William and Mary closed its four-game series against Penn Sunday with a 19-5 blowout win. After sweeping Siena last weekend, the College entered the series against Penn looking to maintain its perfect record at Plumeri Park.
A 7-5 win Friday afternoon and 8-2 victory Saturday extended the College’s (7-4) win streak to five before Saturday’s nightcap spoiled the run, as Penn (1-3) topped the Tribe 10-4.
The three wins move the Tribe to 6-1 at home this season, mirroring last season’s 8-1 start to the home slate.
In Friday’s victory, senior pitcher Brett Koehler turned in six innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits. However, it was junior left fielder Willie Shaw who stole the show with his performance at the plate. Shaw finished 2 for 4 with his two hits reaching the wall and bringing in a total of four runs.
Shaw gave the College the lead in the second inning with a blast to right field, and one inning later, he struck again, smacking a home run with two batters on-base. The shot gave the Tribe the lead, an advantage they held until the close of the ninth inning.
Freshman pitcher Mitchell Aker worked the final inning, throwing out of a bases-loaded jam to earn his first save of the season and secure the College’s fourth consecutive win.
Saturday brought more of the same, as senior pitcher John Farrell picked up where Koehler and Aker left off the previous night. Farrell threw five strikeouts through seven innings of work, allowing two earned runs on six hits. The win pushed the College’s streak to five and was good for Farrell’s third win of the season.
Offensively, the performance at the plate was as impressive as it was on the mound. The Tribe scored three runs in the first inning, two in the third, one in the fourth and two insurance runs in the seventh. Freshman catcher Ryan Hissay’s 3-of-4 performance was indicative of the team’s outing, as he scored two runs and batted in three.
The Quakers narrowed the Tribe’s lead to one run in the third inning but would draw no closer, as the College ran away for the 8-2 win.
However, the following nightcap reversed the roles; Penn found success behind the plate, while the Tribe struggled to consistently score. Sophomore pitcher Jason Inghram played into the fourth inning, but his pitching forced head coach Jamie Pinzino to replace the embattled starter with sophomore pitcher J.T. Castner. Inghram gave up five earned runs on nine hits.
It wasn’t just shaky pitching, however, that doomed the Tribe. The Quakers offense came alive, scoring three runs in the third inning to take the lead for good. Over the final five innings, Penn outscored the College 5-0 to pull away with the 10-4 win. The Tribe’s loss marred its otherwise perfect record at home.
Both teams took to the field in Sunday’s get-away game. The College used a 10-run fifth inning to explode for 19 runs en route to its third win of the series. All 10 runs came with two outs, as Penn was unable to stem the Tribe outburst.
Nine different players recorded at least one hit, as the Tribe recorded 21 total hits and 17 runs batted in. Sophomore third baseman Michael Katz led the way with four hits, two runs batted in and two scored runs. Senior shortstop Ryan Williams, junior second baseman Ryan Lindemuth and senior centerfielder Ryan Brown contributed three runs each to the cause.
The College’s pitching rebounded from the poor outing Saturday night to dominate the series finale. Senior pitcher Matt Wainman churned out six innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits while striking out two of the 25 batters he faced.
Freshman pitcher Aaron Hernandez entered the game in relief, allowing three earned runs on six hits in three innings of work. Hernandez’s steady performance kept Penn quiet, while the College continued to expand its lead until the end of the game.
After its 6-1 home stand, the Tribe takes to the road for a set of non-conference contests. Liberty and Virginia Tech play host to the College Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Plumeri Park won’t see any action until March 8, when the Tribe plays Rutgers in a three-game series.