Patriot League Baseball Weekly Release (4.24.12)
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- For the second straight outing, Army senior pitcher Logan Lee was dancing with perfection.
The Army lefty carried a perfect game into the seventh inning for the second straight week, and although he walked a batter to start the seventh, Lee retired the next three to pitch the 11th no-hitter in Patriot League history. It was the fourth no-hitter in Army program history and the first since 1957.
For his historic outing, Lee was named the Patriot League Pitcher of the Week for the third time this season and fourth time in his career.
And even though Lee didn't remain perfect in the game, his Black Knights stayed perfect on the Patriot League season. After Lee's no-no, Army won a marathon 15-inning game over Bucknell to improve to 16-0 in the League season.
For Army, the four-game sweep of Bucknell was the Black Knights' fourth straight four-game sweep, clinching the No. 1 seed in the 2012 Patriot League Baseball Tournament.
It also propelled Army into the national rankings for the first time in program history. The Black Knights are currently No. 30 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll and 30th in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches Poll.
The Black Knights have now won 16 straight League games in 2012 -- 17 overall dating back to 2011 -- setting a single-season record. They will have a chance to finish off the perfect League season this weekend when they travel to Holy Cross, which clinched the No. 2 seed in the tournament by winning three of four at Lehigh last weekend.
The four remaining teams are all still in contention for the other two bids to the Patriot League Tournament, which will begin with the semifinals on May 12-13. The championship series is slated for May 19-20.
No baseball team has finished the League season without a loss, and the most wins posted in a League season was 19, as Navy went 19-5 in 1995 when the League had seven teams. Army has a chance to tie that mark at or beat it with a 20-0 season.
Navy, the Patriot League's defending champion, had a big weekend, too, going 5-0 and sweeping Lafayette to catapult into third place. Mids infielder Greg Dupell fueled the sweep, going .524 (11-for-21) with 11 RBIs, nine runs scored and a pair of homers en route to being named the Patriot League Player of the Week. He and the Mids can lock up a playoff spot with a single win over Lehigh in their four-game series this weekend, and with four wins -- based on the potential of four wins from fourth-place Bucknell, which sits a game behind Navy -- the Mids can secure the No. 3 seed and a semifinal matchup at Holy Cross. If Bucknell loses a game, Navy's magic number for the third seed is lowered by one. Bucknell, which boasts the Patriot League Rookie of the Week in starting pitcher Bryson Hough, can lock up a playoff spot with two wins.
Lehigh and Lafayette both sit at 4-12 in the League and both are in must-win situations.
The three four-game series will begin with doubleheaders starting at noon Saturday with Army at Holy Cross, Lehigh at Navy and Bucknell at Lafayette. The three series will continue with doubleheaders starting at noon Sunday.
Patriot League Notebook
ARMY PITCHING DOMINATES BUCKNELL
For the second straight four-game series, Army held the opposition to a total of two runs. After outscoring Lafayette 19-2 in their four games on April 14-15, Army outscored Bucknell 13-2 in their four-game series over the weekend.
On Friday, Army starter Chris Rowley kick-started the defensive display again, pitching his fourth straight complete-game shutout in Patriot League play. He struck out four in the 1-0 win and allowed just one hit over seven innings, lowering his ERA to a Patriot League-best 0.95 over 66⅔ innings. The ERA ranks second in the NCAA behind Missouri State's Nick Petree (0.77, 10 starts, 70⅓). Rowley is now 9-0 in 10 starts, which is tied for first in the NCAA.
In the second game on Friday, Army used a pair of unearned runs to defeat Bucknell 2-1. Nick Dignacco pitched the complete game, allowing one run on four hits and one walk over nine innings. He struck out seven. Mark McCants drove in a pair of runs for Army.
On Saturday, Army's Logan Lee came out firing, tossing the fourth no-hitter in program history and the first since 1957. The offense also had a big game with McCants hitting a three-run homer in the first inning, and Cody Murtle drove in three runs and scored another while going 2-for-4 at the plate.
The series finale went much longer than both teams expected, but Murtle ended the game win an RBI single in the bottom of the 15th to help the Black Knights walk off as winners in a 2-1 game. Kevin McKague, who was 3-for-7 in the game, got on base and scored the game-winning run.
Alex Robinett, Gunnar Carroll and Manny Fernandez combined to hold Bucknell to one run on 13 hits and seven walks over 15 innings. Robinett started and lasted six innings, while Carroll tossed a scoreless seven innings. Fernandez earned the win, pitching the final two innings for Army. Ryan Ebner started for Bucknell, allowing one run on six hits and two walks in six innings. Reliever Alex Cillo came on to pitch seven shutout innings, limiting Army to two runs and one walk.
HOLY CROSS TAKES THREE OF FOUR FROM LEHIGH
Lehigh's Cory Kent pitched a solid seven innings and used a big three-run fifth to defeat Holy Cross 4-1 in the series opener, but the Crusaders bounced back to win three straight to take the series.
Kent struck out six in the win on Friday, limiting Holy Cross to one run on eight hits and no walks. He improved to 3-3 on the season and lowered his ERA to 2.15, which ranks second in the Patriot League. It was his sixth complete game, which is tied for third in the NCAA. Brandon Wilt drove in a pair of runs and Brendan McGaheran was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Holy Cross found the offense in game two on Friday, winning 11-7 over Lehigh. Josh Olson went 2-for-4 with four RBIs and a run scored, while Stephen Wadsworth and Alex Maldonado each drove in a pair of runs. Patrick Puentes went 3-for-5 in the game. John Colella came in with two runners on in the ninth and two outs to close out his eighth save of the season.
Colella got the save in the first game on Saturday, too, collecting the final two outs to secure a 3-1 win. Nate Koneski started and allowed one run on eight hits over 6⅓ innings. He struck out seven in the win. Chris Sintetos went 1-for-3 with two RBIs.
The offense exploded in the second game again, as Holy Cross pounded out 19 hits in a 15-6 win. Steven Tkowski led the way, going 4-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Other top performers included Patrick Puentes, who was 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored; Alex Maldonado, who was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored; Brandon Cipolla, who was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored; and Mike Ahmed, who drove in three runs and scored one.
NAVY SWEEPS LAFAYETTE TO GET BACK IN PLAYOFF RACE
The Mids scored 48 runs in the four-game series, opening with a 13-3 win on Saturday. Alex Azor provided the pop at the top of the lineup, going 4-for-5 with five RBIs and two runs scored. Nikolai Simonsen also had three hits, and Josh Moore and David Wiedeman each had a pair of hits and runs scored. Navy's Preston Gainey pitched the complete game, allowing three runs -- two earned -- on four hits and four walks over seven innings.
The offense continued to pour it on in the second game as Navy collected a 21-3 win. Greg Dupell led the way, going 3-for-5 with five RBIs and three runs scored. Kash Manzelli also drove in four runs and scored another. Johnny Schoberl pitched seven innings, holding Lafayette to two runs on three hits and two walks.
The offense resumed Monday as Moore went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and a run scored in a 10-2 win. Manzelli and Azor each drove in a pair of runs. Ben Nelson pitched the complete game, holding Lafayette to two runs on five hits and no walks over seven innings. He struck out five.
In the finale, Navy plated a pair of late insurance runs and Joel Rinehart collected his third save of the season as the Mids won 4-1. Anthony Parenti kept Lafayette off the board for the first five innings, earning the win, and Rinehardt pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to close it out. Dupell was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored and Manzelli was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run 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.
He added to his Patriot League all-time hits record with four more last week, pushing his total to 264. He remained 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, ARMY DEFENSE AMONG NCAA BEST
Army junior starter Chris Rowley is among the nation's best after nine starts this season. He ranks second in the nation in ERA (0.95, 66⅔ innings). He's tied for No. 1 in the nation in wins (9) and winning percentage (1.000), as he one of two pitchers to start 9-0. He's tied for sixth in complete games with five.
Army is ranked 26th in the nation in team ERA at 3.11 and 17th in fielding percentage at .977. Army is ranked 13th in hits allowed per nine innings at 7.86.
DICENZO OFF TO BEST LEAGUE START
Holy Cross is off to its best Patriot League start under fifth-year head coach Greg DiCenzo at 11-5. The Crusaders just won three of four at Lehigh and locked up the No. 2 seed in the tournament. They'll face a big test this weekend when they host No. 1 Army in the final regular-season series.
DiCenzo, who picked up his 100th career win earlier in the season, moved to 52-42 all-time in Patriot League play. DiCenzo will lead the Crusaders in the Patriot League Tournament for the fourth time in five seasons 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 Weekly Awards
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
GREG DUPELL, NAVY Jr., 3B/1B, Tampa, Fla.
Dupell went 11-for-21 (.524) last week with 11 RBIs, nine runs scored, three doubles, two homers and eight walks, helping Navy go 5-1. He had an RBI in five of the six games, and exploded for five RBIs and three runs scored in a 21-3 win over Lafayette Saturday. He has reached base in 12 consecutive games for the Mids and his pair of homers gave him 12 for his career. This is his second career weekly award.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
LOGAN LEE, ARMY Sr., P, Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Lee pitched the 11th no-hitter in Patriot League history, taking a perfect game into the seventh inning for his second straight outing. He walked the leadoff batter in the seventh, but retired the side to complete the first Army no-hitter since 1957. Lee, who improved to 5-1, lowered his ERA to 3.53 on the season. He struck out seven in the win. This is his third weekly award of the season and fourth of his career.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
BRYSON HOUGH, BUCKNELL Fr., P, Fairfax, Va.
Hough was the hard-luck loser in a 2-1 defeat at Army Friday, giving up a pair of unearned runs. He pitched 7⅓ innings, giving up seven hits and walking none, while striking out six. Hough, who lowered his ERA to 3.16 which ranks seventh in the Patriot League, has lasted at least 7⅓ innings in his last five outings. He has a 2.39 ERA over the last five starts.
CODY MURTLE, ARMY Sr., OF, Huntersville, N.C.
Murtle went 7-for-20 (.350) last week, driving in six runs and scoring three. He doubled, tripled and homered to help Army remain perfect in the Patriot League at 16-0. He drove in the game-winning run in a 15-inning marathon on Saturday to cap the four-game sweep of Bucknell, and he threw out a pair of runners from the outfield with the game tied, including one at home plate in the top of the ninth against St. Peter's.
MIKE AHMED, HOLY CROSS So., 3B/P, East Longmeadow, Mass.
Ahmed batted 9-for-19 (.474) in six games, helping the Crusaders go 5-1 with five RBIs, eight runs scored, three doubles, a triple and a home run. He also had four walks.
JOHN COLELLA, HOLY CROSS Jr., P, Herndon, Va.
Colella made three relief appearances last week, recording a pair of saves and a win against Lehigh. He closed out the Crusaders 11-7 win over Lehigh on Friday by recording the final out. He got the final two outs in a 3-1 win in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday, and he pitched four innings in the second game to record the win. His ERA of 2.27 ranks third in the Patriot League. His two saves gives him a League-best nine for the season.
CORY KENT, LEHIGH Sr., P, Wilson, Pa.
Kent pitched a complete game to open their series with Holy Cross, allowing just one run on eight hits and no walks. He struck out six to collect the 4-1 win. He lowers his ERA to 2.15, which ranks second in the Patriot League.