Holy Cross' Mike Ahmed
Feb. 26, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Every Patriot League baseball team has now opened its 2013 season, and half of the squads have posted at least one win.
Navy has been the most active team so far, going 4-4 on the season after splitting a four-game weekend series with Air Force. The Mids were once again led by Ben Nelson, who tossed a complete-game for a 3-1 win on Friday and won his second straight Patriot League Pitcher of the Week honor.
Lehigh and Holy Cross each picked up one win over the weekend. Mike Burke allowed just one run in 5.1 innings to send the Mountain Hawks to a 4-1 win at UNC-Wilmington, while Mike Ahmed got Holy Cross' win on the mound while also shining at the plate in the opening weekend.
The Crusaders had two players earn weekly awards, as Evan Ocello hit. 545 with six runs and three RBIs and Nick Lovullo batted .455 with seven runs and five RBIs.
This week's schedule starts on Wednesday with Lehigh playing a doubleheader at Maryland Eastern Shore. The slate continues over the weekend when Navy hosts Central Connecticut State, Holy Cross heads to Nevada and Lafayette takes on Campbell in three-game series, Lehigh plays four against Iona, Army faces Liberty twice and Siena once and Bucknell takes on Harvard and No. 22 Virginia twice each in Charlottesville.
Patriot League Twitter Notebook
*Holy Cross batted .306 and scored 33 runs in four games against three teams on its opening weekend of play.
*Navy split a four-game weekend series with Air Force.
*Ben Nelson won the opener for the Mids with a complete game.
*Nelson was named Patriot League Pitcher of the Week for the second straight time and fourth in his career.
*He is 2-0 with a 1.12 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 16 innings this season.
*Holy Cross' Evan Ocello and Nick Lovullo also won weekly awards for standout performances at the plate.
*Mike Ahmed picked up the lone win on the mound for Holy Cross.
*He also batted .294 with a home run and five RBIs.
*Lafayette has hit three home runs this year, while no other Patriot League team has more than one.
*Navy leads the Patriot League in earned run average, opposition batting average and strikeouts.
*Army players have been hit by 13 pitches in four games.
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
EVAN OCELLO, HOLY CROSS So., OF, Camarillo, Calif.
Ocello went 6-for-11 with a double, triple, six runs scored and three RBIs in the opening four-game weekend for the Crusaders. He was 2-for-4 with a run scored in a 7-5 loss to No. 24 Virginia Tech, and went 3-for-3 with a double, triple and two runs scored in a 13-12 loss to Temple. Ocello scored two runs and had two stolen bases in an 8-6 win over the Owls as he came home to score in each of the four games. He is named Patriot League Player of the Week for the first time.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
BEN NELSON, NAVY Sr., P, Winter Springs, Fla.
Nelson is off to an impressive start in his senior season after tossing a nine-inning complete-game in a 3-1 win over Air Force on Friday. He scattered six hits and did not walk a batter while striking out eight and giving up just the one run in the victory. He retired the side in order through the first three innings, and allowed only three singles and no runs in the final five frames. It was the 11th complete game of his career and the nine innings marked his second-longest outing. Nelson is 2-0 with a 1.12 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 16 innings this season. He is named Patriot League Pitcher of the Week for the second straight time and fourth in his career.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
NICK LOVULLO, HOLY CROSS Fr., INF, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Lovullo went 5-for-11 with seven runs scored, five RBIs and a pair of doubles in three games for Holy Cross over the weekend. He had at least one hit, run and RBI in each of his appearances. Lovullo was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI in a 9-8 loss to Delaware, had three runs scored and two RBIs in a 13-12 loss to Temple and concluded the weekend by going 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs in an 8-6 win over the Owls.
MIKE AHMED, HOLY CROSS Jr., P/3B, East Longmeadow, Mass.
Ahmed did it all for Holy Cross, batting .294 (5-for-17) with a home run, five RBIs and four runs scored in four games and allowing two runs in five innings on the mound to pick up the win in Holy Cross' 8-6 triumph over Temple.
DAN WEIGEL, BUCKNELL Jr., P, Lancaster, Pa.
Weigel carried a shutout into the ninth inning against Duke and left with the game scoreless after 8.1 innings in an eventual 2-0 loss. He gave up just two hits and two walks with five strikeouts and one run allowed in the outing.
MIKE BURKE, LEHIGH Jr., P, Clarks Summit, Pa.
Burke went 5.1 innings and allowed one run on two hits and two walks with three strikeouts to pick up the win in a 4-1 triumph over UNC-Wilmington on Sunday.