PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers look to snap their three-game skid when they travel to Bethlehem for an intrastate battle with Lehigh beginning at 3 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.
Penn lost three of four last weekend to Princeton and dropped 16-15 overall on the season. Lehigh, meanwhile, comes into the game with a 21-15 overall record after winning three straight games against Army.
Last Time Out: An Uneven Performance
The Red and Blue came into last weekend tied with Princeton for first place in the division, however, they were unable to take a division lead, losing the final three games of the four-game series. Pitching was solid for the Quakers all weekend and was led off by Paul Cusick who ran his unbeaten streak to four games with a win in Penn's 12-4 victory over the Tigers in game one on Friday. In game two, the team had a 4-3 lead before three unearned runs by Princeton late proved to be the difference. Game three was a pitcher's duel and junior Vince Voiro came in on the wrong side of a 3-2 decision. In the final contest of the four-game set, starter John Beasley game the Quakers a chance, giving up just two earned runs on four hits in seven innings. Tied at two, the game went into extra innings and Princeton got a pair of runs off closer Cody Thomson to finish with the 4-2 victory.
Following the Red and Blue
Live stats will not be available for Wednesday's game against Lehigh though a full recap and box score will be posted on PennAthletics.com after the conclusion of the game.
Scouting the Quakers
Penn is hitting .289 on the season and averaging over five runs per game this season. The Quakers currently have four different players hitting over .310. Senior Jeremy Maas leads the team with a .376 average while Derek Vigoa (.325), Will Davis (.318) and Greg Zebrack (.311) have also hit well lately. Penn leads the league with 25 home runs and is second in slugging percentage with a .432 mark as four different players have at least four doubles and four home runs. Maas leads the league with 47 hits while Davis' 13 doubles are tops in the Ivies. The Quakers have also shown speed on the base paths, as Maas (9) and Zebrack (9) share the team lead in steals. Senior Adrian Lorenzo has also been a threat to steal, going 8-for-10 on the season.
On the Mound
The Quakers will most likely institute a pitcher-by-committee strategy against the Mountain Hawks. In addition to three starters with over 40 innings of action, the Red and Blue also have four other pitchers who have tossed over 18 innings and have an ERA under five. Freshmen Cody Thomson and Matt Gotschall have each thrown 30 innings this year and have an ERA of 3.26 and 3.90 respectively. Thomson has 20 strikeouts to five walks while Gotschall has 24 strikeouts and 12 walks. Junior Patrick Brennan is 2-0 this season in nine appearances and 18.2 innings of work. He has also shown a great deal of control, striking out 12 batters and walking just two.
Scouting the Mountain Hawks
Hitting: Lehigh is batting .288 as a team and currently has five players hitting over .300. The team averages just over six runs per game and is slugging .391 with a .372 on-base percentage. Leading the offense is Kevin Milhalik. He is tied for the team lead with 44 hits and has seven doubles, three home runs and a team-high .452 on-base percentage with 21 walks. Billy Goldman (.320), Logan Winchester (.308), Brendan Pifer (.308) and Brendan McGaheran (.303) are all hitting over .330 and McGaheran leads the team with 17 steals and is 17-for-18 on the season. As a team Lehigh is 65-for-82 on the base paths this year as four players have at least seven steals.
Pitching: The Mountain Hawks have a 5.50 staff ERA with a balanced pitching staff as no hurler has an ERA under 2.70. Ten different pitchers have tossed at least 19 innings with seven starting at least three games this year. Lehigh's three most dominant pitchers have come from the bullpen, in Thomas O'Malley, Dan Ciccone and Cory Kent. O'Malley has appeared in 14 games with a 3-0 record, tossing 20.0 innings with 21 strikeouts to ten walks. Ciccone has made 12 appearances and has a 2.73 ERA. He has allowed just five extra base hits and has 17 strikeouts and eight walks in 26.1 innings. Kent is a perfect 4-0 with 15 appearances and 30.0 innings of work. He has struck out 20 batters and walked just ten.
Last year the Quakers beat Lehigh at Meiklejohn Stadium by a 12-4 score. The win improved the Red and Blue's record to 17-16 while Lehigh fell to 14-22. In the game six different players had two hits as the team totaled 17 overall and Will Davis finished a double short of the cycle. On the mound, nine different pitchers saw action, including appearances by Adrian Lorenzo and Derek Vigoa. For Lehigh, they totaled nine hits and threw four different pitchers, all of whom gave up at least one earned run.
Second to One
Senior Dan Williams has moved within four hits of the school's all-time hit record after his performance last weekend. Williams now has 190 career hits, just four short of matching Nick Italiano's 194 hits, set in 2003. The senior third baseman has also scored 129 runs, third in Penn history and is ninth in career RBI with 101.
Last Week's Trends
Pitching: In four games last week, the Quakers finished with a cumulative ERA of 3.27. All four starters went at least seven innings in their contest and none game up more than three earned runs. The team also struck out 21 batters, walked 11 and allowed opponents to bat .258.
Hitting: Adrian Lorenzo hit a team-best .455 last week, batting 5-for-11 with three runs and also stole a pair of bases. He didn't strike out and also had two sacrifice hits. Will Davis and Derek Vigoa both had six hits and batted over .400 as well.