PHILADELPHIA - Playing at home in its Ivy League opening matchup, the University of Pennsylvania baseball team split its doubleheader with Dartmouth winning in walk-off fashion in game one, 4-3, before allowing a lead to slip away late in game two, falling 4-3, at Meiklejohn Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Penn (5-9, 1-1 Ivy) came away with a victory in game one on a walk-off base hit by junior outfielder Gary Tesch, scoring Jonah Campbell.
With the game tied, 3-3, Campbell had led off the seventh inning with a single, before being advanced by a sacrifice bunt by senior outfielder Connor Betbeze. Tesch then singled to right where a hard charging Dartmouth right fielder mishandled the ball, allowing Campbell to score the winning run.
It was Campbell’s third run scored in the game, going along with his two hits. The junior outfielder also belted a solo home run to right field, earlier in the Quakers half of the second inning.
On the mound in the opener, senior right-handed pitcher Connor Cuff gave up one run early in the second inning, then settled in before finding trouble in the seventh. Dartmouth (4-16, 2-2 Ivy) managed to score two runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game, 3-3.
In the seventh, Cuff (2-1) allowed a leadoff walk, followed by a double and a sacrifice fly, making the score 3-2, with a runner on third base. The Big Green then executed a squeeze play to tie the game and send the Quakers to bat.
For Penn, junior designated hitter Matt Greskoff, Campbell, and Betbeze all collected RBIs, while Tesch was the only other Quaker to total two hits besides Campbell.
In game two, Penn led 2-0 after seven innings, before allowing four runs in the final two frames.
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Mike Reitcheck put together a quality start for the Quakers, pitching seven shutout innings. He scattered six hits, allowed no runs and didn’t walk a batter, while striking out three. Reitcheck earned a no decision after exiting the game with a 2-0 lead.
Penn had built its lead scoring once in the fifth and once in the sixth innings. Senior catcher Austin Bossart collected an RBI base hit, his sixth of the season, driving in senior first baseman Matt McKinnon after the left-handed batter had doubled to left center earlier in the inning. In the sixth, it would be McKinnon driving in the Quaker run, scoring senior Jeff McGarry.
In the eighth inning Dartmouth, scratched its first run across with a double and single back-to-back off of junior right-handed relief pitcher Mitch Holtz. Coming on in relief of Holtz, senior left-hander Stephen Silvestri and sophomore right-hander Nick Pedalino limited the damage to close out the inning.
Pedalino (0-1) returned to the mound for the ninth inning with a 2-1 lead, getting the leadoff hitter out before hitting the next batter. From there, Dartmouth strung together three hits, two being doubles, going on to score three runs in the inning.
Down to their final out in the ninth, the Quakers rallied, with McKinnon drawing a walk in front of a Tesch double. Betbeze drove McKinnon in on a check swing infield hit, before Bossart popped up to end the game.
Up next, Penn will face Harvard in an Ivy League doubleheader Monday beginning at 12 p.m. at Meiklejohn Stadium. The two-game matchup was originally scheduled to be played on Saturday, but was pushed back due to weather and field conditions. Fans can follow the doubleheader on live stats or Twitter - @PennBaseball.