Saturday Showdown As Penn Baseball Goes For Division Crown
By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It all comes down to this for the Penn baseball team.
The Ivy League’s Gehrig Division title will be on the line on Saturday afternoon as the 24-16 Quakers host 24-17 Columbia in a one-game playoff.
The two teams finished the regular season with identical 15-5 “Ancient 8″ marks. Last weekend they battled four times, each team winning twice, setting up this showdown on Saturday.
“It was a tough series last weekend,” Penn head coach John Yurkow tells KYW Newsradio. “You have two very good teams playing hard and nobody wanted to give in. So it doesn’t surprise me that it’s going to take a one-game playoff to determine our division championship.”
Penn will be looking to win the Gehrig Division for the first time since 2007 behind a junior right-hander.
“We’re going to throw Connor Cuff,” Yurkow says. “He’s been our ace all year. He’s pitched in some big games and he deserves the ball. He’s earned that. He’s had a great year so far and we just feel like with him on the mound, it gives us our best opportunity to win.”
Cuff is 5-2 this season with a 1.34 ERA.
Columbia had won 15-straight games before Penn beat them twice last weekend.
“They’re tough and they’re not going to give in,” Yurkow says. “They’re a disciplined bunch at the plate, offensively. They don’t chase pitches out of the strike zone and they make you beat them. They don’t beat themselves. They play pretty good defense, they don’t walk many guys. So to beat them, the winning formula is going to have to be one where we execute at a high level and we do good job throwing strikes.”
The winner here will play the winner of the Rolfe Division one-game playoff (Yale and Dartmouth) in the Ivy League Championship Series next weekend.
Penn and Columbia will get underway at 1:00pm on Saturday afternoon at Meiklejohn Stadium.
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