PHILADELPHIA - Fresh off a Saturday sweep of Lafayette, the Quakers go back to the friendly confines of Meiklejohn Stadium for a mid-week matchup with La Salle on Tuesday at 3 p.m.
Penn is 8-9 overall and is looking for its second three-game week streak of the season against a La Salle team which is 13-10 overall. The Explorers had won nine straight before dropping their last two games of the weekend against Fordham on Saturday and Sunday.
Last Time Out
The Quakers played arguably their most complete baseball of the season in earning a sweep over the Leopards at Meiklejohn on Saturday. In the first game, Penn spotted Lafayette a 4-0 lead after two innings but came back to take a 5-4 lead with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. The pitching held tight for the final two innings and the win. The second game was a back-and-forth affair with both teams tied at six after seven innings. In the bottom of the eighth, the Red and Blue broke open the game with five runs, highlighted by a three-run dinger from senior Will Davis.
Following the Red and Blue
Penn fans can follow all the action tomorrow on the Penn Sports Network radio broadcast (click here) or follow live stats here.
Scouting the Quakers
Hitting: Penn is hitting .276 as a team this season with two players hitting over .340. Senior Jeremy Maas is batting .382 with a team and league-high 26 hits and 17 runs. He is also tied for the team lead with four home runs and has 12 RBI and five stolen bases. Freshman Brandon Engelhardt has also hit well for Penn, batting .342 with a team-best 15 RBI and is 4-for-5 in stolen base attempts.
Pitching: The Quakers have four pitchers with at least one win, 23.0 innings pitched and an ERA under 3.70. Junior Vince Voiro has been the ace of the staff with a 2.42 ERA in 26.0 innings of action with 30 strikeouts and just seven walks. Penn has also gotten solid relief performances of late as freshman Cody Thomson came in and closed out both of the Quakers' wins on Saturday, earning a win and a save while allowing just two hits and striking out two in 3.0 scoreless innings.
On the Mound
Junior Chris McNulty will get the ball for the Red and Blue on Tuesday to start against La Salle. He has made three starts this season and has gone at least 6.1 innings in each one. In his last two starts he has gone 7.0 innings or more while allowing two or less earned runs. He has 3.47 ERA this season with a 1-1 record overall and has 12 strikeouts to eight walks.
Scouting the Explorers
Hitting: La Salle is hitting .275 as a team and has three different players batting over .300. The team doesn't hit for power, as they only have four home runs in 23 games, but they have 42 doubles and seven triples, along with a .346 on-base percentage. They also haven't scored more than four runs in any of their last four games, going 2-2 in that span. Marc Schoch leads the team with a .368 average, slugging .526 with 28 hits, 11 runs, nine doubles and 16 RBI.
Pitching: The Explorers have been led by their pitching this year with a group of quality starters and excellent relief. La Salle has four players who have started at least three games, pitched 23 innings and have an ERA under 3.50. However, the key to the team's success has be relievers Kevin Christy and Pat Christensen. Both have appeared in 12 games and Christy has a 3.86 ERA with a 2-2 record and 20 strikeouts to just five walks in 21.0 innings. Christensen has a paltry 1.06 ERA, giving up just two earned runs in 17.0 innings while striking out 22 batters and walking one.
Liberty Bell Classic
Tuesday's game is part of the Liberty Bell Classic, a annual tournament featuring all the DI teams in the greater Philadelphia area, as well as Lehigh, Lafayette and Delaware. Last year the Quakers beat St. Joseph's in the first round and then lost to Delaware in the second round of the Classic. Each year the championship of the Classic is played at Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Penn beat La Salle 11-7 last year as the Quakers used eight different pitchers and the Explorers used seven. The Red and Blue scored eight runs over the first three innings en route to victory. Chris McNulty earned the win for pitching 2.0 hitless innings while striking out three batters. Derek Vigoa and Jeremy Maas each had three hits and at least two RBI in the win.
Home Sweet Home
In three games at Meiklejohn Stadium this season Penn is hitting .337, slugging .568 and has a collective on-base percentage of .400. Three different Quakers are hitting over .400 with Will Davis (.600), Jeremy Maas (.545) and Greg Zebrack (.417) providing offense at the top of the lineup.
The Quakers slugged .568 over the weekend with four home runs, two triples and six doubles. Six different batters had an extra base hit and team had 32 hits and scored 20 times in 23 innings.
Zebrack led off both games on Saturday and produced for the Red and Blue in a pair of wins, going 3-for-8, scoring twice and stealing a base. The transfer has been solid in his first season with Penn, batting .286 with 11 runs, three doubles and a triple. He also has been adept at getting on base, reaching safely in 16 straight games with .437 on-base percentage. He has nine walks and has been hit six times this year, leading the Ivy League.
In his last start, Vince Voiro had five strikeouts to put him over the century mark for his career with 101 K's. This season he has 30 strikeouts in just 26.0 innings of action and has at least five strikeouts in each of his four starts this season. Voiro is one of two active Quakers with 100 strikeouts along with senior Paul Cusick. Cusick has 150 K's good for 10th all-time in school history.