Penn Takes Liberty Bell Classic Opener
March 27, 2013
EASTON, Pa. – Penn took advantage of an impressive starting pitching performance by Cody Thomson and came away with an 8-1 win over Lafayette on Wednesday afternoon in the first game of the Liberty Bell Classic at Kamine Stadium.
With two on and two away against freshman left-handed pitcher Ari Kaufman, Spencer Branigan sent a line drive single to right that scored Michael Vilardo for Penn’s lone run in the opening inning. Thomson worked around a two-out walk to Kevin Casey and sent Parker Hills down swinging.
In the second, Kaufman surrendered a leadoff single to Mitch Montaldo and got the next two hitters to strikeout before a single put runners at first and second with two away. Brandon Engelhardt ripped a bases-clearing double into right and Ryan Deitrich had a base hit to score Engelhardt and extend Penn’s lead to 4-0.
Back-to-back doubles to opposite corners by Campbell Lipe and Thomas Dunleavy started the home half of the second and put baserunners at second and third base for James McCool. McCool delivered with a single through the left side to put Lafayette (3-19) on the board and moved the runners to the corners with nobody out. Thomson escaped the inning without any further damage, though, as Brett Thompson flied out to shallow center, McCool was caught stealing and Andrew Landolfi groundout out.
Trailing 4-1 after two innings, Alex Farina entered the game and pitched a perfect third frame for the Leoaprds that included a strikeout of Montaldo. He then followed that inning with two more strikeouts and induced a groundout to end the fourth. Farina retired all six batters he faced and struck out three Penn batters.
The score remained the same after Toby Schwartz held Penn (13-7) in his only inning out of the pen before Thomson put the Leopards down in order in the fourth and fifth. Mitch Leeds then came on in relief for Lafayette and fired a 1-2-3 inning that featured a pair of punchouts.
Andrew Ruck’s infield single to open the sixth for Lafayette snapped Thomson’s stretch of seven straight outs, but he struck out Casey and then pinch hitter Brad Hopek and Ruck was caught stealing on the play.
Penn added to its lead with three runs in the top of the seventh inning with consecutive singles to get things started and had the bases loaded with one away for Austin Bossart. A groundball to McCool at third base could have set up a double play, but Casey bobbled the throw to second and was taken out by a hard slide as two runs scored. The Quakers then tacked on another run and led 7-1 as the teams headed into the bottom of the seventh.
Lipe was hit by a pitch at the beginning of the frame for Lafayette, but Thomson was able to get the next three outs to complete his outing. The Penn starter earned his first win of the season by scattering four hits, fanning six and walking one. From that point, John Beasley threw a flawless eighth and a scoreless ninth after Penn added an insurance run in the top of the ninth.
The Leopards return to action on Sunday when they open Patriot League play against Lehigh. First pitch of the doubleheader from Kamine Stadium is scheduled for Noon and the game will be broadcast online at GoLeopards.com/allaccess