Baseball to Battle Brown for Ivy Title this Weekend

BASEBALL GAMES 38, 39 and 40 (if necessary)

PENN at BROWN (Best of three series)
Providence, R.I.

Saturday, May 5 * Noon (DH)
Sunday, May 6 * 1 p.m. (if necessary)

Penn Game Notes in PDF Format

PHILADELPHIA - The Penn baseball team heads to Providence, R.I. this weekend to face Brown ina best-of-three Ivy League Championship Series. The Quakers have not won a share of the Gehrig Division title since 1997, while Brown has never won a Rolfe Division championship.

Penn did not exactly take the easy route to clinch the division. The Quakers’ saga started on April 22 in a doubleheader versus Princeton. Fresh off a sweep the day before, Penn need one win to clinch a share and two wins would have all but wrapped it up. The Red and Blue dropped two tough games to the Tigers, which not only kept Penn from clinching, but also allowed Princeton and Cornell to stay alive.

Two days later, Penn traveled to Cornell to play a makeup doubleheader and romped the Big Red, 13-1, in Game 1, but dropped an extra innings affair, 11-10, in 12 in the nightcap. A sweep would have clinched the division outright, however, the Game 1 victory clinched a share of the division and eliminated Cornell.

Since Penn’s regular season ended, they had to wait and see how Princeton faired against Cornell last weekend. A Tigers sweep would have tied them with Penn for first-place. Princeton came very close to breaking out the brooms. They took both games on Saturday and won the first game on Sunday. In Game 2, Princeton and Cornell had to go to extra innings. The Big Red prevailed in the bottom of the 12th to win 5-4 and eliminate Princeton, thus giving Penn the division title outright.

Return to Providence: Penn is making its second trip to Brown this season. Back on April 9, they split their doubleheader; with Penn winning Game 1, 5-3, behind the brilliant pitching of freshman Todd Roth, who held the Bears scoreless for the final four innings. In the seventh, Roth gave up a double and a single to start the inning, but kept his composure and struck out the Bears’ three, four and five hitters to record his fourth-straight complete game. Offensively, Matt Toffaletti hit a solo shot in the fourth that tied the score and William Gordon gave Penn a two-run lead on a double in the seventh.

In the nightcap, Penn and Brown combined for 27 runs and 31 hits in a game that took three-and-a-half hours. The Bears got to Penn starter Doug Brown early and took an 8-3 lead after three innings. Penn fought back, getting to within two runs in the sixth, but the Bears erupted for three runs in both the seventh and eighth. The Quakers scored two runs in the eighth and two in the ninth, but fell short, 15-12.

The Goods on Penn

• Penn went 12-8 in the Ivy League this season — its best league finish since 2003 when they had the same record.

• The Quakers went 6-2 against the Rolfe Division this season, including sweeps over Dartmouth and Yale.

• Penn’s victory over Brown in Game 1 back on April 9, marked the first time the Quakers beat Brown since 2003.

• Penn’s longest win streak this season was six games and it came at the right time. It started with a sweep of then first-place Cornell and ended with a sweep of Princeton that brought the Quakers within one win of clinching the division.

• Although Penn last clinched a share of the Gehrig division in 1997, this weekend marks the first time since 1995 that they have advanced to the Ivy League Championship. The Quakers lost the division tiebreakers to Princeton in 1996 and 1997.

Penn Personnel

• Todd Roth has thrown six consecutive complete games. In those six starts he has has a 1.50 ERA with 32 strikeouts and just six walks.

• Roth came within one out of hurling a no-hitter against Columbia on March 24. In his performance, Roth retiried the first thirteen batters he faced.

• Lefty Jim Birmingham has held batters to just a .189 batting average this season (second-lowest on the team).

• He has allowed three earned runs or less in seven starts this season.

• On April 7 against Yale , Birmingham had his longest outing of the season, tossing a nine-inning complete game in which he allowed one run.

• Senior Doug Brown has made the shift from closer to starter during the course of the season.

• In 23 2/3 innings as a starter, Brown has struck 25, while walking just three.

• Kyle Armeny has a team-best eight home runs this season. From April 17-21, he homered in three three-straight games.

• In addition to leading the team in homers, Armeny also leads Penn in slugging percentage, runs scored, RBI, doubles, total bases and walks.

• Armeny is batting .336 against righties this season. Third-highest on the team.

• Alex Nwaka leads Penn with a .336 batting average on the season.

• Nwaka is tied for the team-lead with 14 multi-hit games.

• Joey Boaen currently has a 12-game hitting streak. He is batting .449 (22-for-49) during the streak with 10 extra-base-hits.

• Against St. Bonaventure on March 7, Boaen had a career day with six hits, four runs scored and three stolen bases.

• In Penn’s first meeting with Brown this season, Boaen went 4-for-5 with three doubles.

• Penn is 13-6 when Jarron Smith bats lead-off.

• Smith has a team-best .455 on-base percentage and has drawn 21 walks.

• Smith has handled lefties very well, hitting .333 off them this season.

• Josh Corn tied for Penn’s longest htting-streak (13 games) this season.

• Corn is batting .600 (9-for-15) with a runner on third and less than two outs this season.

• Along with Corn, William Gordon also had a 13-game hitting streak.

• Gordon boosted his average from .236 when the streak started to .311 when it ended.

• On April 9 versus Brown, Gordon gave Penn the lead in the seventh with a double that plated two runs.

• Matt Toffaletti belted a solo homer against Brown in their first meeting. Two days prior, he belted his first collegiate home run at Yale.

• Steve Gable is tied for the team-lead with five sacrifice bunts.

• Gable’s defense has been superb all season; he has comitted just five errors at second base.

• Jeff Cellucci has seen more playing time of late. He has hit safely in seven of the last eight games he has started.

• Cellucci has knocked in eight runs in his last six games, including a 4-for-4, four RBI performance at Cornell.

Download: Ivy League Championship Series Game Notes.pdf