BOCA RATON, Fla. - This year's Florida trip hasn't exactly gone to plan for the Quaker baseball team this past week, which is why many wouldnot have given them a chance down 12-6 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. But the Quaker bats erupted in the final three innings, as they scored nine unanswered runs, including a six-run eighth, to pound out a 15-12 victory over Maine on Saturday afternoon at FAU Field.
Penn (1-7) had a season-high 20 hits, with all but three of them coming in the form of singles.
The win was also the first at Penn for first-year Head Coach John Cole.
"I am really pleased with the resilency of this baseball team," said Cole. "They could have easily bailed when we were down by seven, but they kept chipping away and gave themselves a chance to win the game."
Down 12-6 in the sixth inning, Penn started to nibble at the lead with an RBI single by Kyle Armeny that scored Josh Corn, who had singled.
In the bottom of the seventh, Tony Moses led off with a single, and two outs later, advanced to third on a base-hit by Jim Farrell. Pinch-hitter Joey Boaen was the next batter and laced an RBI single that scored Moses. Farrell crossed the plate on yet another base-hit, this time up the middle by Alex Nwaka, cutting the Black Bear lead to 12-9.
But it was the eighth inning that the hit parade started for Penn, as Armeny drew a leadoff walk and Tim May advanced him on a base-hit. After hurler Scott Robinson replaced releiver John Tesseyman for Maine, the hits kept coming as Moses doubled down the left field line to score Armeny. One-run singles by Andy Console and Ken-Ichi Hino tied the game for the Quakers at 12-12. After Maine recorded its first out of the inning, Boaen floated another single to right field to score Console and give their team the lead. Two more insurance runs were added on a clutch two-out, two-run single by catcher Josh Corn to cap off the six-run inning for the Red and Blue.
Meanwhile, Penn right-hander Doug Brown (1-0) was solid in three innings of relief for the Quakers, as he allowed just one run (a Bobby Brown solo home run in the sixth) while striking out four and walking none.
Michael Gibbons came on and pitched a scoreless ninth to wrap up Penn's first win and to clinch his first save of the season.
Penn actually led previously in the game 4-1, but a grand slam by Kevin McAvoy off reliever Wes Donehower keyed a six-run third inning that put the Black Bears ahead, 7-4. Maine scored three runs in the fourth on an RBI single by Brown and a two-run homer by Curt Smith.
Both starters were knocked out early in the game, with Penn's Joe Thornton lasting just two and a third innings while allowing five runs on four hits. Maine's starter Nolan Boike went just one and one-third innings, allowing four runs on three hits with two walks.
Fourplayers for Penn, Corn, May, Moses and Hino, each had three hits while Console, Nwaka and Boaen added two hits apiece.
Brown and Smith had three hits for Black Bears.
The Quakers return to action on Wednesday, March 15, to take on Diamond Five foe Temple at 3 p.m., in Ambler, Pa.