Charleston, S.C. - Factors beyond the control of the Penn baseball team were working against the Quakers on Saturday afternoon, and the final result of their game against Charleston Southern will therefore not tell the whole story in what turned into a 5-1 defeat in the series finale with the Buccaneers.
Batting in the sixth inning and trailing by what became the final margin, Penn scored three runs and had the bases juiced with no outs in the inning when lightning in the area suddenly halted play. A long delay ensued before time constraints due to the team's flight back to Philadelphia necessitated that the game be called. With that decision made, the score reverted back to the 5-1 lead CSU enjoyed after five innings, and the game was declared final.
Prior to the sixth inning, Penn's offense hadn't shown much spark. Kyle Toomey had the team's only hit in the first two innings with a double down the left field line, but he was eventually stranded. CSU scored twice off Cody Thomson in the bottom of the second, after the sophomore had entered in relief for John Beasley, who left with one out in the inning and the bases loaded.
Penn responded with one run in the fourth inning. Greg Zebrack led off the inning with a double to left field and advanced to third off a Spencer Branigan single. After Branigan moved up 90 feet after a wild pitch, Rick Brebner scored Zebrack with a soft roller to second base, cutting the Buccaneer lead to 2-1.
That was as close as it would get for Penn in the five-inning contest, as CSU scored three times as part of a two-out rally in the bottom of the fourth and the Quakers answered with only an Austin Bossart single in the fifth inning. Bossart was stellar defensively behind the plate as well. The freshman denied a stolen base attempt from Charleston Southern in the first inning and later took a pitch from Thomson and picked off a runner straying too far off first base in the third inning.
Penn (4-8) returns to action with a Wednesday afternoon game at Villanova. First pitch is set for 3:15 p.m. from the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth.