PHILADELPHIA – After sweeping four games this past weekend in Ivy League action versus Yale and Brown, the University of Pennsylvania baseball team will travel to face Villanova in a Liberty Bell Classic semifinal game Tuesday, having won its last seven straight games.
The winner of Penn (12-9) and Villanova (11-15) will earn the right to play in the Liberty Bell Classic final at Citizen’s Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. The other semifinal game, scheduled to take place Tuesday, features La Salle hosting Rider.
Penn and Villanova have already met once this season, a 9-4 Wildcat victory at Meiklejohn Stadium on March 18.
Fans can follow the Quakers versus Villanova on live stats, and on Twitter - @PennBaseball. First pitch from Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth is scheduled for 3:15 p.m.
EARLIER THIS SEASON VERSUS VILLANOVA: Penn hosted Villanova in its home opener earlier this spring, falling 9-4 to the Wildcats. With the game tied 1-1 through four innings, Villanova broke the game open scoring seven runs on three hits, four walks and three Penn errors in the top of the fifth inning. Penn out-hit Villanova nine to seven in the game, despite the loss. The Quakers were led offensively by junior outfielder Gary Tesch, who was 2-for-4 on the afternoon, with a home run. Junior Matt Greskoff, and seniors Austin Bossart and Mitch Montaldo, also each had two hits, with Greskoff and Bossart picking up RBIs. Bossart also recorded a stolen base, and threw out a Villanova baserunner behind the plate. Serving as the designated hitter Wednesday, sophomore Tim Graul had Penn’s other RBI in the game, on a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.
PENN OFFENSE OVER THE WEEKEND: Over 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-10 NATIONALLY: After hitting 13 home runs over the weekend, the Quakers have now hit 24 home runs in 21 game this spring, averaging 1.14 home runs a game. That mark is good enough to rank eighth 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 run this season– Matt McKinnon, Gary Tesch, Jonah Campbell, and Tim Graul.
NCAA NOTES: In addition to being ranked top-10 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 (.457), and 31st in doubles per game (2.14). On the mound, the Quaker pitching staff is ranked 48th in the nation in earned run average with a 3.30 mark.
BIG FIVE 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. Click here for more.
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. Click here for Wednesday’s link and click here for Saturday’s link.
THERE’S MORE…: Montaldo was joined by teammates Ryan Mincher and Connor Betbeze in being mentioned nationally for offensive performance this past week. Mincher and Betbeze were both named as D1Baseball.commid-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. Click here for more.