PHILADELPHIA - Last Wednesday, the Penn baseball team suffered an embarrassing 20-9 defeat at the hands of Diamond Five foe Saint Joseph's.
That certainly was enough motivation for theQuakers nearly a week later, as they played perhaps their best game of the season in a 13-1 win over the Hawks on Tuesday afternoon in a Liberty Bell Classic consolation game at Meiklejohn Stadium.
Senior right-hander Michael Gibbons was stellar on the mound in a complete game victory, while Joey Boaen led the offensive attack with a 5-for-6, four RBI day to help the Quakers (7-18) snap an eight-game losing streak.
The Red and Bluetook an early 2-1 lead after Boaen led off the game with one of his three doubles on the day and was driven in on a base-hit by Alex Nwaka in the first inning. An inning later,a Sean Abate walk and a single by Jim Farrell set the table for Boaen as heripped another double, this one down the right field line to score Abate.
Josh Corn, whowastabbed as the Diamond FivePlayer of the Week earlier today,hit his second home run of the season in the fifth inning to put Penn ahead, 3-1.
At that point, the Quakers used a combination that has eluded them for much of the season tostay in control - pitching and defense.
While Gibbons was getting groundouts and fly-outs, his defense was steady behind him, as displayed in the fifth inning when right fielder Michael Gatti made a diving catch to rob Mike Gers of a hit with a runner on second base. Then Nwaka made a leaping play at third base on a bad hop off the bat of Tim Smith and finished with a strike to first base to end the inning.
That defensive effort sparked the Penn bats in the sixth, as Boaen came through once again with a two-run double to centerfield (he advanced to third on the throw home). Nwaka grounded into a fielder's choice that scored Boaen, and the Quakers picked up a fourth run at the end of the inning when Nwaka crossed the plate during a pick-off play at first base before the final out was recorded to give Penn a 7-1 advantage.
The Red and Blue bats weren't finished, however, as they scored two runs in the seventh off a Tim May home run, his first in the collegiate ranks, and an RBI single by Jim Farrell.
Penn scored four more runs in the top of the ninth inning, led by a two-run homer by Nwaka to left field, the first long ball of the year for the sophomore.
Gibbons (1-2) picked up his first win of the season in convincing fashion, pitching a complete game while scattering eight hits and allowing one unearned run. The senior struck out seven and walked three.
The Quakers, who totaled 18 hits on the day, had several top performers at the plate, as Nwaka went 2-for-5 with four RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base while Scott Graham and Farrell each chipped in three hits.
Boaen, who's hitting .381 with 12 runs scored in hislast nine games,finished 5-for-6 with four RBI and three runs scored.
Starter Chris Prescott (0-5) pitched four innings and allowed two runs on six hits with six strikeouts in the loss for Saint Joseph's.
The game was originally scheduled to be played in Norristown, Pa., at Saint Joseph's regular field, but conflicts in scheduling forced the game back to University City. Because of the move, the Hawks were still the designated home team for the game.
The Quakers take on another Philadelphia Diamond Five foe when they host Villanova at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, at Meiklejohn Stadium.