BEL AIR, Md. - Andrew Murnane's walk-off hit with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th inning lifted the University of Pennsylvania baseball team to a 5-4 win in game three of the series Sunday night against Marist. The Quakers dropped game one of the doubleheader earlier in the day, 5-0, as the Red Foxes came away with the series win.
BY THE NUMBERS
*19.2 - Mike Reitcheck's season-opening streak of not allowing an earned run was snapped in the second inning of game one Sunday. The senior had logged 19 and two-thirds innings before allowing his first earned run of 2017.
*12 - Game two starter Adam Bleday struck out 12 in six innings of work tonight, setting a new career-high and tying for the most in a single game since Dan Gautieri in 2013. Bleday struck out at least two batters he faced in five of those six innings.
*13 - Sunday's 12-inning game is the longest game since April 4, 2014 when the Quakers fell to Saint Joseph's 4-2 in 13 innings.
*18 - Sunday's nightcap saw 18 different players enter the game in the extra-inning win, a season-high for the Quakers this season.
*22 - Four pitchers (Bleday, Grant Guillory, Jake Nelson, Burnick) combined to strike out 22 batters in the game two win. That total is the most in the John Yurkow head coaching era, and the most since April 8, 2014 when Penn struck out 18 in a loss to Saint Joseph's.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Mike Reitcheck took to the mound in his third start of the season, and continued from where he left off in Port St. Lucie, Fla. a week ago. The senior struck out two in the first inning - part of a seven strike out day for the second consecutive start - while also stranding a runner in scoring position.
The left-hander ran into some trouble in the second inning with some help from his defense, as two errors led to three runs (two unearned) with Matt Pagano's two-run single being the difference-maker in the frame. Reitcheck would go all seven innings for the Quakers, allowing just three earned runs on seven hits in the effort.
The Quakers had their chances to get back in the game in the middle innings, but could not cash in with runners in scoring position as the offense left a total of seven on base in the contest, including a scoreless fifth in which they left the bases loaded. Six different Quakers recorded a hit in the game one loss, led by two from Matt McGeagh including a double in the second inning.
Tyler Fitzpatrick homered twice for the Red Foxes, both solo shots to right to add insurance runs late in the game in the 5-0 win.
The series finale in the nightcap was dominated by pitching early on, as starter Adam Bleday put together his best outing of the season thus far for Penn. The lefty worked six strong innings, striking out a career-high 12, and did not allow a hit until the fourth inning. The Red Foxes opened the scoring in the second inning with an unearned run, and added two more in the sixth on consecutive two-out hits to extend their lead to three.
After being held scoreless through the first six innings, the Quaker bats came to life to push across three runs and tie the game in the seventh. Andrew Murnane and Chris Adams started the frame with back-to-back singles, and Tim Graul followed with a walk to load the bases with no outs. Sean Phelan and McGeagh brought in the first two runs with RBI ground outs before Daniel Halevy knotted the game at three with a two-out single through the right side to score Graul from third.
Marist (9-7) responded in the top of the eighth with a two-out, run-scoring single from Andrew Rouse to take the late one-run lead, leaving it up to Penn in its last at bat to extend the game. Adams led off the ninth with a single to right and was sacrificed into scoring position by Graul. After moving to third on a wild pitch, Adams scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly to right off the bat of McGeagh to send the game to extra innings.
Jake Nelson and Andrew Burnick combined to throw hitless innings in the 10th and 11th, setting up the Quakers to push across the winning run in the third extra inning of the night. Halevy led off the 12th with an infield hit, and Holden Morris was hit by a pitch while attempting to sacrifice bunt, allowing Kevin Thomas to lay one down and move both runners into scoring position. Marist countered by intentionally walking Matt Tola to load the bases with one out for Murnane. After working the count full, Murnane chopped a ground ball towards the middle and the throw to the plate was not in time as pinch runner Jakob Levison crossed the plate with the winning run for a 5-4 victory.
Penn (3-9) returns to Meiklejohn Stadium for its home opener Wednesday against non-conference opponent Lehigh before a home-and-home series with Lafayette over the weekend. First pitch for Wednesday's midweek tilt is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.