Quakers Earn Split with Princeton; Both Games Forced to Extra Innings

Box Score - Game One

Box Score - Game Two

PHILADELPHIA - The Penn baseball team and Princeton battled out a doubleheader split on Sunday at Clarke Field, with each game ending with extra-inning play.

In game one, the Tigers rallied from a two-run deficit to score three in the eighth inning for a 4-3 win over the Red and Blue. But in the second game, an RBI single from freshman Tim May in the tenth inning gave the Quakers a 3-2 victory.

Solid pitching was a big theme on the day - especially in game one as Penn left-hander Sean Abate and Princeton righty Erik Stiller kept both lineups in check for most of the contest.

The Tigers got on the board first in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Micah Kaplan, but the Quakers knotted the game at 1-1 on an RBI single by Alex Nwaka to score Michael Gatti, who had doubled, in the top of the third.

Abate and Stiller wouldn't allow either squad to score for the next four and a half innings, forcing the seven-inning game to extra frames.

Things looked up for the Quakers in the top of the eighth inning, as they plated two runs on back-to-back one-run doubles by Nwaka and Josh Corn to take a 3-1 lead.

But Princeton rallied in the bottom half of the eighth, as a one-out base-hit by Andrew Salini forced Abate out of the game in lieu of closer Doug Brown, who walked the first batter he faced then surrendered a single to Sal Iacono that scored Salini. Kaplan followed with a single to centerfield to plate Zach Wendkos and tie the ballgame up.

Stephen Wendell then drove the game-winning RBI single through the left side of the infield to seal the comeback win for the Tigers.

Abate allowed two runs on five hits through 7 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking three in the no-decision, while Brown (4-2) was dealt the loss.

Stiller (2-3)pitched a complete game for the win, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out five and walking none.

In the nightcap, it was Quaker right-hander Brian Cirri and Princeton's Eric Walz dueling it out on the mound for most of the game.

The Quakers scored first in this one, however, as an RBI groundout by Corn in the first inning scored Nwaka, who had reached on an error to lead off the game.

Penn went ahead 2-0 in the second after Andy Console led off with a double and crossed the plate when Ken-Ichi Hino blasted a double to dead centerfield.

Princeton didn't score its first run till the fifth inning, when Spencer Lucian tripled to right field and was driven in on a groundout by Derek Beckman. The Tigers tied the game up the next inning on a RBI groundout by Salini.

But that was all the Tigers could get off of Cirri, who allowed just three hits through nine innings despite walking six batters. The senior, likely pitching in the last regular season game of his career, got himself out of jams in the eighth and ninth innings to send the game into extra innings.

In the eighth, Cirri got Iacono to fly out to right field with runners on second and third to end the inning, and in the ninth, he forced a groundout in the same situation to preserve the game.

Corn reached on an error to lead off the tenth inning, and stole second base to set the stage for May, who drove a base-hit through the left side off reliever Steven Miller to score Corn and give Penn a 3-2 advantage.

Brown then came on and redeemed himself for the loss in game one, pitching a scoreless tenth to earn his fourth save of the season.

Cirri (1-5) picked up his first win of the season after allowing two runs on three hits through nine innings with five strikeouts.

The Quakers take on the Tigers again in their final regular season games of the season on Monday, April 24, at Clark Field. The doubleheader, which is a make-up of Saturday's rained out twinbill, is scheduled to start at noon.