Baseball's Early Offense Inspires Sweep of Yale

PHILADELPHIA - The scoring came early and often for the Penn baseball on Sunday afternoon against the Yale Bulldogs in the team's Ivy League opener. Seven combined first inning runs proved to be the difference as the Quakers posted 4-1 and 8-1 victories to climb above .500 for the first time this season at 10-9 overall. Vince Voiro and Cody Thomson each threw seven innings to record the victories.

Game One - Penn 4, Yale 1
Box Score
In what was otherwise a taut pitcher's duel, three first inning runs made all the difference as Penn got off to a 1-0 start in conference play with the win.

Speedy Brandon Engelhardt legged out a triple hit to right-center leading off the bottom of the first inning and after Yale starter Pat Ludwig struck out a pair, Rick Brebner scored Engelhardt with a sinking line drive that was misplayed by the Yale shortstop, giving Penn a 1-0 lead. With men on second and third, Derek Vigoa singled cleanly past a diving third baseman to plate James Mraz and Brebner to up the lead to 3-0.

Voiro continued his efficient work of late, keeping Yale off the board for the first four innings to stretch his scoreless streak to 13 innings. A two-out rally in bottom of the fourth tacked on Penn's final run. Austin Bossart singled to keep the inning alive for Kyle Toomey and the second baseman ripped a drive that Yale's diving right fielder couldn't snare, the ball rolling to the wall for a three-base hit and a 4-0 lead for the Red and Blue.

The Bulldogs put their lone run on the board in the fifth inning when Joe Lubanski cleared the wall in right to cut the lead to 4-1, but Voiro coolly retired the next seven batters to all but end Yale's hopes. The two-time Ivy League Pitcher of the Week improved to 4-1 on the season with the victory, lowering his ERA to 1.60 in the process.

Game Two - Penn 8, Yale 1
Box Score
Scoring early worked so well in Sunday's opener that Penn felt no need to re-write the script in Game Two. Engelhardt was hit with the first pitch of the bottom of the first and would eventually score on a Brebner single. With Greg Zebrack on third and Brebner running at first, a poor throw from Yale's catcher bounded into the outfield, bringing Zebrack in and moving Brebner up another 90 feet to third base. Spencer Branigan then tripled to the wall in deep center and Vigoa would score him with a RBI single, putting the Quakers up, 4-0, and chasing Yale starter Nolan Becker after only recording a single out.

Penn played small ball on Yale reliever Eric Hsieh in the second inning. Engelhardt laid down a well-placed bunt between the mound and first base, beating the toss to the bag for a base hit. Batting out of the two-hole, Mraz singled Engelhardt over to third base and then stole the first of his two bases in the ballgame to put two in scoring position for Zebrack. Penn's RBI leader lived up to his billing with a deep fly to center, advancing each runner and increasing the Quaker advantage to 5-0. Brebner's second single in as many innings brought Mraz home as Thomson was staked to a 6-0 lead after two complete.

Penn put another crooked number on the board in the third inning. Bossart singled to right field and moved to second on an error as the ball rolled away from Yale's Charlie Neil. Ryan Deitrich followed up with a smoked liner down the left field line, bringing Penn's freshman catcher in to score. With two down in the inning, Engelhardt cashed in Deitrich with a ball over the outstretched glove of the second baseman to complete the Quakers' scoring.

On the flip side of the equation, Yale couldn't mount a challenge against Cody Thomson. The sophomore went seven strong and allowed just one run (unearned) to pick up his first victory of the season. Freshmen Stephen Silvestri and Dan Gautieri worked the eighth and ninth innings in order to mop up the win.

Penn is back in action tomorrow at Meiklejohn Stadium with a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. against the Brown Bears and will complete a hectic three days by traveling to La Salle on Tuesday afternoon for a 3 p.m. clash in the Liberty Bell Classic semifinals at Hank DeVincent Field.

Download: Penn-Yale Game 1.pdf