Penn Baseball
Penn has been a heavyweight in the local college baseball scene over the past several years, and that trend will continue in 2023. The Quakers are stacked again with quality talent and again are preseason contenders to win the Ivy League crown. 

"We do have a talented roster, so I think the main thing will be as coaches finding the right roles for players," said Quakers head coach John Yurkow. "Last year's graduating class set us up nicely and showed these guys how to be leaders, and that's exciting for us." 

Penn finished 33-15 overall last year and 17-4 in the Ivy League before eventually falling to Columbia in the Ivy League Championship Series.

"It was a tough way to end, but we feel good about where we are now," Yurkow said. 

Junior Wyatt Henseler is one of five returning members from last year's starting lineup. A Third-team All-American and a unanimous All-Ivy selection, the Emmaus native led the conference last year in runs (57), home runs (14), RBIs (53), slugging percentage (.697), on-base percentage (.487) and total bases (131). He's a career .379 hitter with a 1.142 OPS. 

"When you face a guy like that, you have to have a plan for him," Yurkow said. "That's the type of threat he is. He can do so many things, plus he brings a ton of leadership to the roster. He has this personality with a lot of confidence and that rubs off on the other guys on the team." 

Joining Henseler as a vital piece in the Quakers' lineup is Ben Miller. A First-team All-Ivy selection a year ago, the Durham, NC native hit .330 with 43 runs scored, 18 doubles, 42 RBIs, and 101 total bases. He also had 19 multi-hit games and 11 multi-RBI games. 

Senior catcher Jackson Appel is another important bat for the Quakers. The Houston native hit .346 with seven homers while also showing off an impressive arm from behind the dish, throwing out 40 percent (10 of 25) of attempted base stealers. 

On the mound, All-Ivy selection Owen Coady will lead the Quakers. The 6-foot-3 left-hander was outstanding last season, posting a 2.80 ERA over 54 2/3 innings. He ranked first in the Ivies in ERA (2.80), first in opponent batting average (.200), tied for first in wins (seven), and ranked fourth in strikeouts (74). 

"He was a swing guy for us last year, usually coming out of the pen, but that'll change this year," Yurkow said. "We view him now as our Friday night starter. He's throwing the ball well now, so he's ready to go." 

Junior right-hander Cole Zaffiro will slot behind Coady in the rotation; he recorded 51 strikeouts over 45 1/3 innings last year. 

Left-handed reliever David Shoemaker will also play a pivotal role for the Penn pitching staff. The State College native led the Quakers with 21 appearances out of the bullpen, tied for third-most in a season in program history. He limited opponents to a .152 batting average and collected 23 strikeouts over 25 innings. 

In addition to the exciting prospect of another run at an Ivy League title, the Quakers will unveil a renovated Meiklejohn Stadium with a new outfield turf and a rubber infield. "It's exciting," Yurkow said. 

"We redid the dugouts, rotated the field a degree, installed a new outfield wall, built new bullpens, it's impressive to see." 

The Quakers open the 2023 campaign this weekend with a three-game set at South Carolina. The club remains on the road for series' at Lamar, Nicholls State, and Tulane before their home opener on March 15 against Villanova. The Ivy League schedule opens on March 25 with a visit from Harvard.

Breakout Candidate 
Cole McGonigal | OF | Sophomore 
"He's a talented kid, he can run, he has great power to all fields, and he's a left-handed hitter," Yurkow said. "This guy can play." 

Freshman to Watch 
Ryan Taylor | 2B | St. Augustine Prep (NJ)
A two-time All-State selection and a two-time First-team All-South Jersey, he could make an immediate impact in the lineup. 

"He's really playing well in camp, and I expect him to start at second base for us," Yurkow said. "I can also see him playing some outfield for us. He can really run; we're hoping he can be a table-setter for us too from the leadoff spot."
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