top of the first inning in game one, setting the tone for the series. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Mike Reitcheck threw 8.0 strong innings in the game two defeat, before sophomore right-handed pitcher Jake Cousins threw a complete game, one hitter, in game three picking up the win. Bossart would homer once more in a back-and-forth game four that saw Columbia edge out a win in the 10th inning to force the one game playoff.

IVY LEAGUE PITCHING NOTES: Penn left-hander Mike Reitcheck leads the Ivy League in ERA, with a 1.71 mark in 52.2 innings pitched … Third in ERA is right-hander Jake Cousins (2.22) … Seventh and eighth in ERA are Ronnie Glenn (2.84) and senior right-handed pitcher Connor Cuff (3.00) … Glenn leads the Ivy League in complete games with five, and he is tied for second in the league in strikeouts, with 48, averaging 8.53 per outing … Reitcheck and Cousins are tied for second in the league in wins, with five, while Glenn and Cuff are tied for sixth, with 4 wins … Sophomore right-handed pitcher Mitchell Hammonds is tied for seventh in the Ivies with two saves.

IVY LEAGUE HITTING NOTES: Senior infielder Mitch Montaldo leads the league in home runs with 10, he is also second in the league in slugging percentage (.633), third in the league in RBI (33), and tied for fifth in the league in doubles (14) … Senior catcher Austin Bossart is fourth in the Ivies in hitting with a .361 batting average, and fifth in on-base percentage (.424) … He is also tied for seventh in doubles (13), and tied ninth in RBI (26), and tied for 10th for home runs (4) Along with Bossart, senior first baseman Matt McKinnon and junior outfielder Matt Greskoff are tied for ninth in the Ivies in RBI, with 26 … … Junior outfielder Gary Tesch is third in the league in stolen bases, a perfect 11-for-11 on the season … Senior outfielder Connor Betbeze is tied for sixth in stolen bases (8) … Junior infielder Ryan Mincher is 10th in the Ivy League in runs scored, with 26 … Three Penn players occupy spots No. 7-9 in the league in on-base percentage – Mincher (.412), Greskoff (.410), and Betbeze (.409).

NCAA NOTES: Penn ranks top-10 nationally in two categories – slugging percentage (10th, 0.471) and doubles per game (9th, 2.42) … The Quakers are 23rd in the country in home runs per game (0.94), and 39th in overall home runs (34) … Individually, Mitch Montaldo is 24th in home runs per game (0.28) and 34th in home runs (10). He is also 42nd in slugging percentage (0.633) … Hitting 0.298 as a team, Penn is ranked 31st nationally … Ryan Mincher is ranked 23rd in the country in toughest to strike out … On the mound, the Quaker pitching staff is 46th with an ERA of 3.34 … Left-hander Mike Reitcheck is 25th nationally in individual ERA (1.71).

BOSSART – IVY LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: In last weekend’s series with Columbia, Austin Bossart went for 7-for-17 (.412) in the four game series with the Lions, including two home runs and two doubles, while driving in three runs and scoring twice. Behind the plate, Bossart threw out all three Columbia base runners that attempted to steal in the series, and caught sophomore right-handed pitcher Jake Cousins’ one hit, complete game, victory on Sunday in game one. Bossart set the tone of the series for Penn, hitting one of his home runs in the top of the first inning in game one of the series on Saturday at Columbia. He is currently leading the Quakers in hitting (.361, 48 hits) and on base percentage (.424).

COUSINS – BIG 5 PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Jake Cousins (5-1) threw a complete game, one hitter, allowing a lone single in the fourth inning, picking up a 2-0 shutout victory versus Columbia this past weekend. Picking up his fifth victory this season, Cousins collected six strikeouts, pushing his season total to 31. Cousins is now tied for the team lead in wins with fellow sophomore Mike Reitcheck. On Sunday, Cousins lowered his ERA to 2.22 in 48.2 innings pitched, placing him third in the Ivy League.

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