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Harvard Drops Ivy Twinbill at Penn, 8-1, 8-7 (12 inn.)

Pictured: Marcus Way hit a homer in the second game on Saturday.

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Spencer Branigan's 12th inning sacrifice fly in the second game gave the Penn Quakers a doubleheader sweep of visiting Harvard on Saturday in the Ivy League openers for both schools. The sac fly gave the Quakers an 8-7 win after taking the opener, 8-1.

The loss in the nightcap was especially tough for Harvard (3-18, 0-2 Ivy) as three Crimson errors led to all eight unearned Penn runs. The game was sloppy on both sides with the teams combining for nine errors – most of them in the early innings before both sides made series of dramatic plays to extend the game. In the end, Harvard out-hit the home team, 13-11.

After Harvard claimed a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning on the strength of a two-run single by Sean O'Hara, a fielding error by the normally sure-handed shortstop in the bottom of the first paved the way for six unearned runs for Penn (11-9, 2-0 Ivy) against ace starter Max Perlman.

The Crimson battled back as Jake McGuiggan doubled home a run in the third, Dillon O'Neill stole home in the fourth and Marcus Way homered in the fifth to regain the lead, 7-6. A throwing error by Perlman in the sixth allowed Penn to tie the game as Derek Vigoa followed with an RBI double as part of a 3-for-4 day.

In relief of Perlman (7 inn, 4 KO), Will Keuper worked out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth and finished with two hits against in four scoreless innings. Ben Sestanovich took the loss in the 12th as his throwing error helped the Quakers load the bases prior to Branigan's fly ball. The play came after a leadoff single when Jeremy Maas tried a sacrifice bunt with Sestanovich's throw to first hitting him in the back.

In the top of the 12th, Harvard put runners on first and second with one out but Cody Thompson worked out of trouble with a strikeout and a groundout.

O'Hara had three this to pace the Crimson while O'Neill, McGuiggan and Albright all had two hits. O'Neill and Sam Franklin each had two stolen bases.

In the opener, Harvard grabbed a 1-0 lead on an RBI fielder's choice by Franklin by Penn responded with four runs in the third and three in the fifth to take a commanding lead behind Paul Cusick, who struck out 12 batters in a complete game effort.

O'Neill was Harvard's lone hitter with multiple hits in the game.  

Harvard is back in action on Sunday with a twinbill at Columbia.