Weekend Wrap

While most of Penn's campus engaged in activities relating to Fling, some of the school's spring athletes were not as fortunate over the weekend. With the Ivy League season in full swing for most sports this time of year, this weekend included a number of contentious matchups, including several against ranked opponents. For recaps of all of the action from the past few days, here's this week's edition of Weekend Wrap:

Baseball:

Entering its first division action of the conference season, the Penn baseball team looked to get off to a good start against arch-rival Princeton. The Quakers, however, gave up seven runs to the Tigers in each of the four weekend contests. Although Penn salvaged a split of Saturday's games, Princeton swept Sunday's doubleheader.

No seventh heaven for Penn baseball

 

Men's Tennis: 

Despite starting the Ivy League season 0-3, the Penn men's tennis team returned to Philadelphia this weekend after a five-game road trip. Against No. 70 Dartmouth on Saturday, freshman Blaine Willenborg saved the Quakers by winning his singles match in three sets to give Penn the 4-3 victory. On Sunday, the Red and Blue dropped a heartbreaker to No. 19 Harvard, 4-3.

Penn men's tennis splits thrilling Ivy weekend series

Continue reading

Weekend Wrap

Now that the Penn men's and women's basketball seasons have ended, it's time to turn our attention to the progress of other teams sporting the Red and Blue. With the baseball, softball and tennis teams in action, among others, it was a busy weekend for the Quakers. For coverage of those teams and more, here is this week's edition of the Weekend Wrap:

Men's Tennis:

After completing a slate of five matchups over spring break, the Penn men's team was back in action on Saturday. The Quakers went up against No. 26 Virginia Commonwealth, and ultimately fell, 7-0. It was a rough day for every member of the team, as the Red and Blue failed to capture any of the three doubles matches, and dropped every set in singles matches.

Penn men’s tennis overmatched by No. 26 VCU

Football:

While the Penn football team may not be seeing any action beyond spring practices anytime soon, it's been a busy few months for three senior players. Brandon Copeland, Scott Lopano and Joe Bonadies participated in Villanova's NFL pro day on Monday after weeks of preparation.

Three Penn football seniors prepare for NFL Pro day 

Continue reading

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Penn baseball at Towson

Good Bad & Ugly

 

 

 

 

 

THE GOOD: Escaping a ninth-inning jam

The Quakers entered the bottom of the ninth inning leading 5-3, but the Tigers would not go down quietly. The Towson offense put pressure on Quakers closer Ronnie Glenn, opening the bottom of the frame with a single to right center. After a line out to second, Tiger Pat Fitzgerald stroked a single to right field. Glenn was able to buckle down and get a big strikeout on a full-count pitch, giving the Tigers only one more out to play with. Then it got interesting when Tigers junior Dominic Fratantuono singled through the left side of the infield, pulling Towson to within one run and putting the tying run in scoring position and the winning run on base. Glenn would allow no more, however, and got junior Kurt Wertz to fly out to center field to end the game. Glenn showed a real closer’s mentality, getting out of a big jam with the game on the line.

THE BAD: Two Penn fielding errors

Errors in the field never make a pitcher happy since they often show up as runs on their ledger. In today’s game the Quakers committed a pair of fielding errors, the first of which led to an unearned run. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the second, an infield error from the Quakers allowed a run to score. On the following play, a groundout produced an unearned run for the Tigers. The unearned run made the game a bit closer and led to a more dramatic ninth inning.

THE UGLY: Towson’s missed opportunities

The Tigers had many chances to either tie the game or pull ahead of the Quakers, but they could not manage to take advantage. This was mostly due to Quakers pitchers refusing to break in tough situations. Penn pitching gave up a total of five walks in this game, giving the Tigers offense plenty of free opportunities to cash in. In addition, the Towson offense stranded four men on base in the last two innings, both times when they had the Penn pitching staff on the ropes. Looking back at this game, the Tigers will see a game in which they had their chances but could not capitalize.

Blue Jays sign former Quaker Mark DeRosa

Mark DeRosa, a big league utility man who graduated from Penn in 1997, signed a 1-year, $775,000 contract with the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. The contract includes a club option for the 2014 season.

DeRosa played for the Washington Nationals last season, posting a .188 average with six RBI in 48 games. Although his numbers were limited, DeRosa brought veteran leadership to a young and inexperienced clubhouse in D.C., and served as a mentor to many of the Nationals who helped lead the team to its first playoff appearance since its relocation to Washington in 2005.

DeRosa graduated from the Wharton School of Business in 1997. He has played for seven major league clubs over his 16 seasons. Though he will come off the bench in Toronto, manager John Gibbons will likely rely on DeRosa to bring experience and steady leadership to a Blue Jays squad with high hopes for 2013, especially after acquiring SS Jose Reyes, SP Josh Johnson and reigning NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey this offseason.

Penn baseball’s reaction to the Hall of Fame’s “no-vote”

While surprised, players respect the writers maintaining the integrity of the sport.

For the first time since 1996, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) failed to elect a single eligible member to the Hall of Fame. The vote, a shock to baseball fans around the country, left notable players such as Barry Bonds, Craig Biggio, Roger Clemens, and Mike Piazza among others out of the Hall.

Their exclusion was undoubtedly a statement made by the BBWAA about their opinions of performance-enhancing drugs and the players that dominated the Steroid Era. Bonds, the game’s all-time home run king, was expected to be left off the ballot due to his admission of use but players like Biggio and Piazza, who never tested positive, were victims of guilt by association. Biggio eclipsed the 3,000 career hit milestone that normally guarantees a spot in the Hall, and Piazza is considered by many the greatest offensive catcher ever.

But how do Penn’s baseball players feel about the vote?

“It’s a bit of a letdown,” starting pitcher Matt Gotschall said. “But I respect the voters for keeping the game’s integrity by keeping steroid users out of the Hall of Fame.”

Gotschall’s sentiment echoed throughout the rest of the team, as many players were quick to blame the vote on the effects of performance-enhancing drugs.

While fellow junior pitcher Cody Thomson and outfielder Brandon Engelhardt agree that the Hall of Fame got it right this year by keeping steroid users out in 2013, they wonder what the future holds for Cooperstown.

“I think it's a win for the sport of baseball in the short run to let it be known that performance enhancing drugs are wrong, but it would be foolish to never let in the elite of their class without at least an asterisk,” Engelhardt said.

Thomson furthered the insight on ‘entrance with an asterisk’, believing that the Hall of Fame should acknowledge the Steroid Era and explain it to visitors, because although it is a black-eye on the game’s history, it was a major story and cannot be avoided.

While everyone interviewed was in favor of sending a message to PED users, Thomson also believed that the Hall of Fame voting committee made a few major mistakes this year. "Guys like Biggio and Schilling deserved to make it,” according to the right-hander.

The situation will get even hairier next year for the BBWAA when legendary pitchers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Mike Mussina are added to the ballot along with slugger Frank Thomas.

While the debate will rage on for years about how to handle steroid users in the Hall of Fame, junior third baseman Rick Brebner has an easy solution. “Let everyone in,” the third baseman jokingly added.

 

Letter to Harvard Ad Board reveals cause of suspicion

According to The Crimson, a letter attained by the Harvard news outlet reveals what originally caused Prof. Matthew B. Platt to suspect there was cheating on his take-home final exam.

The scandal in the Government 1310 class led to Crimson basketball captains Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry withdrawing from the university yesterday.

Originally, there were only thought to be 13 plagiarisms on the test, but upon further investigation, that number has jumped north to about 125 — constituting almost half of the 279-person class. The original group of 13 is reported to have been 2012 graduates and members of the baseball team.

An unusual answer to a bonus question and an odd typo — an unnecessary space in the number "22, 500" — lie at the root of suspicion.

“I am convinced that the similarities between these papers are not the product of chance,” Platt wrote in the May 14 letter.

Penn Baseball at Citizens Bank Park

While the Phillies are in the midst of a 10-game, West Coast road trip, the Quakers will take the field under the lights of Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia tomorrow night at 7:30 to take on St. Joe's in the championship game of the 21st Annual Liberty Bell Classic. Penn, one of the original eight participants in the Classic since it was introduced in 1992, will be appearing in its first ever championship game. The Hawks, who have also never won a title, will be taking part in their first final since they lost to Temple in 2003.

The Red and Blue earned their spot in the title game with their 11-4 quarterfinal victory over defending champion Villanova on March 27 and a 9-4 semifinal win over La Salle on April 3. Coming off a brutal 1-3 weekend at Princeton, the Quakers will likely be shorthanded on pitching, and coach John Cole may have to call to the centerfield bullpen several times throughout the game. The Hawks earned their berth by topping Temple, 4-1, in the quarterfinals and defeating  Delaware, 3-2, in the semis. They are coming off a 2-1 weekend series win over UMass.

Follow along tomorrow night right here on The Buzz as we liveblog all the action!

Why you should come to Meiklejohn Stadium

Okay. I get it. The stadium is somewhat far. For whatever ridiculous reason, you may not even like baseball. But it's gonna be seventy degrees and, if there was ever a day to suck it up and enjoy our national past time, it's tomorrow at three for our home opener against Temple.

Besides the weather, it should be a good game. At 5-10, Temple's is going be an even matchup for the Quakers. And, at 3-5, the Red and Blue are actually ranked second in the Ivy League, so, while they're record may not show it, they aren't really a bad team. Plus, there's a promising freshman pitching - Connor Bernhard - in his fourth start of his career.

So pack your soda (or whatever other cold, enjoyable, mid-day beverage that you may discretely enjoy) and walk down to Palestra. Then go past the Palestra onto the bridge on the right. Then take that path for another quarter mile.

Shut up. You need the exercise.

And check out this promotional video the Penn baseball team made; it's actually incredibly well-done.

 

 

More Penn baseball: Evolution of Dance

We were told that after the first Jeremy Maas/Penn baseball collab video (see below), that there would be more to come on the Quakers' YouTube channel. Well, even though we missed the athlete talent show, thanks to PennQuakersBaseball, we get to see freshman pitcher Dan Guatieri do the Evolution of Dance.

Sweet Penn Baseball video has us pumped (+1)

The smell of fresh cut grass, the crack of the bat, the whir of cars rushing down I-76. Yes Penn baseball season is almost upon us and the boys from Meiklejohn have put together this slick video to get you ready:

The short was directed by program alum Jeremy Maas, who graduated last spring. Maas and the Quakers finished 19-21 overall, going 10-10 in Ivy play, second in the Gehrig division. They begin their season Friday against Stetson as part of the Bright House Invitational in DeLand, Fla.

We just want someone to please explain what (+1) means.