Auburndale, Fla. - The Penn baseball team allowed just two runs for the second game in a row, this time with Vince Voiro firing the first nine-inning complete game of his career, and the Quakers rallied late for a 3-2 win over Northeastern on Wednesday afternoon.
The afternoon got off to a promising start. After Voiro retired the Northeastern side in the top half of the first inning on six pitches, the Quakers used the wildness of Northeastern starter Matt Cook to their advantage. Greg Zebrack started it off getting hit by a pitch and the Red and Blue then drew three consecutive walks to push Zebrack across to score. Rick Brebner would be credited with the RBI, the only one of the day for Penn.
Voiro continued to dominate through the second and third innings, allowing only two baserunners - off an error and a walk - in that time while striking out six. Northeastern finally got its first hit of the game in the 4th inning but it wasn't until the 7th inning that the Huskies moved a runner into scoring position. While Voiro was nearly untouchable, Cook overcame his early control issues and shut the Penn offense down as well.
In the 7th, Northeastern finally struck. Singles by the first three batters of the inning tied the game at 1-1 before Derek Vigoa was able to dive and tag second base to get a force out for the first out of the inning. With runners on the corners and one away, another ball hit towards Vigoa left the second baseman with no play but to go to first while a run scored, pushing the Huskies in front, 2-1.
Put suddenly in the position of needing to find a way to get its offense going, Penn battled through some tough luck. In the bottom of the 7th, Kyle Toomey led off with a base hit past the shortstop. Attempting to get in scoring position, Toomey ran on a two-strike count to Zebrack. When the junior swung through and missed, the umpire called him for batter interference, sending Toomey back to the dugout as well and ending the threat.
But in the 8th, the Quakers got Voiro off the hook by scoring twice off the Northeastern bullpen. Ryan Deitrich led off with a hard-hit ground ball back up the middle and he moved to second when Brebner drew a walk. With one man already in scoring position, Austin Bossart made it two with a sacrifice bunt, putting Deitrich and Brebner on second and third with only one away. Head Coach John Cole then decided to go with a pinch-hitter, bringing on freshman Matt McKinnon, but it turned into almost an unnecessary move when a wild pitch plated Deitrich to tie the game at 2-2. McKinnon would eventually ground out but the inning continued when Vigoa took a breaking ball off his helmet, putting runners on the corners.
Making another pitching change, Northeastern brought on reliever Mike Hanlon, but his first offering hit the ground well in front of home plate and bounded past the catcher and to the backstop, scoring Brebner from third base and making the score 3-2.
Needing only three more outs for the win, Voiro gave up his sixth hit of the afternoon to the lead-off man but responded on the next batter with his seventh strikeout. With a man on first and one away, Northeastern catcher John Puttress smoked a line drive straight back at Voiro, who made a play on the ball more in self-preservation than anything else, but happened to deflect the ball perfectly to Toomey who grabbed it, stepped on second for the force and then went on to first to turn the game-ending 1-6-3 double play.
Penn has a quick turnaround, facing the Western Michigan Broncos tomorrow at 11 a.m. before an off day Friday. The Quakers finish the Russ Matt Tournament this weekend with games against Fairfield and North Dakota State.