Patriot League Baseball Weekly Release (4.2.12)
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- The Army Black Knights made an early season statement, posting four solid wins over the defending Patriot League champion Navy Midshipmen on Saturday and Sunday.
With the sweep, the Black Knights sit atop the League standings at 4-0.
Holy Cross also had a big weekend, winning three straight after dropping the first game of the Crusaders' four-game series at Bucknell. Lafayette and Lehigh split their series.
Army junior pitcher Chris Rowley sparked the four-game sweep with a gem, tossing a seven-inning complete-game shutout, allowing just one hit and no walks in the 2-0 win. Rowley, who was named the Patriot League Pitcher of the Week for the performance, struck out five and retired 15 straight batters at one point, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
Army freshman Harold Earls fueled the Black Knights on offense, maintaining the League's second-best batting average of .392. He batted .450 (9-for-20) for the week, driving in three and scoring three runs. He also stole two bases and was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week.
Lafayette sophomore Andrew Santomauro also had a big weekend at the plate, batting .571 (12-for-21) with seven RBIs and four runs scored. He was 5-for-9 with five RBIs in Lafayette's doubleheader sweep of Lehigh on Sunday.
Lafayette will travel to Holy Cross for a four-game series starting Saturday, while Bucknell will host Navy and Lehigh will be at Army. All three series will feature doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.
Patriot League League Notebook
ARMY SWEEPS NAVY
Army used strong pitching to sweep Navy in four games on Saturday and Sunday, led by junior pitcher Chris Rowley's one-hit shutout in a 2-0 series opening win.
The Black Knights capped Saturday's doubleheader with a 6-2 win, behind Nick Dignacco's 5⅓ innings of two-hit ball. He picked up his second win, and Kevin McKague pitched a scoreless 1⅓ innings to record his fifth save of the season, tying the Patriot League's all-time career mark of 27 saves. McKague also drove in a run, going 2-for-4.
McKague added another RBI and earned the win in relief in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader, helping Army win 9-5 in nine innings. Daniel Cortes, Mark McCants and Harold Earls all had three hits, and Zach Price drove in a pair.
Price added another three hits in the series finale, and Alex Robinett and Andrew Flaherty combined to hold Navy to two runs on eight hits and three walks. Flaherty got the win in relief, pitching five scoreless innings.
HOLY CROSS TAKES THREE AT BUCKNELL
Bucknell's Dan Weigel outdueled Holy Cross' Tommy Marra in the Bison's 3-1 series opening win, but the Crusaders bounced back with wins of 3-1, 5-1 and 11-7 to open the League season at 3-1.
Weigel limited the Crusaders to one run on six hits and no walks in seven innings in the opener, edging out Marra's six innings of five-hit ball. Two Holy Cross errors cost the Crusaders a pair of runs as Bucknell put up a three-spot in the first inning. Marra shut the Bison down the rest of the way in the loss.
Holy Cross got more offense in the second game Saturday as Mike Ahmed smacked a three-run homer in the third to lift the Crusaders to a 3-1 win. Ahmed also pitched 1⅓ innings of scoreless relief after starter Matt Croglio went 6⅔, allowing one run on six hits. John Colella collected his second save of the week, pitching a perfect ninth inning.
On Sunday, Holy Cross strung together three straight innings of offense, taking a 5-0 lead in the fourth behind Brandon Cipolla's two-run double in the third. Nate Koneski pitched the complete game, allowing one run on five hits and one walk over seven innings. He struck out six.
Holy Cross closed the series with 11 runs on 18 hits, led by Jordan Enos' 3-for-5 performance. He and Chris Sintetos each had three RBIs, and Patrick Puentes drove in a pair.
Colella came in to pitch the final 4⅔ innings to collect his sixth save of the season. He held the Bison to one run on three hits and two walks.
LAFAYETTE, LEHIGH SPLIT LEAGUE OPENING SERIES
Lehigh opened up its four-game series against Lafayette with a pair of strong pitching performances on Saturday from starters Cory Kent and Nick Stephens.
In the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, Kent held the Leopards to one run on five hits and two walks over seven innings, earning the 3-1 complete-game win. Chad Warga and Brendan McGaheran each drove in runs for the Mountain Hawks.
Stephens went eight innings in the second game, holding Lafayette to two runs on eight hits and a walk in a 10-2 win. Joe Abeln led the Mountain Hawks at the plate, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
The Leopards bounced back on Sunday, led by Andrew Santomauro who went 5-for-9 with five RBIs and a run scored in the doubleheader sweep. Lafayette won the first game 8-6 behind a 4-for-4 performance by Thomas Dunleavy, who also drove in a pair of runs and scored twice.
The offense continued in the second game, as Lafayette scored eight runs again, but Lehigh was only able to scratch out one run against Leopards starter Connor Ortolf, who pitched all nine innings, allowing five hits and a walk.
MCKAGUE TIES SAVES RECORD, CLIMBS RBIS LIST
Army senior Kevin McKague tied the Patriot League record for saves, posting his 27th in a 6-2 win over Navy on Saturday. He ties former Army reliever Milan Dinga, who had 27 saves from 2004-07.
He also continued to add to his career RBI total, driving in four runs in four games last week. He pushed his career total 157, which ties him for second all-time in the Patriot League. McKague is one away from owning second place. Army's Clint Moore owns the all-time RBI record with 185 runs driven in from 2008-11.
Patriot League Baseball Weekly Awards
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
ANDREW SANTOMAURO, LAFAYETTE So., CF, North Caldwell, N.J.
Santomauro batted .571 (12-for-21) with seven RBIs, four runs scored and a walk in six games last week for the Leopards. The sophomore center fielder had a hit in all six games, and went 5-for-9 with five RBIs in Sunday's doubleheader sweep of Lehigh to even the Leopards' League record at 2-2. This is Santomauro's first career weekly award.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
CHRIS ROWLEY, ARMY Jr., P, Duluth, Ga.
Rowley kicked off Army's four-game sweep of defending League champion Navy with a seven-inning complete-game one-hit shutout on Saturday. Rowley, who lowered his ERA to 1.38 and improved to a League-best 6-0, struck out five and walked none in the win. He carried a no-hitter into the sixth and retired 15 straight batters at one point. This is Rowley's fourth career weekly award and third of 2012.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
HAROLD EARLS, ARMY Fr., INF, Cumming, Ga.
Earls wins his second Rookie of the Week award, going 9-for-20 with three RBIs and three runs scored in five games last week. He had a hit in every game, helping the Black Knights go 4-1, including a four-game sweep of Navy. He also had a pair of steals in a 9-5 win over Navy on Sunday. He leads Army and is second in the League with a .392 batting average.
ZACH PRICE, ARMY Sr., INF, Cantonment, Fla.
Price batted .368 (7-for-19) with three RBIs, five runs scored, three walks and a triple in five games last week. He recorded a hit in all four of the Black Knights' wins over Navy.
DAN WEIGEL, BUCKNELL So., P, Lancaster, Pa.
Weigel improved to 6-1 on the season, going seven innings for the sixth time this season, holding Holy Cross to one run on six hits and no walks. He struck out three in the complete-game performance, lowering his ERA to 2.77, which ranks sixth in the Patriot League.
JORDAN ENOS, HOLY CROSS Jr., 1B, Stockton, Calif.
Enos batted .409 (9-for-22) with three RBIs, four runs scored, three doubles and a walk in six games last week. He reached safely in all six games and recorded six of his nine hits in Holy Cross' three wins over Bucknell.
JOHN COLELLA, HOLY CROSS Jr., P, Herndon, Va.
Colella recorded three saves, including two against Bucknell, and appeared in four games last week for the Crusaders. The reliever allowed just one earned run and gave up four hits and two walks in 8¨÷ innings of work. Colella leads Patriot League relievers with a 1.80 ERA in 13 appearances and 30 innings of work.
CONNOR ORTOLF, LAFAYETTE So., P, Ocean City, N.J.
Ortolf pitched a complete game, lifting the Leopards to an 8-1 win over Lehigh on Sunday. He gave up one run on five hits and one walk over nine innings. He struck out three.
CORY KENT, LEHIGH Sr., P, Wilson, Pa.
Kent went the distance in a 3-1 win over Lafayette on Saturday, allowing one run on five hits and two walks in seven innings. He struck out seven in the win.
NICK STEPHENS, LEHIGH Fr., P, Monument, Colo.
Stephens won his first collegiate game, allowing two runs on eight hits and one walk over eight innings of work Saturday. He struck out five in the 10-2 win over Lafayette.