PHILADELPHIA The University of Pennsylvania baseball team will look to go above .500 in the Ivy League this weekend as they face Yale and Brown. Penn spilt with Harvard last weekend and swept Dartmouth to even its record at 4-4.
The Quakers (10-12, 4-4 Ivy) will face a potent Yale (7-16, 1-3 Ivy) offense Saturday. The Bulldogs are led by sophomore Ryan Lavarnway, who has hit safely in a Yale and Ivy League record 25 consecutive games. Lavarnway leads the Ivy League in a number of categories, including batting average (.478), slugging percentage (.837) and on-base percentage (5.29). As a team, the Elis lead the Ancient Eight in team batting average at .302.
Penn will look to counter that attack with their starting pitching, which sports the league’s second-best ERA (5.23). Through eight Ivy League games, the Red and Blue have knocked off nearly a run and a half per game with a 4.03 ERA. Last weekend, Penn starters allowed just 10 earned runs in 29.0 innings pitched. Last Sunday, Todd Roth allowed just one run in a complete game effort, while Doug Brown threw eight solid innings and surrendered just two earned runs. The two combined to strike out 20 batters in 15 innings.
Last season, Penn lost both ends of their doubleheader to Yale. The Bulldogs won Game 1, 4-3, and the nightcap, 10-5. Yale has a commanding 102-78-3 all-time record against the Red and Blue.
Brown (7-13, 2-2 Ivy) is tied atop the Rolfe Division with Harvard. The Bears swept Princeton last Saturday, but dropped two to Cornell. Brown boasts two solid starting pitchers in Jeff Dietz (2-2, 4.03 ERA) and Will Weidig (2-1, 4.42 ERA).
The Quakers pitching staff will look to contain Matt Nuzzo, who is batting a team-best .342 and Dietz (.324), who also plays first base. Nuzzo was scorching hot against Princeton, going 8-for-9 in the twin-bill.
The Bears swept Penn at Meiklejohn Stadium last season, winning the first game, 9-6, and the second, 19-5. Penn holds the all-time series lead, 64-60-5.
Both doubleheaders will start at noon.