March 15, 2010
Center Valley, Pa. - Games against nationally-ranked opponents, home openers and more are on the slate for Patriot League Baseball teams this week, with at least two teams in action every day after a weekend that was largely washed out by rain. Student-athletes from Bucknell, Army and Lafayette garnered the Patriot League weekly awards.
Patriot League Baseball Release - 3.15.10
Patriot League Player of the Week (March 8-14)
B.J. LaRosa, Bucknell Sr., C, Jacksonville, Fla.
LaRosa started Bucknell's week in Florida with a bang, going 3-for-5 with a home run, four RBIs and three runs scored in an 18-6 victory over UMBC on Sunday. He smacked his first home run of the year and led the Bison in hits. LaRosa has at least one hit in all 10 games he has played this year. The 2009 All-Patriot League selection earns his first Player of the Week award.
Patriot League Pitcher of the Week (March 8-14)
Ben Koenigsfeld, Army Jr. P, New Port Richey, Fla.
Koenigsfeld earns the Pitcher of the Week award for the second straight time, becoming the first honoree since Navy's Mitch Harris in 2007 and just the eighth in Patriot League history to receive the award in consecutive weeks. He does it with another outstanding outing, going six innings without an earned run allowed in a 9-6 loss to Yale on Sunday. Koenigsfeld scattered five hits and a walk while striking out nine in his outing. He let up three unearned runs in the second inning, then permitted just four baserunners overall and two in scoring position in his last four innings of work. Koenigsfeld left with a 5-3 lead but picked up a no decision as the Black Knights dropped the game. He lowered his earned run average to a Patriot League-best 1.56 with the effort, and has struck out 22 and walked only two in 17.1 innings of work this season. The reigning Patriot League Pitcher of the Year earns the third Pitcher of the Week honor of his career.
Patriot League Rookie of the Week (March 8-14)
Scott Kelleher, Lafayette Fr., INF, Farmington, Conn.
Kelleher made the most of his first collegiate appearance in Lafayette's 14-9 loss to Rider on Tuesday, going 2-for-2 with a home run and three RBIs after coming on as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. The home run in the bottom of the ninth was the first by a Lafayette freshman this season. Kelleher earns his first Rookie of the Week award.
Honorable Mention Performances Last Week (March 8-14)
J.T. Watkins, Army
So., C, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Watkins went 5-for-7 with six runs scored, an RBI, two walks and two steals in Army's first two games in Florida over the weekend.
Kevin Mihalik, Lehigh
Jr., INF/P, Schnecksville, Pa.
Mihalik batted .500 (7-for-14) in three games at the plate last week, with a 3-for-5 effort with a run and two RBIs in an 8-5 win over Sacred Heart on Wednesday.
Sam Long, Navy
Jr., P, Newnan, Ga.
Long tossed eight innings and allowed three runs on six hits with no walks and nine strikeouts, but picked up the loss in Navy's 3-1 defeat against Monmouth on Sunday.
Ken Longernecker, Lehigh
Sr., P, Bethlehem, Pa.
Longernecker tossed 4.1 scoreless innings with four hits allowed and three strikeouts and picked up his second win of the year as Lehigh beat Sacred Heart, 8-5, on Wednesday.
Patriot League Notebook
Patriot League teams were scheduled to play 22 games last week. All seven scheduled contests were played from Monday-Thursday, but the wet weather up and down the east coast almost entirely wiped out the weekend schedule. Only four of 15 scheduled games were played over the weekend, with Holy Cross, Lafayette and Lehigh each having an entire three-game series washed out, and Army and Navy having one game called off.
There was Some Action....
Of the 11 games played last week, seven were contested in Winter Haven and Lakeland, Fla. Lehigh went 1-3 in games from Monday-Wednesday, finishing its spring trip with a 1-4 mark by beating Sacred Heart, 8-5, to close the stay. Army and Bucknell each opened their spring trip in the area. The Black Knights beat Long Island, 12-11, on Saturday and fell to Yale, 9-6, on Sunday, while the Bison blasted UMBC, 18-6, on Sunday. Navy dropped a pair of home games to Mt. St. Mary's on Tuesday and Monmouth on Sunday, while Lafayette lost its lone contest and remained winless on the season by falling to Rider on Tuesday.
....With Plenty More to Come
Should the weather hold this week, there will be a lot of action on the diamond for Patriot League teams. There are 30 games scheduled for the six Patriot League teams, with at least three contests for each squad. Bucknell has six games remaining on its Florida trip, while Army has five to go. Navy is scheduled to play seven home games, while Lehigh has a mid-week road game followed by a four-game home series over the weekend against Binghamton. Holy Cross also opens its home schedule among its four games, while Lafayette plays three at Dallas Baptist from Thursday through Saturday.
Big Names, Home Games Highlight the Slate
Army and Bucknell were picked as the top two teams in the Patriot League, and they will be tested during their stay in Florida this week. Army just scheduled a Monday evening matchup on the road at No. 6 Florida, and closes its spring trip against No. 27 Ohio State on Saturday. Bucknell gets its crack at the Buckeyes on Friday, the middle of a three-game stretch against Big Ten opponents where they face Illinois on Thursday and Northwestern on Saturday. For those teams staying in the north, home games are finally on the agenda for Lehigh and Holy Cross. Each squad plays its home opener this weekend, with the Mountain Hawks facing Binghamton and the Crusaders playing Quinnipiac on Saturday. Navy continues its home stay with seven more games in Annapolis in the midst of a 13-game homestand.
Army Takes First Place in Preseason Poll
Defending Patriot League Baseball champion Army was selected by coaches and sports information directors to claim the crown again in 2010. Army garnered 46 points and eight first-place votes to take the spot in the League's preseason poll. The Black Knights were followed by Bucknell, which had 39 points and the remaining four first-place votes. Holy Cross was picked third with 35 points, and followed in order by Navy (27), Lafayette (21) and Lehigh (12). Patriot League Baseball head coaches and sports information directors voted in the poll, and were not eligible to vote for their own teams.
Army returns five of its six players that earned First-Team All-League honors a year ago, while Bucknell has five of its eight All-League players back. Holy Cross, Navy, Lafayette and Lehigh all have at least one All-League player from a year ago. Ten of last year's 12 First-Team All-League players are back in 2010, and 16 of the 25 return overall.
2010 Patriot League Tournament
The 2010 Patriot League Baseball Tournament will include four teams and be played over two weekends for the third straight season. The best-of-three semifinals will be at the site of the top two seeds on May 15 and 16, with the best-of-three Patriot League Championship at the site of the highest remaining seed on May 22-23.
Army The Black Knights opened their Florida trip with a split of two games against Long Island and Yale over the weekend. Army knocked off Long Island, 12-11, by coming back with three runs in the top of the ninth. J.T Watkins drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single, and went 3-for-4 with four runs scored in the game. Watkins also had a solid day against Yale by going 2-for-3 with two runs scored, but the bullpen could not hold the lead in a 9-6 defeat. Watkins raised his batting average from .158 to .308 with the two strong performances. He had just three hits in Army's first six contests. Ben Koenigsfeld tossed six innings without an earned run, walking just one and striking out nine in the game. He got a no-decision, and is 2-0 with a 1.56 ERA for the season. Shaun Wixted has registered two hits in five straight games, and leads the Black Knights with a .481 batting average. Army added a game at No. 6 Florida on Monday to its stay in the sunshine state, then has four more contests before returning north including a finale against No. 27 Ohio State on Saturday.
Bucknell The Bison split a pair of games last week, falling at Villanova, 6-5, on Tuesday before starting their spring trip in Winter Haven, Fla. on a high note by defeating UMBC, 18-6, on Sunday. B.J. LaRosa went 3-for-5 with a home run, four RBIs and three runs scored in the victory. He has a hit in all 10 games he has played this season, and leads the Patriot League with a .535 batting average. Bucknell continues its busy stay in Florida this week, with a game on every day from Monday-Saturday, with a contest vs. No. 27 Ohio State on Friday.
Holy Cross The Crusaders had their three-game series at Delaware washed out over the weekend. They have a 2-5 record after starting the year with games at Georgia Southern, College of Charleston and Charleston Southern. Holy Cross is back in action on Wednesday with a doubleheader at Siena, and opens its home schedule against Quinnipiac Saturday.
Lafayette The Leopards were only able to take the field once last week, losing to Rider, 14-9, in a game played in Flemington, N.J. on Tuesday. Lafayette had three games scheduled at the Seton Hall Tournament over the weekend, but the rain and wind washed out the contests. Scott Kelleher made the most of his first collegiate appearance against Rider, going 2-for-2 with a home run and three RBIs after coming on as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. Lafayette goes for its first win of the year with three games at Dallas Baptist from Thursday-Saturday.
Lehigh Lehigh salvaged a win from its five-game stay in Winter Haven, Fla., knocking off Sacred Heart, 8-5, on Wednesday. Ken Longernecker pitched 4.1 scoreless innings for the victory, allowing just four hits while striking out three. He has both of Lehigh's victories for the season, and leads the team in strikeouts (10) and innings pitched (11.2). Kevin Mihalik went 3-for-5 with a run scored and two RBIs in the victory, and batted .500 (7-for-14) with a run and five RBIs in Lehigh's four games last week. He only batted in three of the contests, as he started on the mound against Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday. Lehigh lost its first four games in Florida, falling to Butler Sunday, St. Bonaventure and Fairfield on Monday and Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday. The Mountain Hawks then had a three-game seriest at Coppin State postponed on Friday and Saturday, and the attempted make-up doubleheader in Bethlehem on Monday was also washed out. Lehigh returns to action at St. Joseph's on Wednesday, then opens its home schedule with doubleheaders against Binghamton on Saturday and Sunday.
Navy The Mids had their momentum slowed somewhat, falling at home against Mt. St. Mary's, 6-3 on Tuesday, and Monmouth, 3-1 on Sunday. Sam Long pitched the Sunday contest and went eight innings with three runs allowed while walking none and striking out nine. Navy has a busy start to the week with a doubleheader against Iona on Monday and single game against the Gaels on Tuesday, then plays a four-game series against Princeton over the weekend. All seven games are in Annapolis as Navy is in the midst of a 13-game homestand.