PHILADELPHIA – Penn takes the field for its last Big Five game of the season on Thursday as the Quakers take on La Salle at the Explorer’s Hank DeVincent Field.
The Quakers are 11-19 this season, but 2-0 against Philadelphia teams. Earlier this season, the Red and Blue defeated Temple (11-6) and Villanova (10-5) to establish a presence in the City Series.
La Salle is 13-16 in 2009, but just 1-6 against Big Five teams.
The Quakers are coming off a weekend that saw the team pick up its first Ivy League win of the season. Freshman Chris McNulty tossed a complete-game six hitter, holding Cornell to three runs as Penn secured the 6-3 victory. The pitching staff, which had struggled through the beginning of the Ivy season, appears to have rebounded with three total quality starts last weekend. Freshman Vince Voiro and junior Tom Grandieri each gave Penn a chance to add to its win total with strong performances.
Unfortunately for the Red and Blue, the offense was not able to capitalize on the solid pitching on Sunday, scoring just six runs over the two games.
Penn’s offense has been reliable over the course of the season, and should bounce back today. Eight regulars in the Quakers’ lineup are batting over .300. Penn has produced 107 extra base hits, including 19 home runs.
Pitcher/first baseman T.J. Chism paces the Explorers at the plate with a .369 average and eight home runs. John Malloy is hitting .341 and Justin Handler comes in at .339. On the mound, Kevin Fuqua and Drew Gerhart have made the majority of the starts for La Salle. Fuqua is 3-3 with a 4.41 ERA while Gerhart is 2-3. In the bullpen, Christian Schulz has made 15 relief appearances with two saves and a 3.03 ERA.
Last year, La Salle defeated Penn at Meiklejohn Stadium, 8-2. The Explorers were the beneficiary of 6.1 innings of one-run relief from Sean Kennedy. La Salle was also capitalistic in the fourth inning, scoring six unearned runs to pull away in the game.
Live Stats will be available for the game via La Salle’s website.