Following two exciting victories against Harvard, the baseball team (9-22, 5-7 Ivy) faced Penn (18-14, 8-4) in a four-match series at Meiklejohn Stadium in Philadelphia last Saturday and Sunday to kick off Gehrig Division play.
The Tigers suffered two narrow defeats in Saturday’s games, falling 5-4 and 3-1. The games were hard-fought, however, as sophomore outfielder Jesper Horsted had three hits from the top of the order in the first match, while senior infielder Zack Belski, freshman Ramzi Haddad and freshman David Harding each had multi-hit outings. Pitchers senior Christopher Giglio and freshman Eli Kimbell combined for eight strikeouts.
Princeton led the game 1-0 for the first three innings, but ran into trouble in the fourth when Penn surpassed them to take the lead at 3-1. The rest of the match went back and forth between the two teams until the Quakers took the game after a walk-off RBI single from Tim Graul in the ninth.
Penn controlled the second match of the day, leading 1-0 until the eighth inning. Though Princeton was able to get one run on the scoreboard, Penn countered with two more runs to bring the final tally to 3-1.
Impressive against Penn was senior right-handed pitcher Chad Powers, who scattered five hits in seven innings and allowed no runs after the first inning. Powers also had six strikeouts, a season high, and no walks.
Easter Sunday was unsuccessful for the Tigers as well, adding two more losses to the season tally. The first game finished at 17-5, the second at 10-2.
The score was 9-1 by the fifth inning, and Princeton was able to rally in two more runs to bring it to 9-3 in the sixth. The team added two more in the seventh, but Penn had already amassed a total of 17 runs to conclude the game.
Each with two hits, Harding and senior outfielder Paul Tupper were standouts in Sunday’s first match, Tupper coming in as pinch-hitter in the sixth inning and finishing with three RBI.
The Quakers again dominated the final game of the series with eight RBI by the end of the third inning. The Tigers were able to amass two runs in the fourth inning after a wild pitch and an RBI groundout from senior outfielder Danny Baer, but Penn soon gained two RBI in the fifth game to clinch a 10-2 victory and series sweep.
Princeton will host Rider on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. on Clarke Field.