PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers scored eight times in the first three innings and held off a La Salle comeback in the middle innings to defeat the Explorers 11-7 on Wednesday afternoon at Meiklejohn Stadium.
The Red and Blue got a pair of runs in the first, four in the second and two more in the third as Penn improved to 14-14 overall with the victory. Junior Jeremy Maas went 3-for-5 in the game with three runs scored, two RBI and one stolen base. The left fielder was one of six different players to swipe a bag as the Red and Blue totaled nine stolen bases, a team-high during the head coach John Cole's tenure.
Eight Quaker hurlers took the mound on Wednesday, with six pitching an inning or less. Sophomore Chris McNulty threw a team-high 2.0 innings, allowing no hits and striking out three batters in earning his third win of the season.
Starter John Beasley pitched a scoreless first and the Penn offense got going quickly in the bottom of the frame. Maas and Dan Williams hit consecutive singles to leadoff and Tom Grandieri followed with a double down the left field line, scoring Maas. Williams also managed to score in the inning on a grounder by Mike Mariano to the shortstop.
La Salle answered in the second. Each of the first three runners reached, two by hits and one by a walk to load the bases. Junior Paul Cusick managed to get three of the final four batters in the inning out, but two runs crossed, tying the game at 2-2.
In the bottom of the frame it looked as though Penn would go down quietly, as two of the first three batters flied out. However with Steve Gable on first, Grandieri went yard for the fifth time this season. Williams followed with a two-out walk and jogged home on a bomb to left field by Maas giving the Red and Blue an 8-2 advantage.
The Quakers had control issues in the top of the sixth, walking three batters. Two of those runners eventually came around to score, making it an 8-4 ballgame. In the bottom of the frame Penn got one back, as William Gordon singled, stole a base and scored to make it a five run game.
Red and Blue pitching issues continued in the seventh as Trey Jennings walked the leadoff batter. A fly out, a single and a walk then loaded the bases with one down. Jennings struck the next batter out but walked in a run and allowed a two-run single, cutting the Penn lead to just 9-7.
The Quakers responded with a run by Maas in the bottom of the seventh and added another in the eighth to make it 11-7. Penn reliever Patrick Brennan silenced La Salle in the eighth and Reid Terry got out of a base loaded jam in the ninth to preserve the win.
Grandieri went 3-for-5 with four RBI while Derek Vigoa also went 3-for-5 and added three RBI. Both players stole a pair of bases, as did Gordon, who went 2-for-4 at the plate and scored three times.
The Red and Blue return to the diamond on Saturday when they host Cornell. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.