Patriot League Baseball Release - 2.20.13

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Navy's Ben Nelson earned a victory in the season opener on Friday.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG
Navy's Ben Nelson earned a victory in the season opener on Friday.
PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG

Feb. 20, 2013

Patriot League Baseball Release - 2.20.13 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - After three Patriot League teams opened their 2013 campaign last weekend, the rest of the squads have their first pitch this weekend when all six teams are in action.

Navy had the best results on the opening weekend as the Mids took two of three games in their series at Norfolk State. The Mids will become the first Patriot League team to play at home on Wednesday when they welcome Coppin State, and then head to Kinston, North Carolina for four games against service academy rival Air Force over the weekend.

Army and Bucknell each fell in their opening games, with the Black Knights dropping a pair at UNC Greensboro and the Bison falling in all three of their contests at Richmond. Army tries to get in the win column this weekend with games against Eastern Kentucky, WInthrop and Delaware State in Rock Hill, S.C., while Bucknell has another daunting challenge for first-year head coach Scott Heather as the Bison head to Duke for a three-game set.

Holy Cross, Lehigh and Lafayette each open their 2013 season this weekend. The Crusaders play four games on Saturday and Sunday, two each against Temple and host Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. The Mountain Hawks have a three-game series at UNC-Wilmington, while the Leopards play three games at Davidson with two against the host Wildcats and one versus Georgetown.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook
*Navy swept the first three Patriot League weekly awards of the year.
*The Mids batted .306 and pitched to a 3.00 ERA in their weekend series at Norfolk State.
*Army and Bucknell were each under .200 at the plate in their opening weekend sets.
*All six Patriot League teams are in action this weekend.
*Navy is the first team to host a game when it plays Coppin State on Wednesday.
*Holy Cross and Army share first place in the League's preseason poll.
*Holy Cross' Mike Ahmed was named Preseason Patriot League Player of the Year.
*Army's Chris Rowley was named Preseason Patriot League Pitcher of the Year and a preseason All-American by two outlets.
*Lehigh's Sean Leary is now the dean of Patriot League coaches in his 18th season in Bethlehem.
*Army's Joe Sottolano and Lafayette's Joe Kinney are in their 14th year.

Patriot League Notebook

Holy Cross, Army Share Preseason Favorite Role in Patriot League Baseball
Holy Cross and Army staged a memorable Patriot League Baseball Championship series in 2012, with the Black Knights prevailing in three games for their sixth League title. Coaches and sports information directors expect the teams to be just as competitive in 2013, placing the Crusaders and Black Knights tied at the top of the sport's preseason poll announced on Feb. 6. Holy Cross and Army shared the top spot with 45 points, with the Crusaders collecting six first-place votes to five for the Black Knights. Holy Cross has never won a Patriot League regular-season or Tournament title, while Army has been crowned regular-season champion eight times with the six Tournament crowns. The Black Knights have finished in first place in the regular season in four of the past five seasons. Navy claimed third place in the poll with 32 points, while Bucknell followed with 29 points and the remaining first-place vote, Lafayette totaled 15 points and Lehigh had 14.

Holy Cross' Ahmed, Army's Rowley Take Top Individual Honors
Preseason individual awards were handed out for the first time, and again it was Holy Cross and Army leading the way. Holy Cross junior third baseman Mike Ahmed was named Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year, while Army senior starting pitcher Chris Rowley took home the Preseason Pitcher of the Year honor. Ahmed was a first-team All-Patriot League pick last season, while Rowley earned the Patriot League Pitcher of the Year award in 2012 while also being named an All-American by multiple outlets. For the full Preseason All-Patriot League Team, see the box on the left-hand sidebar of the page.

Rowley Earns Pair of Preseason All-America Honors
Coming off an All-America season, Army senior pitcher Chris Rowley garnered the same recognition in the preseason. Rowley was named a first-team pick by National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and collected second-team laurels from Collegiate Baseball. Rowley went 11-1 with a microscopic 2.40 earned run average last season en route to earning three All-America certificates. He was honored by the NCBWA (second team), Collegiate Baseball newspaper (second team) and CollegiateBaseballInsider.com (honorable mention).

Pair of Patriot Leaguers Named to NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List
Army junior Gunnar Carroll and Navy senior Joel Rinehart were each named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List earlier in the month. The list includes 75 elite relief pitchers from across the country for the honor that is presented to the top reliever in Division I.

Patriot League Baseball Weekly Awards

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
DAVID WIEDEMAN, NAVY
So., SS, Leawood, Kan.
Wiedeman went 4-for-10 with four runs scored and four RBIs to help Navy take two of three games in its opening weekend series at Norfolk State. He was 1-for-2 with a run and an RBI in a 7-6 loss in game two on Friday, then capped the series by going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs in Saturday's 13-1 victory. The three hits were a career high, and the three RBIs tied a single-game best. Wiedeman earns his second career Patriot League Player of the Week honor, also winning the first award of the year in 2012.

PITCHER OF THE WEEK
BEN NELSON, NAVY
Sr., P, Winter Springs, Fla.
Nelson gave up just one earned run in seven innings to lead Navy to a 4-3 victory in its opener on Friday against Norfolk State. He scattered five hits and a walk while striking out six, and put the Spartans down in order in his final three innings of work. Nelson won his second straight opening day start and wins the Patriot League Pitcher of the Week award for the third time in his career.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
ROBERT CURRIE, NAVY
Fr., OF, Atlanta, Ga.
Currie batted .308 (4-for-13) with two runs scored and three RBIs in his first collegiate weekend to help Navy take two of three games at Norfolk State. He was 2-for-4 with an RBI in a 4-3 win in the opener and had two RBIs in a 7-6 loss in the second game of the series. Currie had a hit in all three games of the series.

HONORABLE MENTIONS
MAX KRA, BUCKNELL
Fr., P/3B, Bethesda, Md.
Kra threw 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing two hits and a walk with three strikeouts, in a 6-3 loss to Richmond on Saturday.