CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Finishing off its first Ivy road trip of the season, the University of Pennsylvania baseball team split a doubleheader with Harvard in two tightly contested games. Chris Rabasco's 11th inning single in game two gave the Quakers a much needed win to improve to 5-3 in the Ivy League, one game back of Princeton for the Gehrig Division lead.
Game one: Penn 2 - Harvard 3
ALL QUAKERS EARLY: Penn jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first three innings of game one on Sunday, but left a lot to be desired that would come back to hurt the Quakers later in the ball game. Gary Tesch drove in the game's first run in the second inning when he line a single to right field to score Andrew Murnane, who doubled to lead off the inning. The Quakers doubled their lead in the third when Ryan Mincher scored on a Matt O'Neill groundout to second. Despite leading 2-0, Penn left seven runners on base in the first three innings, including the bases loaded in the second.
MISCUE SINKS QUAKERS: After Ben Skinner cut the Quakers lead in half with a single in the fifth, Mike Reitcheck got what should have been an inning ending groundout, but it was mishandled at second base allowing two runs to score. Penn was unable to get the runs back and fell 3-2 in game one.
Game two: Penn 6 - Harvard 5
SENIOR LEADERSHIP: In game two, again it was the Quakers jumping out to an early lead with a pair of runs in the third. Gary Tesch opened the scoring once again with another single to right to score Matt McGeagh. Tesch scored two hitters later when fellow senior Ryan Mincher roped a base hit into left to make it 2-0.
SEESAW MIDDLE INNINGS: Harvard took its first lead of the second game in the fourth on a single from Drew Reid, followed by a two-run double by Josh Ellis.
Mincher wouldn't allow the Crimson's lead to last long, driving two men in in the fifth with a double to give the Quakers a 4-3 advantage.
The seesaw continued in the sixth when Harvard struck for two more runs on a bases loaded walk and a sacrifice fly to retake the lead, 5-4.
PLENTY OF HEROICS TO GO AROUND: Penn needed big plays from the ninth inning on to earn its 6-5 win, beginning with Mincher, who had already recorded three RBIs. With two outs, down to his final strike in the ninth, Mincher sent a single into center field to tie the game at five and give Penn new life.
With runners at first and second still tied at five in the bottom of the tenth, Grant Guillory fielded a hot shot at third and turned a slick double play with Matt Tola to end the inning.
In the 11th, Penn put runners on the corners with two outs for Chris Rabasco, who entered the game in the eighth as a pinch hitter. Rabasco slapped a ball to the right side just out of reach of the second baseman allowing Guillory to score the go ahead run.
Jake Nelson stranded the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the inning by striking out a man and forcing a weak pop up to close out his fourth game of the year.
QUAKER NOTES:Chris Rabasco's game-winning single was the first hit of his college career... Ryan Mincher went 3-for-6 with four RBIs in game two to continue his impressive streak... Gary Tesch improved his Ivy League leading average with a 2-for-4 performance in game two... Jake Cousins earned his first relief-win of the season, pitching the fifth through the 10... Cousins struck out five and allowed just three hits... Jake Nelson recorded his fourth save of the season, adding to his Ivy League lead.
UP NEXT: Penn will make the trip to NYIT on Wednesday for a mid-week out of conference game before a crucial four-game set at Princeton next weekend.
Download: Har 1 Box.pdf