Hermans Wins Third Straight, Baseball Splits Day One at Penn
Zak Hermans tossed a season-high 12 strikeouts and the offense commanded the scoreboard, as the Princeton baseball team opened its four-game series at Penn with a 7-2 victory. The second game of Saturday’s doubleheader saw multiple lead changes and a Tiger ninth inning rally, but it was not enough and the Quakers managed to squeak past Princeton 8-7 to split the day.
Turning Point of the Game: The Princeton offense immediately produced runs, taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. With the first two runners on, Mike Ford sent a three-run bomb over the right center fence to set the tone for the remainder of the game. As the offense produced insurance runs down the stretch, Hermans and the defense protected the lead and gave up only two runs.
A three-run frame would also be the turning point of game two, this time in favor of Penn. The Tigers managed to take a short lived 2-1 lead in the top of the second, but the Quakers responded with two in the bottom half of the frame. Princeton again tied things up in the third, before Penn capitalized on three hits to take the lead for good. A pair of RBI doubles and an RBI single propped the home side to a 6-3 lead.
Pitcher of the Game: Hermans picked up his third consecutive complete game victory in game one. He tossed a season-high 12 strikeouts in 27 batters faced over seven frames. He scattered five hits, two runs and a walk during that span.
In Ivy play, the senior righty boasts a 1.29 ERA over 21.0 innings pitched. He’s struck out 21, given up 13 hits, three runs and batters are hitting .173 against.
Batter of the Day: Junior Alec Keller headlined the offense over both games, tallying five hits, four runs, an RBI and a walk. Keller was perfect at the plate in game one, going 4-for-4, including a double, with three runs, an RBI and a stolen base.
As the leadoff batter throughout Ivy play for the Tigers, Keller is hitting .429 (18-for-42) with 12 runs, five RBI, three walks, two homers, two doubles and a triple. He’s also 2-for-3 in stolen base attempts, has a .667 slugging percentage and a .478 on base percentage.
Honorable Mention of the Day: First baseman Ford went a perfect 2-for-2 with three RBI, two runs and two walks in game one. He ignited the offense in the first with his three-run homer, bringing him to a team-best four long balls this year.
On the day he had three runs and a walk, while combining for 10 putouts.
Gehrig Division Race: By splitting today’s series, the Tigers remain tied in second place in the Gehrig Division with Penn. First-place Columbia holds a two-game lead behind a sweep of Cornell to improve to 8-2.
On Deck: Princeton (9-21, 6-4 Ivy) and Penn (20-12, 6-4 Ivy) will conclude the weekend series with a doubleheader on Sunday. First pitch is set for 12 noon in Philadelphia.