This weekend Penn Club Baseball enjoyed a first in its storied history… a trip in the regional playoffs. Along with Hofstra, Northeastern, and Sacred Heart, we vied for a bid to the DII World Series in Georgia. The weekend didn’t quite go as planned, but we showed that we’re on par with the top DII teams in the country.
After our four hour commute to Long Island, we arrived at Eisenhower Park on Friday afternoon ready to get things started. We were slated to play nationally ranked Northeastern in the first round of the playoffs. Watching Sacred Heart’s big upset over Hofstra definitely pumped us up. In the first inning, Northeastern showed their offensive potential and put two quick runs on the board. However, starting pitcher Eric “Oat Boy” Windsor settled down after that and carried us throughout the game. By the 3rd inning, we had a 3-2 lead thanks to Joe “All State” Strege and Emerick hustling down the line and causing throwing errors. With Oat Boy continuing to deal, our offense had a chance to breakout in the 4th inning. With guys on 2nd and 3rd, James “Big Stick” Emerick hit a line drive in the gap but NE’s centerfielder made a precarious diving catch. Despite leading most of the game, Northeastern came back in the 6th inning and tied it up. Windsor did a great job stranding the winning run on third base in the 7th with a backwards K. After 8 innings of play, PCB came up just short of victory, losing 6-5. It was a valiant effort that we hoped would carry over into Saturday morning when we played our conference rivals from Hofstra.
After enjoying Friday night in classic PCB road trip fashion, we woke up bright in early on a cold and rainy Saturday morning. After some work on the field by the grounds crew, we were in business. With James “Big Stick” Emerick on the mound, we hoped he would emulate his clutch performance versus Hofstra a few weeks. Despite pitching another great game, Big Stick got beat by one player and our offense struggled to hit Hofstra’s pitcher. “All State” Strege, Rawlin “Chico” Rosario, and Gus played very well and showed us that this year’s freshmen class wasn’t a complete failure. Also, Okie finally broke out of his sophomore slump and had a good weekend at the plate. Hofstra ended up winning 3-0, and thereby ending our best season to date. Hofstra eventually won the tournament, and we wish them the best of luck at the WS in Georgia.
So the weekend didn’t go so well… but what a fun year it was. There were a lot of firsts for Penn Club Baseball this year. We beat Hofstra in the regular season, had a winning record, and made the playoffs. Plus, as “All-state” pointed out after the game, our fun-to-win ratio for the year was awesome. We’ll be losing a few seniors (who will be greatly missed), but for the most part, we’ll return the same team next season. All this means is that we’ll be back and better than ever next year.
This great season couldn’t have happened without the help and support of the following people: PennRec’s Mike Reno and Brian Calio for giving us money and practice space in order to have home games and a road trip and play competitively. All our players’ families and friends for cheering us on all season. And finally, Kenny Powers for providing inspirational quotes all season long.
Highlights / Lowlights:
– The traffic-filled 4 hour trip down to Long Island
– The potholes in the outfield
– The cheering from Emerick’s cousin
– Cherney’s reaction after being pegged in the head
– Standard Road Trip activities
– Hofstra’s hilarious Cinco de Mayo comment
– Miller’s touching speech at the end of elections
-Impersonations of current and past players on Saturday Night
– The great four years that PCB had with Miller, Hall, Boat, Julius, and Gromer
See you next year and remember to follow us @PennClubaseball