April 28, 2012
EASTON, Pa. -
The Lafayette baseball team took two giant steps toward the Patriot League Tournament on Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader sweep of Bucknell. The Leopards claimed the twin bill from Kamine Stadium by scores of 3-2 and 5-4.
With the wins, the Leopards pull even with Bucknell at 6-12 in the Patriot League. The Lafayette sweep coupled with Lehigh's sweep at Navy leaves four teams in the hunt for the final two playoff spots heading into the last day of league action. Lafayette can clinch a berth with another sweep of the Bison tomorrow or with one win and at least one Navy victory over the Mountain Hawks.
Andrew Santomauro had four hits in the doubleheader, including a 3-for-3 showing in the opener. Brian Davila, who went 5-for-5 in Wednesday's win at LIU Brooklyn, stayed hot with a 3-for-5 performance highlighted by the game-winning RBI as Lafayette rallied to win the nightcap. James McCool and Bobby Fargnoli each had two hits, while Scott Kelleher tripled and Tim Lazor singled to round out the Leopards' 13 hits in the twinbill.
Kelleher's triple was a two-run blast to dead centerfield that pulled the Leopards even in game two after falling behind 4-1. Davila knocked in a run in each end of the doubleheader, and Fargnoli, Lazor and McCool picked up an RBI apiece.
John Gentile started on the mound in game one and worked the first 6.2 frames to earn the win. Gentile (1-9) scattered two earned runs on six hits and a pair of walks. The right-hander, who struck out three batters, was relieved by Jeff Snell. Snell recorded the final out, retiring the only batter he faced with the tying run in scoring position and the go-ahead run also aboard to notch his sixth save of the spring.
In the nightcap, Alex Farina
picked up a relief win with 2.2 scoreless frames. Farina (2-2) ceded just three hits in his outing. Sean McGrath
got the final four outs without allowing a hit or a walk to record his third save. Ethan Perro
started on the bump and worked the first five innings. Perro surrendered four earned runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out four.
In total the bullpen fired 4.1 scoreless frames in the doubleheader. The Lafayette defense was also solid, turning three double plays in 16 innings of work.
The Leopards started the scoring in the first inning of game one. Santomauro led off with an infield hit, followed by Thomas Dunleavy reaching via error and Fargnoli legging out an infield knock to load the bases. Lazor then sailed a ball to left field that easily plated Santomauro via sacrifice fly to put Lafayette on top, 1-0.
Bucknell tied the score on a sacrifice fly of its own in the top of the second, but the Leopards would take the lead for good with a pair of tallies in the bottom of the frame. McCool worked a walk to start up the offense and took second on a sacrifice bunt by Kevin McCarville. Davila then cashed in on the RBI opportunity with a base hit back up the box. Santomauro kept the rally going with a single, and Davila was rewarded for his hustle as a throw attempting to catch him going to third on the hit got away from the Bison third baseman and allowed him to race home and extend the Lafayette advantage to 3-1.
Both Gentile and Bucknell starter Dan Weigel went on lock down at that point, as the score held into the seventh and final frame. A leadoff infield hit gave the Bison a baserunner and, after a strikeout and productive out that moved the runner to second, Carter Bumgardner cut the margin in half with an RBI single to trim the lead to 3-2. After another single put runners on first and second base, head coach Joe Kinney turned to Snell. The Leopards' closer delivered his 18th career save as Santomauro tracked a line drive in centerfield for the final out.
Weigel (6-4) went the distance for Bucknell. He allowed three earned runs on six hits and two walks while striking out one batter.
Bucknell was the aggressor to begin the nightcap, plating a pair of runs in the top of the second and extending its lead with a tally in the top of the third. Lafayette got on the board in the bottom of the third frame on an RBI groundout by Fargnoli to cut the deficit to 3-1.
A double steal in the top of the fifth stanza grew the Bison lead back to three runs at 4-1 before the Leopards rallied in the bottom of the sixth. Fargnoli and Lazor each singled to start the frame before Bucknell starter Bryson Hough got two quick outs. McCool kept the inning alive and knocked in a run to trim the score to 4-2, and Kelleher followed with a blast to straight-away centerfield. The Lafayette third baseman ended up on third base with a two-run triple that pulled the Leopards even at 4-4. After Bucknell skipper Gene Depew called on his closer, Alex Cillo, Davila greeted the All-Patriot League reliever with a single to put Lafayette on top, 5-4.
Farina got the next five outs without ceding a run, and McGrath finished off the eighth and struck out two batters in a perfect ninth inning to complete the Saturday sweep at Kamine Stadium.
Hough (2-7) was charged with all five runs in the loss. He allowed six hits and two walks while striking out three batters in 5.2 innings on the mound. Cillo allowed just one hit - Davila's go-ahead single - before putting together 2.1 scoreless innings out of the Bison pen.
Tomorrow's pivotal doubleheader will be broadcast live on GoLeopards.com with Mick Moninghoff on the call beginning at noon.