March 23, 2013
EASTON, Pa. - Lafayette opened its 2013 home schedule with the first half of its annual home and home series against Penn on Saturday afternoon. Penn took game one by a final of 12-5 before claiming an 8-1 victory in the nightcap. With the results, Lafayette falls to 2-16 on the season while Penn improves to 11-6.
Quakers' starter Connor Cuff went the distance in the seven-inning series opener, giving up three earned runs on eight hits. He retired six Leopards with strikeouts and walked two others in the win.
Penn jumped on Lafayette starter Alex Farina in the top of the first inning of game one with a pair of runs on a solo shot by Michael Vilardo (4-for-5, 4 runs scored) and Austin Bossart's (3-for-4, five RBI) single off the glove of diving shortstop Jackson Kramer.
After Lafayette trimmed the deficit to 2-1 with a steal of second by Kevin Casey (2-for-3) and Andrew Santomauro (2-for-4, 2 runs scored) advancing home on the throw, Penn added two more runs in the third inning. With two on and two away, Bossart brought in both runners with a triple to right center field, giving Penn a 4-1 advantage.
An error, a base hit by Casey and a wild pitch put runners on the corners for Scott Kelleher with one down before he drew a walk and Thomas Dunleavy scored from third on a passed ball. Up next was Andrew Ruck, who delivered with an RBI single to right prior to a run-scoring groundout by Brad Hopek tied the game at four apiece.
Penn answered the Leopards' rally with back-to-back four run frames to take a 12-4 lead through five and a half. Farina's afternoon was complete after Spencer Branigan's RBI double in Penn's portion of the fifth inning. Farina took the loss and was tagged for 10 hits and seven runs in 4.1 innings after Derek Gussaroff allowed a bases-clearing double to Ryan Mincher with two away in the fifth. Gussaroff couldn't escape the sixth inning without more damage as Bossart brought home two Penn baserunners with a triple before he scored on a wild pitch.
Casey registered a run-scoring two bagger in the bottom of the inning before Lafayette eventually fell by the 12-5 final.
Game two starter Connor Ortolf held Lafayette in the game when he exited following a strikeout of Vilardo with two gone in the top of the seventh. Trailing 3-0, Robert Tatum came in from the bullpen with runners on second and third before giving up a free pass to load the bases. Tatum then induced a hard-hit groundball to shortstop, but the ball took a wicked hop on Kramer and two runs scored on the play to break the game open.
Penn sent five runners across the plate in the inning to take an 8-0 lead, and rode starter Jeff McGarry to its 8-1 triumph. McGarry twirled eight innings, allowing eight hits and one run, a homer to Ruck, while striking out two and walking two others. On the losing end was Ortolf, who ended up being saddled with five earned runs. Tatum threw 1.1 innings and surrendered three runs on four hits, before Mark Lewis threw a scoreless ninth for the Leopards.
The Leopards and Quakers renew acquaintances tomorrow in a doubleheader in Philadelphia. First pitch from Penn's Meiklejohn Stadium is set for Noon.