April 19, 2010
Center Valley, Pa. - Defending Patriot League Baseball champion Army is in great position for another title, at least in the regular season. The Black Knights opened up a three-game lead in the standings over Holy Cross after sweeping four games from the Mountain Hawks over the weekend. Players from Bucknell, Lafayette and Navy earned individual honors, with Navy freshman pitcher Ben Nelson becoming the first to earn three straight Rookie of the Week awards.
Patriot League Baseball Release - 4.23.10
Patriot League Baseball Player of the Week (April 12-18)
Ben Yoder, Bucknell Sr., 2B, Belleville, Pa.
Yoder came through in the clutch to help Bucknell to three wins in four games in a key Patriot League series against Navy over the weekend. He went 6-for-13 with a home run, six RBIs, three runs scored and two doubles, and played a significant role in a pair of one-run victories for the Bison. With Bucknell trailing by two runs and down to its final out in Saturday's opener, Yoder tied the game at 4-4 with a two-run double and then came around to score the winning run on Drew Constable's single. Yoder took matters into his own hands in Sunday's opener, blasting a solo home run in the fourth inning for the only scoring in a 1-0 victory. He had at least one RBI in all four games of the series, and scored a run in three of the contests. Yoder now leads the Patriot League in batting average (.419) and slugging percentage (.771), and is in the top five in on-base percentage, home runs, RBI and runs scored. Yoder earns the Patriot League Player of the Week award for the first time this year, and second in his career.
Patriot League Baseball Pitcher of the Week (April 12-18)
Corey Shea, Lafayette Jr., P, Hanson, Mass.
Shea receives Patriot League Pitcher of the Week honors after limiting Holy Cross, the League's batting average leader, to six hits and no runs over eight innings in a 7-0 win on Sunday. He walked only two Crusaders while striking out nine in the game. He allowed just one runner to reach third base in the game and did most of the work in the first shutout for the Lafayette pitching staff this season. Shea receives the award for the first time this year and second in his career.
Patriot League Rookie of the Week (April 12-18)
Ben Nelson, Navy Fr., P, Winter Springs, Fla.
Nelson becomes the first student-athlete to ever earn three straight Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors after a third consecutive brilliant start in League action. He was outstanding in a 1-0 loss at Bucknell on Sunday, pitching all six innings while giving up just three hits and one walk with three strikeouts. He allowed a decisive solo home run to Ben Yoder in the fourth inning, but did not permit another runner to reach third base. Nelson leads the Patriot League in overall earned run average at 2.27, and also paces the way in League action with a 1.29 mark where he has given up just 13 hits and three walks with 10 strikeouts in 21 innings pitched. In addition to becoming the first freshman to ever win three straight Rookie of the Week honors, Nelson ties Army's Cole White (2005) for the most-ever Rookie of the Week awards in one season with four.
Honorable Mention Performances Last Week
Dylan Seeley, Bucknell
Jr., P, Shavertown, Pa.
Seeley fired a complete-game shutout over seven innings as Bucknell held off Navy, 1-0, in Sunday's opening game.
Matt Fouch, Army
Sr., P, Stafford, Va.
Fouch ran his record to 5-1 with another outstanding performance, limiting Lehigh to just two unearned runs to open an eventual four-game sweep for Army with a 3-2 win on Saturday.
Steve May, Army
Jr., 3B, Chesterfield, Mo.
May batted .467 (7-for-15) in a 5-0 week for Army, going 6-for-11 with five runs scored and two RBIs in a weekend sweep over Lehigh.
Patriot League Notebook
Army Takes Control of Patriot League Race
Defending Patriot League champion Army is in great position for another title, at least in the regular season. The Black Knights opened up a three-game lead in the standings over Holy Cross after sweeping four games from the Lehigh over the weekend. Army is 10-2 in Patriot League play, and has won 10 of 11 games since dropping the opener at Holy Cross. The Crusaders are 7-5 while the Bison and Mountain Hawks are both 6-6. Navy is 4-8, with Lafayette at 3-9. Holy Cross gained sole possession of second place by sweeping Lafayette in a doubleheader on Monday.
Black Knights Look to Solidify Lead
By Monday, Army could be into the Patriot League Tournament, and possibly even have the top seed locked up if things break correctly. The red-hot Black Knights have only home games remaining in Patriot League play, and welcome Lafayette on Saturday and Sunday. Army is 8-1 overall at West Point this year. Lehigh and Bucknell play in a key series of teams at .500 in League play when they meet in Lewisburg, while Holy Cross is at Navy as both teams seek to improve their standing.
Honors Pour In
Lehigh's Greg Angelo threw the 10th no-hitter in Patriot League history, and first for a Lehigh player since 1988, when he shut out Lafayette, 2-0, on April 11. Angelo received plenty of recognition for the outing, as he was honored by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, College Baseball Insider and the ECAC. He was the first Patriot Leaguer to earn national recognition this year, and the third honored by the ECAC.
Batting into the Record Book
Patriot League players are beginning to make their imprint in the League's career record book, and soon there may be four new entrants to a category that had not been touched since 2006. Navy's Michael Speciale and Army's Clint Moore have already entered the top 10 in League history in RBIs, and Bucknell's Andrew Brouse and Army's Kevin McKague are within single digits from the top 10. That quartet is featured prominently among the active leaders, with Speciale seventh all-time in hits (221), Brouse tied for third in home runs (26) and McKague second in saves (17). Speciale and Moore are just one off the top 10 with 20 career home runs apiece, while Moore and McKague are just off the top 10 in career batting average, where teammate Joey Henshaw is eighth with a .360 mark. Brouse is also approaching the single-season home run mark already, as his 13 home runs this season are just one off the League record.
Patriot League Tournament
For the third year in a row, the Patriot League Baseball Tournament will include four teams and be played over two weekends. The best-of-three semifinals will be at the site of the top two seeds on May 15 and 16, with the best-of-three Patriot League Championship at the site of the highest remaining seed on May 22-23.
Army The Black Knights took control of the Patriot League race with a four-game sweep over Lehigh at West Point. The teams had started the weekend tied for first place, but Army now leads the way by three games over Holy Cross. Stellar pitching made the difference as Army allowed just seven runs in the four games, and no more than two in any single game. It gave up just three earned runs in 32 innings. The Black Knights have won 14 of their last 18 games since dropping the opener of a four-game series with Cornell on March 27. They have wins in 10 of the last 11 Patriot League contests since losing the season opener at Holy Cross. Army has won its last 11 games against Lehigh, sweeping the Mountain Hawks for the second year in a row. Matt Fouch helped Army take the opener by pitching a complete game without an earned run allowed in a 3-2 triumph on Saturday. He lowered his earned run average to 2.87, good for second in the Patriot League. Steve May paced the offense by going 6-for-11 with five runs scored and two RBIs in the series. Kevin McKague saved two of the wins, and his nine saves this year are just one off the single-season school record, and two from the Patriot League mark. Army will try to strengthen its hold on the League by hosting Lafayette over the weekend.
Bucknell The Bison earned a pair of dramatic wins and took three of four games at home against Navy over the weekend. Ben Yoder was a key piece of the team's two one-run victories, hitting a game-tying two-run double with the Bison down to their final out and then scoring the winning run in a 5-4 victory on Saturday and providing the only offense with a solo home run in a 1-0 victory on Sunday. Dylan Seeley pitched a complete-game shutout to pick up the victory in that contest. The Bison improved to 6-6 in the Patriot League, tied for third with Lehigh. Bucknell will host a key four-game series with the Mountain Hawks over the weekend.
Holy Cross The Crusaders wrapped up their series with Lafayete with three wins in four games, sweeping Monday's doubleheader, 6-2 and 6-3. Ryan George pitched six hitless innings in the two games, picking up the save in the opener and the win in the nightcap. The Crusaders pulled into sole possession of second place in the League at 7-5. Holy Cross then swept Brown in a doubleheader Wednesday, but fell to No. 21 Connecticut on Thursday. The Crusaders continue to lead the Patriot League in team batting average in both overall and League only games. The Crusaders continue a busy week with a Patriot League series at Navy over the weekend, giving them 11 games in an eight-day span.
Lafayette The Leopards picked up a key win over Holy Cross on Sunday, with Corey Shea pitching eight scoreless innings in a 7-0 victory. Lafayette ended a six-game losing streak which also included an 11-4 loss in the opener against the Crusaders. However, the Leopards fell in Monday's doubleheader to the Crusaders and dropped to last place in the Patriot League at 3-9. Lafayette will play a series at League-leading Army over the weekend.
Lehigh The Mountain Hawks had their momentum slowed as they lost all four games of a first-place showdown at Army over the weekend. The losses drop Lehigh to .500 in League play, tied with Bucknell for third place. Andrew Berger fired his fourth-straight complete game in the opener, but picked up the 3-2 loss. Lehigh's losing streak hit six with losses to Delaware and Penn during the week. The Mountain Hawks have a showdown at Bucknell over the weekend.
Navy The Mids dropped three of four games at Bucknell over the weekend to fall to 4-8 in Patriot League action. They narrowly lost two of the contests, surrending a 4-1 lead in the last inning of a 5-4 loss on Saturday and falling, 1-0, in Sunday's opener. Ben Nelson pitched six strong innings with just a solo home run and two other hits allowed in that game. He leads the Patriot League in overall (2.27) and League only (1.29) earned run average. Navy scored nine runs in the fourth and fifth innings of an 11-8 win in Saturday's nightcap for their lone victory. The Mids beat Towson, 11-4, on Tuesday and now face a critical weekend series against Holy Cross in Annapolis.