WEST HAVEN, Conn. – Playing its first Ivy League road games this spring, the University of Pennsylvania baseball team powered its way pastYale winning 8-1 and 17-5, Saturday afternoon.
With the two victories, Penn (10-9, 5-1 Ivy) pushed its overall record past the .500 mark for the first time this season.
It was a breezy day at Yale Field, with a constant wind blowing out to left field, but the Quakers needed little help on offense. Swinging the bats well, Penn recorded 10 hits in the first game against the Bulldogs, and 20 hits in game two.
In game one, junior outfielder Matt Greskoff hit the first of five home runs on the day for the Quakers. Greskoff’s home run was a grand slam giving the Quakers a 4-0 lead in the third inning.
Penn added three more runs in the fifth inning, started off by a Greskoff single, followed by junior infielder Ryan Mincher reaching base on a Bulldog error. Senior first baseman Matt McKinnon drove them both in on a triple to deep center field. Senior infielder Jeff McGarry drove McKinnon in with a RBI double, giving Penn a 7-0 lead. The Quakers would extend their lead to 8-0 after a Tim Graul RBI groundout in the top of the sixth inning.
Senior right-handed pitcher Connor Cuff (2-1) pitched into the sixth inning, allowing just one run before running into trouble. Yale scored its lone run in the bottom of the fifth inning, but in the sixth inning had loaded the bases with one out against Cuff. Left-hand reliever Stephen Silvestri came on for Penn in relief, getting a foul pop up to senior catcher Austin Bossart and a groundout to end the Bulldog threat. Cuff finished the day with five strikeouts.
Sophomore Andrew Burnick closed out game one for Penn on the mound, striking out two.
Despite the final outcome, Yale held a 2-0 lead over the Quakers after three innings in game two. Penn bounced back with two runs in the fourth inning on a double down the left field line by junior designated hitter Jonah Campbell, driving in two runs.
In the fifth inning, Penn scored four runs, starting with a leadoff solo home run by Matt McKinnon. After back-to-back walks to senior outfielder Connor Betbeze and Austin Bossart, Mitch Montaldo hit his first home run of the game, giving Penn a 6-2 lead.
Yale (8-11, 2-4 Ivy) would battle back in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring three runs, making it a 6-5 game before Penn would break the contestwide open.
In the seventh inning Montaldo led off with a solo home run, his second blast of the game. After a Yale pitching change, Matt Greskoff hit a solo home run for back-to-back home runs. It was Montaldo’s fourth home run this week, and his second game with two home runs, after hitting two home runs against Saint Peter’s on Wednesday. It was also the second game this week that Penn hit back-to-back home runs, with Montaldo and Tim Graul accomplishing the feat versus the Peacocks on Wednesday.
Leading 9-5, the Quakers scored seven runs on six hits in the eighth inning, highlighted by a bases loaded double by McKinnon that cleared the bases.
Working 5.2 innings in game two, sophomore left-handed pitcher Mike Reitcheck (3-1) picked up the win. Reitcheck allowed five runs, two earned, and struck out five Yale batters. In relief, sophomore right-handed pitcher Mitchell Hammonds threw 3.1 innings allowing just two hits and no runs, while striking out one.
With the sweep of Yale, the Quakers are now 5-1 against the Rolfe Division, with two more games against the other half of the league coming versus Brown on Sunday. Penn’s doubleheader with the Bears begins at 12 p.m. on Sunday.