PHILADLEPHIA - The Quakers look to end their three-game losing streak when they travel down to southern Virginia for a pair of doubleheaders against Norfolk this weekend. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday.
Penn is 3-7 on the year and is looking to get back on the winning track against a Norfolk St. team which comes into the game with a 6-10 record. The Spartans have won just one of their last five games, including three of four to Penn State last weekend.
Last Time Out
The Red and Blue suffered a 14-3 set back at the hands of Temple on Tuesday afternoon. Penn got four strong innings from Paul Cusick to start the contest, playing the Owls to a 2-2 tied through the first four innings. With the senior out of the game, Temple took advantage scoring three times in the fifth, six times in the sixth and added three more in seventh for the 14-2 lead. The Quakers added a run in the eighth for the 14-3 final.
Following the Red and Blue
Penn fans have a few ways to follow the team in Virginia this weekend live stats (here) will be available for all the games and a video feed of every game is also available for a small fee (Click here).
Scouting the Spartans
Hitting: Norfolk has struggled to produce runs at the plate this season, as they haven't scored more than five runs in any of their last eight games, going 3-5 during that span. The team is hitting .252 overall this season, with only two players batting over .290. John Rasberry leads the team with .389 average and .500 on-base percentage while Chris Joyce is second on the team, hitting .367 with 22 hits, eight runs and four doubles.
Pitching: The Spartans have four pitchers who have made at least three starts this season. Jordan Egan and Ryan VanAssche lead the team in ERA at 2.25 and 3.24 respectively. Egan was also named his conference's pitcher of the week last week and has 21 strikeouts to just seven walks and 12 hits over 16.0 innings of work. Norfolk's other two pitchers with four starts, Ryan Shook and Justin Bhatti have a combined 1-6 record with ERA's over 4.70.
On the Mound
Penn returns three of its weekend starters from last year in senior Paul Cusick and juniors Chris McNulty and Vince Voiro. Cusick has been strong in each of his last two starts, allowing just two earned runs over his last 12.1 innings of work. During the span he's given up seven hits, walked three and struck out 12 batters. McNulty is 1-1 on the year and has gone at least six innings in both of his starts this year. In his last start he got the loss despite going 7.0 innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out five batters without giving up a walk. Junior Vince Voiro is 0-2 this season but is coming off a solid start in which he threw 7.0 innings, giving up one earned run and striking out nine. The final starter for Penn this weekend figures to be freshman Matt Gotschall. The southpaw is the reigning Ivy League Co-Pitcher and Rookie of the Week, after allowing just two runs over 15.1 innings of work last week. He gave up just five hits in those 15.1 innings, walking four and striking out 11 batters.
Sophomore transfer Greg Zebrack has a hit in each of the team's last eight games and has reached base safely in all ten games this season. He has hits in nine of ten games and the only game this season in which he didn't get a hit, he walked once. He is currently second on the team with a .467 on-base percentage, second in walks (5) and leads the team with five hit-by-pitches. Zebrack also leads the team with four steals.
Freshman Brandon Engelhardt has served as an offensive catalyst from the leadoff spot for the Quakers. He leads the team with nine RBI and three doubles, and is second on the team in batting (.333), hits (14) and steals (3). He also leads the team with five multi-hit games and has reached base safely in all ten games this season.
Un Poco Maas
Senior Jeremy Maas leads the team with a .385 average, 15 hits and eight runs this season. He also has a team-best .467 on-base percentage and has reached base safely in every game this season. The senior also has steals in all three of his attempts this season.
Sophomore Spencer Branigan leads the team with three home runs this season. The total leads all Ivy League Hitters and is two more than he had all of last year. He is also second in the Ivy League with his .595 slugging percentage.
Moving up the Charts
As the season progresses, senior Dan Williams finds himself moving up many of Penn's all-time lists. Williams is currently tied for fifth in school history with 172 career hits and ranks sixth in school history with 113 runs. He also ranks sixth in school history with 35 doubles.
100 Hits and Counting
Last week in Florida, Maas became the third active Penn player with over 100 hits. He currently has 107 hits, trailing just Derek Vigoa (110) and Dan Williams (172) on the team.
Swinging and Missing
Senior Paul Cusick needs just four strikeouts this weekend to move into 13th on the school's all-time list. The righty's has 137 in his career and is the only Quaker during John Cole's tenure to have multiple double-digit strikeout games.
Download: Norfolk Overall Statistics.pdf