Ivy League Release
PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania baseball team got off to a 3-1 start in Ivy League play this past weekend, in large part because of the contributions of starting pitcher Connor Cuff and outfielder Connor Betbeze. On Tuesday, the Ivy League named Cuff its Ivy League Pitcher of the Week and Betbeze its Ivy League Rookie of the Week.
Throwing the seven-inning opener on Saturday, Cuff faced a tall order against the top hitting and run-scoring team in the Ivy League entering the weekend in Dartmouth. Despite the depth of the Big Green line-up, the Penn sophomore held them in check throughout, surrendering just a solo home run in the second inning and a run in the fifth. After the Quakers took the lead in the bottom half of the fifth inning, Cuff slammed the door shut on a Dartmouth comeback, stranding three runners over the final two innings and getting two of his seven strikeouts on the day in the seventh.
Betbeze only needed two games to post some ridiculous numbers at the plate. Starting in left against Harvard on Sunday and Monday, the Georgia Tech transfer batted 6-for-7 in two games, driving in three runs and scoring three more. He led off the first game Sunday with a walk and then stole the first of two bases on the day before being driven in for a 1-0 Penn lead. Later on, he came up with the biggest hit of the game, driving in the eventual winning runs with a single to extend the Quaker lead to 3-0 on their way to a 4-1 victory. In the next game, all he did was go 5-for-5 against the Crimson, plating the first Penn run of the game and scoring later in that fifth inning to help knot the game at 3-3. In those two games alone, Betbeze raised his batting average over 100 points and is now at .350 for the season.
Penn looks to continue its winning ways on Tuesday with a Liberty Bell Classic matchup against Villanova. This weekend, the Quakers jump back into Ivy League play, going on the road for two games each at Brown and Yale.