Baseball Hosts Villanova in Home Opener Wednesday

PHILADELPHIA – After a weekend in Florida to start the season, followed by a schedule 10-day spring break road trip in Virginia that was marred by rain, the University of Pennsylvania baseball team returns home for its opening game at Meiklejohn Stadium versus Big 5 opponent Villanova Wednesday afternoon.

Penn (1-7) will look to shake off the weather and its woes, after a tough stretch in Virginia over spring break. The Quakers have dropped their last five games, but will look to reverse the trend against Villanova (6-10).

Fans can watch the action live from Meiklejohn on ILDN.tv ($), along with following on live stats, and on Twitter - @PennBaseball. First pitch on Wednesday is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

NOTES

LEVISION NAMED IVY LEAGUE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: Freshman Jakob Levison went 4-for-12 (.333) in three games this past week, one at Old Dominion and two at VCU. All singles, the outfielder also was hit by a pitch and scored two runs in the three contests. Defensively, Levison recorded four putouts for the Quakers in left field, and added an outfield assist in game two at VCU this past Wednesday. Click here for Ivy League release.

IVY LEAGUE NOTES: Senior catcher Austin Bossart is fifth in the Ivies in batting average, hitting .423, and tied for second with four stolen bases … Junior outfielder Matt Greskoff ranks fourth in RBI with eight, he also ranks tied for third in home runs with two … Senior Mitch Montaldo and sophomore right-handed pitcher Mitchell Hammonds both made the Ivy League honor roll this past week for their performance against VCU. Montaldo hit .300 in three games, with a double, home run, and run scored, while driving in five Penn runs. In his first collegiate start, Hammonds went 5.1 innings allowing three runs, while striking out three, in a 5-1 defeat.

BOSSART NAMED TO JOHNNY BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST: For the third consecutive season, Penn catcher Austin Bossart has been named to the Johnny Bench Award watch list. The senior catcher has started every game in his Penn career, entering the 2015 season with 124 hits, 21 doubles, five triples, and seven home runs, along with driving in 61 base runners. He also has thrown out almost 40-percent of baserunners (50-of-126). Thus far in 2015, Bossart is hitting .423, with a double, home run, and four RBI. He also has stolen four bases. Defensively, he has thrown out five baserunners. Bossart has been named to the Johnny Bench Award watch list previously in 2014 and 2013.

BUSTING DOWN THE WALLS: Penn’s last game came a week ago at the San Francisco Giants AA stadium The Diamond in Richmond, Va. against VCU. In the game, the Penn lineup hit a number of long fly balls that may have left the park in many other stadiums. In fact, in game one of the series, the first three balls off the bats of junior Gary Tesch, Austin Bossart, and Matt Greskoff all went to the warning track. In game two with the bases loaded in the top of the eighth inning and trailing 5-1, Mitch Montaldo sent a blast to left center field where the Rams center fielder had to make a running catch to escape the inning.

SCOUTING VILLANOVA: The Wildcats host Philadelphia University on Tuesday evening, before heading to Penn on Wednesday. Villanova has begun the season playing three different states – North Carolina, Texas, and Florida – before returning back to Philadelphia. Along the way, the Wildcats have picked up wins over Northwestern, Chicago State, North Dakota State, Mount St. Mary’s, St. Bonaventure, and La Salle. Villanova has been led offensively by sophomore infielder Todd Czinege (.354, 23 H, 2 2B, 7 RBI) and junior first baseman Max Beerman (.288, 7 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 22 RBI). On the mound for the Wildcats will be freshman left-handed pitcher Mike Sgaramella (2-1, 4.67 ERA, 17.1 IP, 19 K).

LAST SEASON VS. THE WILDCATS: Penn and Villanova met just one time in 2014, a 12-1 Quaker victory at the Wildcats’ home field in Plymouth Meeting. The Red and Blue recorded 18 hits and 10 RBI in the win, led by Jeff McGarry with four hits and 2 RBI, and Matt Greskoff with three hits and a RBI. Paul Cotler also had two RBI, and Matt McKinnon had two hits and a RBI.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE UPDATE: This coming weekend Penn and Lafayette will play four games against one another, with a doubleheader on Saturday and Sunday. Originally scheduled to play away at Lafayette on Saturday, and then at home on Sunday, all four games will now take place at Penn’s Meiklejohn Stadium. Saturday and Sunday both remain doubleheader’s scheduled to begin at 12 p.m.