PHILADELPHIA - Despite good pitching and solid defense, the University of Pennsylvania baseball team lost to Lafayette, 2-1 in 10 innings Wednesday afternoon at Meiklejohn Stadium.
Both teams used a surplus of pitchers who effectively shutdown each others offense. Lafayette’s only missed opportunity came in the sixth when the Leopards (7-7) had runners at second and third with two outs. Freshman Todd Roth got Jeff Butler looking at a called third strike to get out of the jam.
In the home half of the sixth, Penn (5-7) loaded the bases with two outs and a line drive to center off the bat of William Gordon hung up in the air long enough for center fielder James Conrad to make the catch.
With one out in the seventh, Steve Gable attempted to steal second, but stopped halfway when he realized the throw was going to beat him to the bag. Leopards’ second basemen Tom Hayes took his eye off of the ball and it skipped into center allowing Gable to move into second. Jim Farrell then sent a high fly ball to deep center field that appeared to be caught, but the ball popped out of Conrad’s glove. Gable came around to score and Farrell reached second to give the Quakers a 1-0 lead.
In the eighth, Penn closer Doug Brown (1-2) plunked Dave Drechsel, the first batter of the inning. Drechsel moved into scoring position on a past ball. After a ground ball to the right side moved Drechsel to third with one out, he scored on a wild pitch to tie the score.
The game remained tied as Brown and Lafayette reliever; John Fuggett (2-0) retired 11 consecutive batters. Kevin Leasure led off the top of the tenth with a double that one-hopped off the left field fence. Leasure then moved up to third on a ground out to short. With the infield in, Drechsel singled through the left side plating the go ahead run. Fuggett retired the side in order in the bottom half to record the win.
Both teams combined for only nine hits. Hayes and Alex Nwaka were the only players with two hits.
The Quakers open up their Ivy League season Saturday when Columbia comes to Meiklejohn Stadium for a four game set. Saturday’s doubleheader was originally scheduled to be played at Columbia, but had to be moved to Penn due to poor field conditions. First pitch for both doubleheaders is slated for noon.