Game One – Penn 5, Yale 1
For each of the first four innings, the Quakers put a runner on base only to leave him stranded without getting past first. That all changed in the fifth inning as Penn changed its mindset and went small to defeat Yale, 5-1.
Gautieri consistently shut down the Yale bats through four innings, allowing only one hit. Still, the sophomore had nothing to show for it but a scoreless tie. Leading off the fifth inning, Joey Greco lined a shot past the diving shortstop for Penn’s fifth single of the day. After Gary Tesch took over on the basepaths for Greco, Austin Bossart laid down a bunt to the left side of Yale starter Chris Moates. Though it was intended only to advance Tesch, the ball slid under the glove of Moates for an error and suddenly the Quakers were in business. Ryan Mincher followed with a sacrifice bunt of his own to put runners on second and third with one away.
Moates was able to get the second out of the frame on a big strikeout, but against Connor Betbeze, he uncorked a wild pitch that scored Tesch from third. As the at-bat continued, the speedy Betbeze laid down a perfectly placed bunt that he was able to beat down the line, bringing Bossart in for a 2-0 lead.
Yale responded in the bottom half of the inning with its first sustained threat, putting together back-to-back hits to start the inning to place runners on the corners with no one out. A sacrifice bunt scored the run from third, but Gautieri escaped with a strikeout and a groundout to Mincher to keep the Red and Blue out in front, 2-1.
Penn made its decisive move in the top of the sixth as Ryan Deitrich led off with a walk and both Spencer Branigan and Rick Brebner followed with singles. The flight of Brebner’s fly ball into center field drifted and confused Yale’s Nate Adams, dropping in for a RBI as Deitrich hustled the whole way. After Tesch handled a high fastball and bunted down the line to first to advance both Branigan and Brebner into scoring position, Bossart grounded back to Moates, who had time to throw out Branigan at home but was off-balance and threw low and outside to the plate, bouncing the ball away from Chris Piwinski and letting both runners race home for the 5-1 edge.
That would be all the help Gautieri needed. Holding Yale to just one hit in the final two innings, he put the finishing touches on his complete game and moved to 5-0 on the season. Penn’s Killer B’s of Betbeze, Branigan and Brebner each had two hits apiece to lead the offense.
Game Two – Yale 1, Penn 0
Penn had a runner in scoring position on five occasions against Hickey in the day’s second game, but the Yale starter used his off-speed pitches to keep Quaker hitters uncomfortable throughout and ended with 11 punch-outs against zero walks to come away with the victory.
Betbeze led off the game and reached on an error as a fly ball glanced off the glove of Adams in center field. He then stole second and could have scored on a base hit, but the Quakers came up empty.
Penn’s best scoring opportunity came in the top of the second inning after Brebner singled into center field. Consecutive groundouts from Greco and Bossart to third base took Brebner around the horn to third with two down. Mincher then roped a line drive to third base which easily could have been extra bases, but the ball was knocked down by Brent Lawson, who was able to recover and throw over to first to end the side.
Yale scored one run in the bottom of the second to take the lead but it could have been much worse. The Bulldogs opened the inning with a double and a single to put runners on the corners, but after Jacob Hunter was hit with a pitch that would have loaded the bases, he was ordered to remain in the batter’s box as he made no attempt to avoid the inside pitch. Hunter later laid down a bunt that Bet fielded cleanly and tossed home to get the lead-off man running from third. A double and a hit batter gave Yale the 1-0 lead and loaded the bases until the Bulldogs whiffed on a suicide squeeze, hanging the lead runner out to dry halfway down the third-base line. Bossart chased him back to the bag and made the tag, and Bet escaped the inning with a groundout to second base.
If that had sparked the Penn offense, Bet no doubt would have walked away with the win on Sunday, but Hickey continued to work out of jams in the middle innings. Deitrich singled on the very first pitch of the fourth inning – the 100th hit of his Penn career – and reached second with one away in the frame after a stolen base before being stranded there. The story repeated itself in the sixth inning as a one-out Deitrich single and stolen base put him on second before Yale ended the inning with a strikeout and a solid play in left field to rob Brebner on a line drive that was searching for the gap.
Penn’s last gasp came in the eighth inning as Mike Vilardo doubled into right field with two outs in the inning. Hickey again found a way to keep the Red and Blue off the scoreboard, inducing a Deitrich flyout to end the inning before setting the Quakers down in order in the ninth.
Penn ends its five-game road swing on Wednesday when they travel to North Philadelphia and battle the La Salle Explorers at DeVincent Field at 3 p.m.
Download: Penn-Yale Game One.pdf