The Penn Quakers will head to Providence RI to take on the Brown University Bears in the Ivy League Championship series (Best of three). The winner of the series will punch the first ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
The Quakers won the Gehrig Division title last weekend after Princeton lost their final game of the year against Cornell in extra innings. Penn is led by second year head coach John Cole. He led the Quakers to a second place finish in 2006 in the Gehrig Division and won the Division title in only his second season. He had a ton of success at the Division 3 level at Rowan College where he compiled a 229-73 record. Cole has been receiving outstanding pitching from freshman pitcher Todd Roth who enters the weekend with a outstanding 6-1 record and an ERA of 2.25. He has thrown six consecutive complete game compiling a 1.50 ERA and 32 strikeouts while only walking six batters. Roth picked up a 5-3 victory over Brown on April 9th. He is expected to start Game 1 for the Quakers on Saturday. In Game 2, Penn is expected to send another freshman to the hill in Jim Birmingham who has a 4-1 record and a 3.30 ERA. The top hitter for the Quakers is Kyle Armeny who leads the team with a .326 average and eight homers.
The Brown Bears will be taking part in their first Ivy League playoff series in the 15 years of the playoff format. The Bears are led by Jeff Dietz who is tied in wins at 6 with Todd Roth of Penn. Dietz has had some outstanding performances throughout the season on the mound with a 6-3 overall record and an ERA of 3.57. He is expected to start Game 1 against Roth in a battle of aces. Dietz is also a solid hitter for the Bears as he plays first base when he is not pitching and has a .352 average with seven homers and 48 RBI in 39 games. Devin Thomas who is the starting catch for Brown has a very strong average of .372 and has hit 14 homers on the season.
The College Baseball Blog will be making the road trip down to Providence to check out the first two games of the series on Saturday and will provide a full report on Saturday evening.
Brown Game Notes
Penn Game Notes
John Cole Preseason interview with CBB
Baseball America Preview of series