Baseball Shows Power in Split with Columbia

Columbia 13 - Penn 5 (Game One)

Penn 11 - Columbia 7 (Game Two)

PHILADELPHIAAs has been the story this season, the Penn baseball team was able to connect on all cylinders offensively in the Big Apple on Saturday, scoring 16 runs on 24 hits in two games against Columbia. Unfortunately, the pitching was unable to make all those runs count and Penn split the twin bill, taking game two via an 11-7 score after losing the opener, 13-5.

The middle innings were kind to the Red and Blue in game two, as the Quakers scored three in the fourth and five in the sixth to blow open what was then a 2-2 game. After the outburst, Penn held a 10-5 lead.

The story of those middle stanzas was a pair of home runs from two of Penn’s “Georgia Boys.” The Red and Blue have six players on the squad who call the Peach State home, and two of them accounted for seven of Penn’s eight runs.

Will Davis, playing first base, started things with a three-run home to right-center in the fourth to score Dan Williams and Mike Mariano. Two innings later, after Mariano leadoff with a solo shot, William Gordon widened the gap extensively with the grandest homer of them all – a grand slam down the line in left. Davis, Tom Grandieri and Derek Vigoa all scored on the deep fly. Gordon pounced all over Roger Aquino’s mistakes as the Columbia pitcher had hit two batters and walked one before surrendering the grand slam on a 1-1 pitch.

The outburst from the offense made a winner out of starter Todd Roth. The junior went eight innings, allowing seven runs (only four earned) while striking out six to just one walk for his second win of the season.

The win ensured that the Quakers left NYC with on a positive note after a difficult 13-5 loss in game one.

In the opener, Penn jumped out quickly with a 4-0 lead after the top of the first inning. A pair of doubles from Grandieri and Vigoa led to the first run and Williams sent a three-run homer to deep center to complete the four-run inning.

However, Penn gave back the lead and then some in the bottom of the first inning. Grandieri lasted just two-thirds of an inning, allowing seven runs on three hits and four walks. He gave free passes to the first three batters of the game before Mike Roberts made him pay with a grand slam. After walking the next batter, Grandieri got the second out of the inning on a ground out. Alex Ferrera added Columbia’s second homer of the frame with a two-run job to right-center. The Lions added another run before Penn could get out of the inning.

The Quakers had a chance to rally in the fifth, with Grandieri leading the inning off with a solo homer to left-center. Vigoa reached on a bunt single and Gordon followed with a double. Vigoa was gunned down on the play, though, 8-4-5. Williams ground into a double play, 1-6-3 to end the inning. In the bottom of the inning, the Lions tacked on four runs to seal the game.

For those loyal readers who took a look at the weekend preview, you will recall a list of top-fives Penn was in reach of. 16 runs will take care of reaching those milestones. Here is where Penn ranks heading into tomorrow’s finale with the Lions:

At Bats – As a team, Penn now has 1,346 and sits in third place all-time. Up next is the 2000 team which had 1,378 ABs. Dan Williams is tie for fourth now with 157. Five more on Sunday will move him into second place.Hits – Penn had picked up 410 hits this year, fourth-most by a Penn squad. Seven more hits tomorrow will surpass the 1996 team’s total of 416. Williams is four hits away from tying Doug Glanville for fifth-most in a season at 58.Vigoa has 16 doubles this season and has moved into third all-time by a Quaker. Two more and he will tie for second. Grandieri sits fourth with 15 and Jeremy Maas is tied for fifth with 14.With five home runs today, the 2009 squad is now tied for second with 37 (1998). Gordon is now tied for the fourth-highest single-season mark with nine. One more and he ties for second.The Quakers have driven in 243 runs this season, equaling the fourth-best total by the 1998 team. Williams is at 44 and two away from tying for fifth. Penn has fanned 228 batters this season, moving its pitching staff into fifth place.The Red and Blue have pitched 319.0 innings – one away from third-best.

The Quakers will look to improve upon these marks as well as celebrate senior Jeff Cellucci on Sunday when they play Columbia in a doubleheader starting at noon. Join the Quakers for Little League Day at Meiklejohn Stadium as the Phillie Phantaic brings the magic of the 2008 World Series champions to the Red and Blue.