PHILADELPHIA - The Penn baseball team embarks on its first Ivy road trip of the season when it heads to New England for doubleheaders against Harvard and Dartmouth this Saturday and Sunday.
The Quakers went 3-1 in the Ivy League last weekend and are tied with Columbia atop the standings. Dartmouth and Harvard are both 2-2 in the league and will be tested when they face both the Red and Blue and the Lions this weekend. Dartmouth is the defending conference champion, while Harvard was .500 (10-10) in the Ivies last year.
Last Time Out: Non-Conference Slip Up
On Tuesday Penn fell to Delaware 14-8 at Meiklejohn Stadium. The final score belies the fact that the game was close throughout the first six innings. In the bottom of the fifth the Quakers came all the way back from a 7-3 deficit to tied the game at seven. The Red and Blue went ahead the next inning on a single by junior Dan Williams, scoring Jeremy Maas. The lead didn't last, as Penn gave up seven unanswered runs over the final three innings to drop to 12-11 overall.
Following The Red & Blue
Fans of the Quakers can follow the games versus Harvard via live stats (click here). The Dartmouth doubleheaders will have live stats (click here), as well as audio and video available (click here)
Despite the loss, a pair of Quakers had good days at the plate. Third baseman Dan Williams reached base five times and went 4-for-4, finishing just a home run short of the cycle. The junior also added three runs and an RBI. Fellow classmate Will Davis also hit well, going 3-for-5 with an RBI.
Last year Penn went winless against Harvard at Meiklejohn Stadium. However in its last trip to Cambridge, in 2008, the Red and Blue shut out the Crimson, 5-0 and 10-0, behind a complete game two-hitter from Todd Roth and a 6-for-9 performance with four RBI from Tom Grandieri. The Quakers, meanwhile, have lost four straight to Dartmouth, with their last win coming in the form of a two-game sweep in 2007 at home.
Scouting The Crimson
Harvard has an 8-15 record on the season, but had played teams such as Minnesota, UNC Greensboro and Charlotte. Last weekend the team split with both Princeton and Cornell.
Hitting: The Crimson hit .238 as a team, but have an on base percentage nearly 100 points higher (.329) and rely on manufacturing runs with a 'small ball' approach. Harvard has three different players with at least six steals and as a team has his just nine home runs in its first 23 games. Jeff Reynolds (.312) and Kyle Larrow (.308) are the lone batters hitting over .300 for the Crimson. Reynolds has 24 hits, five doubles, two home runs and ten RBI, while Larrow has 12 hits, two home runs and is tied for a team-high with 12 RBI.
Pitching: Harvard's 7.01 ERA over 23 games is among the worst in the Ivy League, though the team has only given up more than five runs once in its last five games. Sophomore Conor Hulse has been one of the Crimson's best pitchers, leading the starters with a 3.00 ERA. He is 1-1 in four starts and has 26 strikeouts to just nine walks and opponents are only hitting .218 against him. Sophomore lefty Will Keuper has been Harvard lone consistent reliever, with a 1.72 ERA in 15.2 innings of work. He has also walked just two batters while striking out 17.
Scouting The Big Green
Dartmouth is an even 10-10 on the season, including victories in four of their last five games. The team split with Cornell and Princeton last weekend.
Hitting: The defending conference champs lost some bats to graduation but are still hitting .309 as a team. The Big Green have five players hitting over .320, including Jeff Onsott (.375). The senior leads the team in hits (27), triples (3), RBI (21) and slugging percentage (.583), and has six doubles and scored 14 times. No player on the team has more than three home runs, but the team does have 40 doubles and nine triples on the year.
Pitching: The Big Green staff has showed excellent control all this year. They have a team ERA of 6.20 but lead the nation by a wide margin in allowing just 1.70 walks per nine innings, with 31 total walks. Kyle Hendrick is just 1-3 on the season but is second on the team with a 3.75 ERA. He also leads the team with 30 strikeouts to five walks. Dartmouth has five players with over 20 innings pitched and has only seven pitchers with over ten.
A Grand Old Time
Senior Tom Grandieri had one of the best weeks of his career last week and was rewarded as he was named both the Ivy League Player of the Week and the Big 5 Player of the Week. The senior hit .476 (10-21), scored eight times, hit two doubles, raked three home runs and had eight RBI.
Senior Reid Terry extended his scoreless innings streak to 16.1 innings in three relief appearances last week. The right hander earned the win in two of those performances and for that he was named the Big 5 Pitcher of the Week. Additionally, Terry has made 61 career appearances for Penn, good for fourth all-time in Ivy League history.
Senior William Gordon has switched between first and second base this year while starting all 23 games for Penn. He has committed just three errors in 131 chances between the two positions. Gordon also has a hit in nine straight games and an RBI in five of his last six.
Second year Derek Vigoa has been consistent at the plate all season. The starting shortstop hasn't seen his average dip below .340 since the first game of the season and is currently batting .373. He also has at least one hit in 20 of his 21 starts and has struck out just six times in 83 at bats.
Getting Hot Up North
Since coming back from Florida, junior Dan Williams is hitting .492, with 29 hits in 59 at bats. He leads the team with eight doubles, 19 runs scored and is slugging an impressive .763 over that span.
Ivy League Stats
The Quakers were the hottest hitting team in the first weekend of Ivy baseball, hitting a league-high .389 in going 3-1 on the first weekend. Penn has three players batting .500 or better in Will Davis (.538), Grandieri (.533) and Williams (.500). Grandieri's seven runs scored and eight RBI were also Ivy highs. The Red and Blue sit in the middle of the pack with a 5.34 ERA, but have two pitchers who didn't allow an earned run in Terry and senior Robbie Seymour. Seymour went 4.0 innings of relief, giving up four unearned runs while striking out three in his only appearance.