March 20, 2013
Patriot League Baseball Release - 3.20.13
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- Patriot League baseball teams are back home, with just one weekend of games left before the race for the 2013 title starts on March 30.
All six teams will play at home at least once this week, and five of those will be playing their home openers. Lehigh opens its home slate on Wednesday against Temple, while Lafayette, Army and Holy Cross have their first home games on Saturday and Bucknell plays its home opener on Sunday.
Navy has already played five home games, and has five more this week. Overall, 15 of the 24 games on the schedule this week will be played at the home field of the Patriot League squad.
Each team will then have just one or two more games on the schedule before opening League play the following weekend. The Patriot League schedule starts with four-game series pitting Bucknell at Holy Cross and Lehigh at Lafayette on March 30-31, and Navy at Army on March 31-April 1. The Navy-Army series moved back one day due to the Black Knights' exhibition against the New York Yankees at West Point on March 30.
Lehigh is off to the best start in non-League action with a 10-6 record, while Navy follows with a 7-11 mark. Lehigh had two weekly award winners on Monday, while Navy's Ben Nelson was named Pitcher of the Week for a third time after another brilliant start.
Patriot League Twitter Notebook
*All six Patriot League teams play at home this week.
*Five of the six are playing their home opener.
*15 of the 24 games on the week's schedule are at home.
*Lehigh has a 10-6 mark this year, and is 9-5 in true road games.
*The Mountain Hawks had two players honored with weekly awards on Monday.
*Lehigh paces the League with a 3.92 ERA, the only team under 4.00.
*Lehigh's Justin Pacchioli leads the League with a .392 batting average.
*Holy Cross' Andrew Barry is next with a .382 batting average as the Crusaders lead the League at .273 as a team.
*Navy's Ben Nelson is 4-1 with a 1.30 ERA after throwing eight innings and allowing one earned run in a 6-5 win over Yale on Saturday.
*He was named Patriot League Pitcher of the Week for the third time this season and fifth in his career on Monday.
*Nelson leads the Patriot League in ERA, strikeouts, wins and opponents batting average and is fith in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Patriot League Notebook
Back From Break
Patriot League teams have completed their trips to the south and west, and now return to the region for action with League play fast approaching. All six teams play at home at least once this week, with all but Navy playing their home opener. Lehigh plays its home opener on Wednesday, while Army, Holy Cross and Lafayette have their first home contests on Saturday and Bucknell opens up in Lewisburg on Sunday. Each of those four schools was supposed to open at home on Tuesday or Wednesday, but had games cancelled with the wintry weather.
Patriot League Slate Coming Up Soon
The Patriot League schedule begins next weekend as the race for the 2013 title begins. The first League series will feature Bucknell at Holy Cross, Lehigh at Lafayette and Navy at Army. The Bucknell/Holy Cross and Lehigh/Lafayette sets will be played March 30-31, while the Navy/Army series will be contested on March 31-April 1 because of the Black Knights' exhibition against the New York Yankees on March 30. Each Patriot League series is four games, with doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday that feature a seven-inning opener and nine-inning nightcap.
Navy's Nelson On a Tear
Navy senior Ben Nelson is putting together a fantastic season during the non-League portion of the schedule. Nelson continued his outstanding first month by allowing just one earned run in eight innings and striking out a career-high 13 in a 6-5 win over Yale on Saturday. He scattered five hits and did not walk a batter while giving up three runs overall, but just the one earned. Nelson is 4-1 on the season and leads the Patriot League in wins, ERA (1.30), opponent batting average (.211), innings (34.2) and strikeouts (39) while only walking three batters all season. Nelson ranks 23rd in the nation in strikeouts, and fifth in the country in strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has been named Patriot League Pitcher of the Week three times this year.
Army's Rowley, Holy Cross' Enos Named Senior CLASS Award Candidates
Army pitcher Chris Rowley and Holy Cross first baseman Jordan Enos have been selected as two of 30 candidates for the 2013 Baseball Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.
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).
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 Army. 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.
Patriot League Baseball Weekly Awards
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
CASEY TURNER, LEHIGH Sr., OF, Vienna, Va.
Turner batted .556 with six runs scored and five RBIs to help Lehigh to a 2-2 record on the road last week. He was 2-for-4 with three runs scored in a 9-8 win over UNC-Greensboro on Tuesday, then went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs in a 17-8 loss at North Carolina A & T the next day. Turner was 4-for-5 in a 9-8 loss to Mount St. Mary's on Friday and followed it up by going 2-for-5 with a run and two RBIs in a 10-9 12-inning win over the Mount the next day. Turner also walked once in each game and finished with a .609 on-base percentage and a .667 slugging percentage for the week. He is fourth in the Patriot League with a .371 batting average, and leads the way with 23 hits and 31 total bases. Turner 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 continued his outstanding first month to the season by allowing just one earned run in eight innings and striking out a career-high 13 in a 6-5 win over Yale on Saturday. He scattered five hits and did not walk a batter while giving up three runs overall, but just the one earned. Nelson retired the first nine hitters of the game before a pair of Navy errors led to two runs for Yale in the fourth. Nelson allowed just four hits in his final four frames and struck out six more hitters before exiting in the ninth. Nelson is 4-1 on the season and leads the Patriot League in wins, ERA (1.30), opponent batting average (.211), innings (34.2) and strikeouts (39) while only walking three batters all season. He is named Patriot League Pitcher of the Week for the third time this year and fifth in his career.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
KEVIN LONG, LEHIGH Fr., P, Hatboro, Pa.
Long tossed 5.2 solid innings with two runs allowed on four hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in a 9-8 10-inning loss to Mount St. Mary's on Friday. He came out of the bullpen with the Mountain Hawks trailing 7-1 with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning and kept them in it until they tied the score in the ninth. The innings pitched and strikeouts were both career highs. Long ranks in the top five in the Patriot League in ERA (3.38), opponent batting average (.218) and strikeouts (18). He is Lehigh's first Rookie of the Week since the 2011 season.
CHRIS ROWLEY, ARMY Sr., P, Duluth, Ga.
Rowley tossed eight innings of one-run ball with six hits and a walk allowed and five strikeouts in a 5-2 loss to Dartmouth on Saturday.
DAN WIEGEL, BUCKNELL Jr., P, Lancaster, Pa.
Wiegel allowed two earned runs on seven hits with no walks and six strikeouts in a 13-4 win over LIU-Brooklyn on Wednesday.
COREY FURMAN, BUCKNELL Jr., OF, Exeter, Pa.
Furman hit .435 with five runs scored and three RBIs in six games for the Bison last week.
JON CRUCITTI, ARMY Jr., OF, Salisbury, N.C.
Crucitti batted .529 with five runs scored in four games last week.