Baseball Takes City Battle with Villanova, 10-5

Penn 10, Villanova 5 Box Score

PHILADELPHIAPenn improved to 2-0 against Big Five schools, and 10-7 overall, with a 10-5 win over Villanova on Wednesday at Meiklejohn Stadium.

Penn capitalized on ‘Nova’s miscues, opening up a 1-0 game with six runs in the fourth inning. The Quakers scored the six-pack on just two hits. One of those hits was a solo home run from Mike Mariano – his first hit of the season. After the big blast, the Red and Blue worked two walks then scored a run on two wild pitches. Jeff Cellucci then walked after a mid-at-bat pitching change. James Mraz reached on an error by the shortstop that scored Adrian Thomas. ‘Nova appeared to have Mraz picked off, but he escaped the tag at second. Cellucci scored on that play, sliding under the tag at home. After Tom Grandieri singled to advance Mraz, Grandieri took second on the throw. Mraz scored on a sac fly from Dan Williams. Grandieri then became the second Penn player to score on a wild pitch that inning to cap the six-run outburst.

On the flip side, Penn received stellar pitching in the early portion of the game to make sure the lead was safe. Todd Roth pitched a scoreless first, picking leadoff man Matt Szczur off after he walked. Vince Voiro followed with 2.1 innings of scoreless ball. He picked up his first collegiate win with his performance. Patrick Brennan added 2.2 scoreless innings of his own.

The Wildcats rallied to close the gap in the late innings, scoring four runs to cut the lead to 7-4.

Mraz made sure the ‘Cats did not creep any close, launching a two-run double over the leftfielder’s head to score Thomas and Cellucci. Mraz then scored on an error by the second baseman for the 10th run of the game.

Penn opens its Ivy season with Dartmouth at noon on Saturday. Harvard is then in on Sunday. Both days feature doubleheaders.