PHILADELPHIA - It was a productive week for the University of Pennsylvania baseball team, but there will be little time to enjoy it as Villanova heads to Meiklejohn Stadium for a Tuesday matchup in the Liberty Bell Classic.
Penn went 3-2 last week with two wins over Lafayette and a mid-week win over Lehigh. The Quakers offense showed what it was capable of in two of the wins scoring 11 runs against the Mountain Hawks and 12 in the final game against the Leopards.
Now the Red and Blue turns its attention to Villanova in the Liberty Bell Classic. The Liberty Bell Classic is a tournament for Philadelphia-area schools with the championship played at Citizens Bank Park.
A QUICK LOOK AT VILLANOVA: Things haven't gone so well for the Wildcats since they saw the Quakers just two weeks ago. Villanova has lost five of its last seven, including four in a row. The 'Cats fell to archrival Saint Joseph's 8-3 and then were swept by Hartford in a three game set.
THE SERIES WITH VILLANOVA: It wasn't a pleasant visit to Plymouth, Pa. for the Quakers two weeks ago. Penn fell to the Wildcats 6-1 and recorded just four hits and struck out 10 times. Penn also experienced a pair of defeats at the hands of Villanova last season, including a 9-3 loss in the semifinal of the Liberty Bell Classic. Villanova went on to lose at Citizens Bank Park to Rider, 6-2.
GRAUL OVER IT: Few people enjoyed last week more than Tim Graul, who went 7-for-20 in five games with four doubles, a home run, and 10 RBIs. Graul got off to a hot start with a 3-for-5 performance against Lehigh where he doubled twice and drove in four runs. The junior finished his week with a 2-for-4 game that included another double and his first home run of the season in a 12-2 win over Lafayette.
LEADING THE WAY: Penn's players have been no strangers to the top of the Ivy League leaders lists this season. Gary Tesch has been in the top five in hitting all season, but has now made his way to the top spot with a strong showing this weekend. Tesch is 17 points clear in the batting title race with a .379 average. Matt O'Neill has climbed his way into the top three at .356. After four doubles last week, Tim Graul now leads the Ivy League with eight. Graul is second in the Accient Eight with 14 RBIs after knocking in 10 in his last five games. Matt Greskoff remains in second in the conference with three long balls, just one behind the leader.
On the mound, Billy Lescher's two-win week propelled him to the top spot in wins with three. Lescher made the first two starts of his career and earned wins win both. Lescher pitched four shutout innings against Lehigh and five innings against Lafayette allowing one run, but striking out seven. Gabe Kleiman is fifth in the Ivys with a 2.78 ERA. Kleiman is 1-1 on the season and has had a quality start (six innings or more and no more than three runs) in two of his four starts. In his non-quality starts, he has only allowed two earned runs, but didn't pitch long enough for the statistic.