April 17, 2012
Patriot League Baseball Weekly Release (4.17.12)
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Army is off to the best start in Patriot League history at 12-0 after sweeping its third straight Patriot League four-game series and clinching the first berth to the 2012 Patriot League Tournament.
Another four-game sweep this weekend mixed with just one Holy Cross loss will seal up the No. 1 seed for the Black Knights.
Army earned the playoff spot with a dominant pitching weekend against Lafayette, limiting the Leopards to two runs in 32 innings.
Army’s team ERA of 3.44 is more than a run lower than any other Patriot League team, and in Patriot League contests, it’s even lower at 2.66.
Chris Rowley leads the staff, improving to NCAA-best 8-0 with a 1.06 ERA in 59⅔ innings. He has tossed four complete-game shutouts this season, which is a new Patriot League record. He’s on pace to set the new League ERA record, as Nick Hill (Army, 2005) owns the best single-season mark of 1.21.
Rowley pitched his third straight complete-game shutout to open Army’s series with Lafayette on Saturday, but it was Sunday’s pair of Army starters who won weekly awards.
Logan Lee tossed a one-hit shutout in the opener of Sunday’s doubleheader, taking a perfect game into the seventh inning. It was his second complete-game shutout — and Army’s eighth — earning him the Patriot League Pitcher of the Week.
Freshman Alex Robinett, who was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week, also pitched seven scoreless innings, helping Army shutout Lafayette in the series finale. Robinett handed it over to the bullpen after allowing four hits and one walk.
Holy Cross won three of four from Navy with Patrick Puentes fueling the offense over the weekend. He batted 11-for-25 with four RBIs and seven runs scored in six games last week, earning the Patriot League Player of the Week award.
Bucknell also took three of four games over the weekend, defeating Lehigh to move into third place in the League. The Bison will travel to West Point, N.Y., this weekend for a four-game series against first-place Army. Lafayette will host Navy while Holy Cross will travel to Lehigh.
Patriot League Notebook
ARMY PITCHING SHUTS DOWN LAFAYETTE IN FOUR-GAME SWEEP
Army outscored Lafayette 19-2 in their four games over the weekend, as the Black Knights recorded a trio of shutouts. Army opened the series on Saturday with a walk-off win as Cody Murtle scored on an error in the bottom of the seventh to secure the 1-0 victory. Chris Rowley tossed the complete-game four-hitter, striking out seven Lafayette batters. Lafayette’s John Gentile also pitched a great game, holding Army to one unearned run on two hits and two walks. He did not give up a hit after the third inning.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Army scored single tallies in the first, second, sixth and seventh innings to win 4-2. Starter Nick Dignacco lasted 6⅓ innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk. He struck out eight. He was lifted in the seventh after allowing back-to-back one-out hits, and Gunnar Carroll came in to pitch a perfect 2⅔ innings, striking out three to collect the save.
On Sunday, Army opened the doubleheader with seven runs in the first three innings to take a commanding lead, and with Logan Lee on the mound, that was more than enough run support in the 8-0 win. Lee tossed a one-hit shutout, carrying a perfect game in to the seventh inning. He struck out four. Daniel Cortes and Kevin McKague each had three hits, and Harold Earls and Zach Price each drove in a pair of runs.
The pitching dominance continued in the second game as Alex Robinett, Manny Fernandez and McKague combined for a five-hit 6-0 shutout win in the series finale. Robinett tossed seven innings of scoreless ball, allowing just four hits and a walk. He struck out five. McKauge, who struck out the side in the ninth, went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. He homered in the third to make it 2-0, and he drove in another run during the Black Knights’ four-run fourth.
HOLY CROSS TAKES THREE OF FOUR FROM NAVY
Mike Ahmed, Jordan Enos and Brandon Cipolla all had three hits and Holy Cross used a five-run third to defeat Navy 8-4 in the first game on Saturday. Tommy Marra pitched the complete game for the Crusaders, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks. He had five strikeouts.
Holy Cross doubled up Navy again in the second game, winning 6-3 behind Patrick Puentes’ 3-for-4 game. He drove in a pair and scored twice as Holy Cross jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the top of the third. Matt Croglio recorded the win on the mound, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks over six innings. Donny Murray picked up his fourth save, pitching the final three innings, retiring nine of 10 batters.
Navy bounced back on Sunday, taking the first game of the doubleheader 8-2 with Preston Gainey collecting the win, allowing the only three Holy Cross hits of the game in 4⅓ innings of work. Stephen Moore, Matt Jackson and Joel Rinehart pitched the final 2⅔ innings, not allowing a hit.
The Holy Cross offense returned in the second game Sunday, collecting 14 hits in a 15-3 win. Nate Koneski delivered a strong pitching performance, striking out five in six innings of work. He held Navy to two runs on seven hits and a walk. Ahmed went 4-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored, and Puentes was 1-for-4 with three runs scored. Stephen Wadsworth was 2-for-5 with four RBIs and three runs scored, and Steven Tkowski drove in three runs with two hits.
BUCKNELL GOES 3-1 VS. LEHIGH
Lehigh’s Cory Kent spoiled the opener for Bucknell, but the rest of the series went the Bison’s way.
Kent struck out seven and held the Bison to one run on five hits and three walks in a complete-game 8-1 win. John Elson fueled the offensive explosion with a three-run homer in the fourth inning to give the Mountain Hawks a 5-0 lead.
Bucknell turned around in the second game, winning 11-5 behind the bats of Carter Bumgardner, Robb Scott and Colby Vanderbeck. Vanderbeck finished 3-for-4 with four RBIs, while Bumgardner and Scott each drove in three runs. Scott was 4-for-4 with three runs scored, too. Alex Cillo collected his sixth save of the season, pitching the final 2⅔ innings.
On Sunday, Ryan Ebner pitched a complete-game shutout, limiting Lehigh to three hits and three walks. It was his first complete-game shutout since the 2011 Patriot League Tournament. Matt Lamore led the offense, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs, and Travis Clark was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
In the series finale, Lehigh’s Ryan Gajdos singled off of Cillo in the top of the ninth to tie the game at 6-6, but in the bottom of the ninth, Bucknell’s Bob Donato hit a one-out double and scored in walk-off fashion on Rob Krentzman’s single to win the game 7-6. Krentzman finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs in the game, and David Duffett was 3-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored.
MCKAGUE SETTING NEW LEAGUE RECORDS
Army senior Kevin McKague is making a run at placing his name on the top of several Patriot League all-time record lists.
Over the weekend, he cruised into first place on the Patot League all-time hits list with 260. He also moved within 12 RBIs of tying Clint Moore (Army, 2008-11) for the top spot in RBIs at 185.
He’s currently tied for the Patriot League record in saves, after posting his 27th in a 6-2 win over Navy on March 30. He tied former Army reliever Milan Dinga, who had 27 saves from 2004-07.
He’s also tied for third in doubles with 51. He’s two away from moving into sole possession of second and six away from owning first place.
ROWLEY AMONG NCAA BEST
Army junior starter Chris Rowley is among the nation’s best after nine starts this season. He ranks fifth in the nation in ERA (1.06, 59⅔ innings) and he’s second among starters. He’s tied for No. 1 in the nation in wins (8) and winning percentage (1.000), as he one of two pitchers to start 8-0. He’s tied for seventh in complete games with four.
DICENZO OFF TO BEST LEAGUE START
Holy Cross is off to its best Patriot League start under fifth-year head coach Greg DiCenzo at 8-4. The Crusaders just won three of four at Navy and will look to maintain their second-place position with a four-game series at Lehigh this weekend.
DiCenzo, who picked up his 100th career win earlier in the season, moved to 49-41 all-time in Patriot League play. DiCenzo is looking to lead the Crusaders back to the tournament after making three straight appearances from 2008-10.
In 2010, the Crusaders beat Lehigh in the semifinals to earn a trip to the championship series, where Bucknell won two of three games to win the title.
Patriot League Baseball Weekly Awards
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
PATRICK PUENTES, HOLY CROSS Jr., OF, East Greenbush, N.Y.
Puentes batted 11-for-25 (.440) with four RBIs and seven runs scored as Holy Cross won three of four against Navy to keep a hold of second place in the Patriot League. He had a hit in all six of his games last week and he accounted for five runs in the Crusaders’ doubleheader sweep of Navy on Saturday. He also scored three runs in their 15-3 series finale win. This is Puentes first weekly award of his career.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
LOGAN LEE, ARMY Sr., P, Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Lee posted one of Army’s three shutouts against Lafayette, tossing a one-hit gem on Sunday. He struck out four and carried a perfect game into the seventh, retiring the first 19 batters in the game. Lee is 4-1 on the season and lowered his ERA to 4.01. This is his second weekly award of the season and third of his career.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
ALEX ROBINETT, ARMY Fr., P, Bend, Ore.
Robinett pitched seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball in a 6-0 win over Lafayette on Sunday, completing the four-game sweep of the Leopards. Robinett allowed just three Leopards to reach second base. He struck out five and walked one, improving to 3-1 on the season, while lowering his ERA to 2.45.
ZACH PRICE, ARMY Sr., INF, Cantonment, Fla.
Price went 10-for-23 (.435) with four runs scored and four RBIs. He also had three walks and a stolen base for Army, which swept Lafayette in four games.
RYAN EBNER, BUCKNELL Sr., P, Sinking Spring, Pa.
Ebner pitched seven scoreless innings for the Bison in a 6-0 win over Lehigh on Sunday. It was Ebner’s first complete-game shutout since the 2011 Patriot League Tournament.
DAVID DUFFETT, BUCKNELL Sr., 3B, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Duffett batted 8-for-18 (.444) with four runs scored, three RBIs, two doubles, two triples and two walks. He helped the Bison close out their four-game series against Lehigh with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate, driving in three and scoring three runs.
CORY KENT, LEHIGH Sr., P, Wilson, Pa.
Kent made a pair of appearances last week, recording a save in the Mountain Hawks’ win over UMES and pitching seven innings of one-run ball in their 8-1 win over Bucknell on Saturday. He held Bucknell to five hits and three walks, while striking out seven.