April 12, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - The Bucknell baseball team will be home for a third consecutive Patriot League weekend series this Saturday and Sunday. This one will be much busier than the last two, though. In addition to the four-game series against Lehigh, the Gene Depew Celebration Weekend will be taking place to honor the team's 31st-year retiring head coach, as well as Senior Day for the 10 Bison seniors.
Doubleheaders will be played both Saturday and Sunday beginning at noon. A special on-field recognition of Depew, who has piled up nearly 600 wins in his career, will take place prior to Saturday's twinbill. The 1971 Bucknell graduate will also throw out the first pitch. On Sunday, Depew will share the spotlight with his final senior class, which will be honored during Senior Day ceremonies prior to first pitch of the doubleheader.
A barbeque and pig roast will be taking place adjacent to Depew Field on Saturday. All alumni and friends are invited to attend the function, which will be held under the blue and orange Bison Club tents.
Following Saturday's doubleheader, Depew will be honored at a special dinner in the Terrace Room beginning at approximately 7 p.m. Cost of the dinner is $20 per person. It is requested that attendees RSVP to Marcy Carl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While there will be plenty of activities going on all weekend, it is a key series for Bucknell, which enters the weekend with a 16-18 overall mark and 3-5 in Patriot League play. Lehigh, which is 13-23-1 overall, is one game behind the Bison in the Patriot League standings with a 2-6 mark.
This weekend's series ends a stretch where Bucknell is playing 15 of 17 games at home on Depew Field. The Bison are 5-6 at home during that stretch and are 7-7 overall at home in 2012.
Bob Donato, who continues to lead Bucknell in hitting with a .405 batting average, is coming off a two-hit outing at Towson. He carries a team-high four-game hitting streak into the weekend, following a 21-game streak earlier in the year. Donato has at least one hit in 28 of his 31 games played and his 16 multi-hit contests lead the squad.
Sophomore left-hander Dan Weigel leads the Bison in ERA (2.47). He is 6-1 on the season, has logged 54.2 innings and is limiting hitters to a .248 batting average. All four of Bucknell's starting pitchers, including Weigel, lowered their ERAs last weekend as the four Bison starters combined to allow just eight earned runs in 27.0 innings against Navy.
As a team, Bucknell has a .297 batting average and a 5.12 ERA. Lehigh is hitting .282 and has a 5.88 ERA.
The Mountain Hawks enter the weekend on a three-game winning streak, having defeated Scranton (once) and Maryland Eastern Shore (twice) in mid-week contests after being swept by first-place Army last weekend. Lehigh has won five consecutive non-league games, but has lost six straight Patriot League outings.
Joe Abeln leads the Mountain Hawks in hitting with a .364 average. He also has two home runs, a team-high 24 RBIs and has scored 30 runs. John Elson (.317) and Tyler Brong (.309) are also hitting above .300, while Brendan McGaheran paces the team with three home runs.
Eleven different Lehigh pitchers have earned a win this year with Joey McNamara (2-0) and Jordan Smith (2-3) the only hurlers to win twice. Cory Kent leads the team in ERA (2.45) and saves (4), while at the same time posting four complete games in five starts.
Bucknell will be on the road for nine of its final 11 games after this weekend's series. The Bison's next contest will be Wednesday, April 18, at Penn State. First pitch for that game is 6:05 p.m.
Weekend Projected Starting Pitchers
Saturday Game 1: LHP Dan Weigel (6-1, 2.47 ERA, 26 K) vs. RHP Cory Kent (1-3, 2.45 ERA, 36 K)
Saturday Game 2: RHP Bryson Hough (1-5, 3.58 ERA, 20 K) vs. RHP Nick Stephens (1-4, 6.06 ERA, 26 K)
Sunday Game 1: LHP Ryan Ebner (2-5, 7.68 ERA, 33 K) vs. RHP Colin Gotzon (1-3, 5.88 ERA, 18 K)
Sunday Game 2: RHP Dan Goldstein (1-2, 6.57 ERA, 23 K) vs. TBA
Bison on Career Record Lists
Alex Cillo: Strikeouts/9 in. (3rd, 8.84), Saves (5th, 8), Appearances (4th, 62)
Bob Donato: Games Played (5th, 171), Games Started (5th, 164), At Bats (4th, 626), Runs (9th, 124), Hits (7th, 197), Doubles (1st, 53), Home Runs (4th, 23), RBIs (10th, 103), Total Bases (4th, 331), Sac Flies (6th, 9)
David Duffett: At Bats (10th, 526), Sac Bunts (t-6th, 12)
Ryan Ebner: Strikeouts/9 in. (9th, 7.43)