WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (March 1, 2013) - The William and Mary baseball team extended its winning streak to four games with a 7-5 victory against Penn in the teams' series opener at Plumeri Park on Friday afternoon.
Junior left fielder Willie Shaw led the Tribe (5-3) with a pair of home runs and finished the contest 2-for-4 with four RBI. The impressive effort helped W&M improve to 4-0 at home this season.
Senior RHP Brett Koehler (2-1) won his second consecutive start with another strong outing, as he allowed just two earned runs on eight hits in 6.0 innings while striking out three. Freshman RHP Mitchell Aker worked a scoreless ninth inning en route to earning his first career save. Penn (0-1) sophomore RHP Jeff McGarry (0-1) allowed five earned runs in 2.1 innings of work and took the loss.
In addition to Shaw's big day at the plate, senior designated hitter Jackson Shaver and senior center fielder Ryan Brown also provided significant offensive production. Shaver went 2-for-3 with a run and a RBI, while Brown went 1-for-3 and scored twice.
The Tribe put two runs across in the bottom of the second inning to take an early lead. Shaw provided the first score with a solo home run to right on a 3-2 pitch, while Shaver plated the second run when he drove in senior shortstop Ryan Williams with a single to left.
Penn briefly led when it responded with four runs in the top of the third. After left fielder Brandon Engelhardt reached with a leadoff bunt single, second baseman Michael Vilardo hit a two-run home run to left on a 1-0 pitch. With one out, right fielder Ryan Deitrich drew a walk and first baseman Spencer Branigan followed with a double to left to put two runners in scoring position. Deitrich later scored on a passed ball, while Branigan crossed the plate when catcher Austin Bossart reached on an error.
W&M reclaimed the lead, 5-4, with a three-run home run by Shaw in the bottom of the third. Brown drew a leadoff walk and junior second baseman Ryan Lindemuth followed with a single to center. Two batters later, Shaw cleared the bases with his second home run of the contest, a three-run shot over the right field fence off a 1-1 offering.
With RHP Mitch Holtz on the mound in relief, the Tribe increased its lead to 6-4 with a run in the fourth. Shaver led off the frame with a single to right and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior right fielder Derek Lowe. After moving to third on a wild pitch, senior first baseman Kevin Nutter was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners. Shaver then scored on another wild pitch by Holtz.
W&M added to its lead with a run in the bottom of the sixth off relief RHP Pat Bet. Brown drew a leadoff walk and later advanced to third on a wild pitch and a stolen base. Sophomore third baseman Michael Katz then plated him with a one-out sacrifice fly to center.
Penn narrowed the margin to 7-5 with a run in the top of the seventh off relief RHP J.T. Castner. Third baseman Rick Brebner got things started with a leadoff walk and moved to second on a balk. After advancing to third on a groundout by Deitrich, Branigan plated him with a groundout to short.
The Quakers loaded the bases with just one out in the ninth, but Aker worked out of the jam by striking out Branigan and getting designated hitter Marshall Harden to ground out.The series will resume on Saturday when the teams play a doubleheader beginning at noon.