Patriot League Baseball Release - 3.26.14

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Bucknell's Corey Furman
Bucknell's Corey Furman

March 26, 2014

Patriot League Baseball Release - 3.26.14 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The Patriot League baseball schedule begins with a trio of four-game series this weekend as Lehigh goes to Army, Navy is at Bucknell and Lafayette visits Holy Cross to open the League slate.

Patriot League Notebook

Patriot League Play Opens Saturday
Patriot League action begins for all teams this weekend as the first set of four-game series gets going on Saturday. The first weekend of action will feature Lehigh at Army, Navy at Bucknell and Lafayette at Holy Cross. All Patriot League weekend series are four-game sets played with doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday, with the opener of each day featuring a seven-inning contest and the nightcap a nine-inning affair. There will be five weekends of Patriot League action concluding on April 26-27, with the top four teams making the League Tournament which begins with the semifinals at the top two seeds on May 10-11 and continues with the League Championship series at the highest seed on May 17-18.

Three Teams Finally Play Home Openers, Two More to Come This Week
Navy wrapped up a 17-game homestand on Sunday, just when the other five teams in the Patriot League are finally setting foot on their home field. Lehigh swept a three-game series against Mount St. Mary's while Bucknell and Lafayette both split doubleheaders on Sunday in their home openers. Army plays its first home game on Thursday against Columbia before its series with Lehigh, while Holy Cross opens at home this weekend against Lafayette. Navy went 10-7 on its lengthy homestand.

Parenti, Bednar Lead Strong Pitching Performances
Navy's Anthony Parenti and Lafayette's David Bednar each have an ERA under 1.00 for the season, while three others have a mark below 2.00 to highlight good numbers for Patriot League pitchers to date. Parenti has a 5-1 record with a 0.63 ERA while Bednar is 1-1 with 0.96 mark. Parent stands 15th in the nation in ERA, while Bednar is in the top 40. Navy's Stephen Moore (1.77), Army's Gunnar Carroll (1.85) and Lehigh's Kevin Long (1.96) are each below the 2.00 mark, while the Mids are 17th in the nation with a 2.42 team ERA with Army (3.10) and Lafayette (3.18) each in the top 70.

Army, Navy Share Preseason Favorite Role
For the second straight season, there was a tie at the top of the Patriot League Baseball preseason poll as both Army and Navy shared the top spot in the rankings announced on Feb. 6. The Black Knights and Mids were even with 42 points apiece, with Army garnering five first-place votes to three for the Navy. Holy Cross was not far behind with 35 points and a pair of first-place votes, while Bucknell took home 31 points and the remaining two first-place votes followed by Lehigh (17) and Lafayette (13). Holy Cross and Army were tied for the favorite role last year, with the Crusaders taking the regular-season crown before falling to the Black Knights in the Patriot League Championship series. A pair of juniors claimed the individual awards, as Holy Cross outfielder Evan Ocello was named Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year and Navy's Stephen Moore claimed the Preseason Pitcher of the Year award.

Patriot League Baseball Weekly Awards (March 17-23)
PATRICK MESCHER, ARMY Sr., 1B, Versaiiles, Ohio
Mescher had a strong week as Army won four of five games to conclude its spring trip with a 7-1 record. He opened by going 5-for-5 with two doubles, three runs scored and two RBIs in a 19-9 win over North Dakota State on Tuesday. Mescher also led Army to wins in the final two games against Harvard as he went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs, including a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth, in a 3-2 win on Friday and 2-for-3 with a grand slam to lead the Black Knights to a 6-4 victory on Saturday. Mescher went 9-for-21 (.429) with a home run, eight RBIs, five runs scored and three doubles in five games last week. He now leads the Patriot League with 18 RBIs this season, and is named Player of the Week for the second time in his career.

Andreychik pitched Bucknell to its first win over Penn State since 1998 as he went all seven innings in a 1-0 shutout of the Nittany Lions in Sunday's home opener. He scattered four hits and did not walk a batter while striking out five in his outing. Andreychik pitched his second career shutout, and has 12.2 consecutive scoreless innings with no walks in his last two starts. The 2013 Patriot League Rookie of the Year is named Pitcher of the Week for the second time in his career.

Critelli went 8-for-15 (.533) with five runs scored, a home run and three RBIs as Holy Cross took three out of four games at Yale over the weekend. He went 4-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored in a 10-3 win in Saturday's nightcap, and 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI as the Crusaders earned the series victory with an 8-3 triumph in Sunday's finale. Critelli scored a run in three contests and also had an RBI in three games. Critelli ranks fifth in the Patriot League with a .365 batting average, and has reached base in 18 consecutive games. He is named Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the second time.

Carroll allowed only an unearned run while scattering six hits and striking out six over eight innings in a 6-4 win over Harvard on Saturday.

STEPHEN MOORE, NAVY Jr., P, Roswell, Ga.
Moore allowed just one earned run on three hits while striking out seven in a seven-inning complete-game 8-2 victory against Princeton on Sunday.

MIKE BURKE, LEHIGH Sr., P, Clarks Summit, Pa.
Burke allowed one run and struck out seven in a seven-inning complete-game win in a 14-1 victory against Mount St. Mary's on Saturday.

Currie went 6-for-16 (.375) with three triples, four runs scored and four RBIs in five games for the Mids.

TIM McKAY, LEHIGH Jr., C, Pinellas Park, Fla.
McKay went 6-for-11 (.545) with four runs scored and two RBIs in Lehigh's three-game sweep of Mount St. Mary's.

MICHAEL McCORMICK, NAVY Fr., P, Speedway, Ind.
McCormick threw 7.1 shutout innings last week, including six to pick up the win in a 12-1 triumph over Delaware State on Wednesday.

Bednar struck out eight and allowed two runs in 6.2 innings as Lafayette went on to beat Penn 4-3 in eight innings on Sunday.