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Baseball advances to winners bracket, stuns Top-Seed Columbia, 8-4

Baseball advances to winners bracket, stuns Top-Seed Columbia, 8-4
Baseball advances to winners bracket, stuns Top-Seed Columbia, 8-4


NEW YORK CITY The fourth-seeded University of Pennsylvania baseball team exploded for seven runs in the final three innings of the game to beat top-seeded Columbia 8-4 in Game 2 of the Ivy League tournament Friday at Robertson Field at Satow Stadium.

The Quakers (21-22) advance to the winners bracket to take on third-seeded Cornell on Saturday at 3 p.m. after the Big Red took care of business against Princeton earlier in the afternoon. The host Lions (26-17) advance to the elimination game against the Tigers on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Quaker Nut Flour

*Penn improves to 4-0 all-time in Ivy League Tournament games and defeats Columbia in consecutive ILT openers.

*The Quakers scored seven of their eight runs with two outs.

*Five different players had multi-hit games, including a three-hit performance by freshmen Gavin Collins (3-for-5). Wyatt Henseler (2-for-5), Davis Baker (2-for-5), Ryan Taylor (2-for-5) and Nick Spaventa (2-for-4) all had two singles.

*The 14 total hits against Columbia pitching are Penn's second-highest total against an Ivy League opponent in 2024. The Quakers had two games of 19 and 15 hits against Dartmouth on May 4.

*Henseler launched his 20th home run of the year in the seventh inning, becoming the first player in program history to reach the milestone in a single season. He is one of tying Princeton's Kyle Vinci (21) for the Ivy League home run record in 2023.

*Cole Sapphire pitched four no-hit innings before allowing four earned runs in the fifth inning en route to the no-decision. He struckout nine Lions in six innings.

*Entered the game in relief of Zaffiro in the seventh, Carson Ozmer (2-1) earned the win after three shutout innings, allowing just one hit with two strikeouts.

How it happened

Despite a relatively quick first inning, the Quakers got the leadoff man Connor Chavezwho walked a five-pitch walk after a first strike.

Cole Sapphire worked its way out of a jam in the first inning, walking two, but ultimately struck out the batter, leaving runners on second and third base.

Carson Ozmer started the second inning with a single through the left side, advanced to second on a wild pitch, third on a throwing error and scored on a wild pitch, giving Penn an early 1-0 lead. Calvin Brown walked, Justin Neskie reached base after being hit by a pitch, moving to the top of the order for Chavez, who struck out with a swing to end the threat.

Zaffiro cut through half of the second inning for the Lions, striking out the first two batters he faced, bringing his total to five. He struck out a sixth batter in the third inning to keep Penn's lead at one head heading into the fourth.

Nick Spaventa opened the fourth inning with a double, with Ozmer drawing a walk to put runners on first and second base with no one out. Gavin Collins found the right pitch to hit and sneaked a single past the shortstop's outstretched glove to bring home Spaventa and give the Quakers a 2-0 lead.

Zaffiro continued to slide into the fourth inning, adding two more punchouts to his total in a fourth straight 1-2-3 frame.

Columbia retired the Penn squad in the fifth inning, opening half the frame with a double to center field, the first strike against Zaffiro. Two runs came across and scored in the frame on a single and a groundout as the Lions tied the game at 2-2. They ended the inning with two more runs and led 4-2 in the sixth.

Spaventa led off the sixth with a single through the left side, with Collins adding another strike two batters later, putting runners on the corners with one away. Calvin Brown grounded into a 4-3 double play to lead the team and leave with two.

Zaffiro returned to his early form in the sixth, putting Columbia in order with a strikeout and two flyouts.

Henseler brought the Quakers back within a run in the top of the seventh inning on a solo home run in his twentieth of the season through the left fielder's glove and over the fence. Baker ripped a single up the middle and Ryan Taylor sent a double down the left field line into the corner to drive in the tying run at 4-4.

Ozmer walked the first two batters he faced in the seventh and replaced Zaffiro. He then recorded two quick outs before hitting a Lion to load the bases. He fought back from a 3-0 down against Jack Cooper, recording three straight strikes to get the K and tie the bases.

Collins and Brown were supposed to start the top of the eighth, but Justin Neskie walked and Drew Rogerspinch running for Neskiestole at second to put a runner in scoring position. Chavez singled to left field to put runners on the corners, and Henseler-bound reliever James Vaughns hit an RBI single to left center field to bypass Rogers and go in front, 5-4. With a new pitcher in for Vaughn, Baker cleared the bases with a two-run double that hit the right field wall as Penn took a 7-4 lead.

Ozmer gave up a one-out double in the eighth, but bounced back with a swinging strikeout and then picked off Sam Miller at second base to end the inning.

Collins reached on a single through the left side and then with two outs in the ninth, Asa Wilson doubled over the right fielder's head to bring home the eighth run of the game, leading 8-4.

Ozmer retired Columbia 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth, sealing his second win of the campaign.

Next one

Penn will play third-seeded Cornell in an Ivy League Tournament winners game at Robertson Field at Satow Stadium on Saturday at 3 p.m. The winner will advance to the championship round on Sunday at 3 p.m

For the latest Penn baseball news, follow @PennBaseballon





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