April 26, 2011
Center Valley, Pa. -- As the final weekend of the Patriot League regular-season schedule approaches, the field for the 2011 League Tournament is still as empty as it was when the slate began.
Patriot League Baseball Release - 4.26.11
None of the four berths to the postseason have been claimed, and all six teams remain in the hunt for a League Tournament spot as the League slate hits the last regular-season weekend.
It will all be determined this weekend as Army visits Bucknell, Lafayette heads to Navy and Lehigh is at Holy Cross.
Though they have yet to clinch a berth, Army and Navy have the inside track after winning series on the road. The Black Knights won three games over Lafayette on Monday, completing a suspended game before sweeping a doubleheader, while Navy won the final three contests against Holy Cross. That put the service academies into a first-place tie at 10-6 in the Patriot League. Each team needs just one win over the weekend to guarantee a League Tournament berth, and two to secure a home series in the semifinals.
If the Black Knights and Mids do take care of business, the remaining spots figure to be hotly contested. Lafayette has the edge at 8-8 in the standings, while Bucknell and Lehigh each sit at 7-9 after the Bison won three of four in Bethlehem over the weekend. Each squad is guaranteed of a Patriot League Tournament berth if it can get to 11 League wins.
Holy Cross is very much in the mix as well at 6-10 in the Patriot League, and a series sweep or win would go a long way towards boosting its chances.
The Patriot League Tournament begins with the semifinals on May 14-15, with the Championship on May 21-22. Each round features best-of-three series played at the site of the higher seed.
Patriot League Weekly Awards (April 19-25)
Player of the Week
CLINT MOORE, ARMY Sr., SS, Greensboro, N.C.
With first place in the Patriot League at stake, Moore took over Monday's doubleheader with Lafayette by smashing four home runs with 11 RBIs to lead the Black Knights to a sweep. He hit a grand slam in the sixth inning of the opener as Army went on to a 9-0 win, and tied a Patriot League record with three home runs in the nightcap to lead the Black Knights to a 12-2 triumph. He became just the third player in League history to belt three home runs in a game, joining Army's Walker Gorham (2005) and Lafayette's A.J. Miller (2010). He hit for the home run cycle on the afternoon with a three-run, two-run and solo shot in the second game. Moore also had a home run with five RBIs on Wednesday against Yale, and finished the week with five home runs and 16 RBIs while batting .391 (9-for-23) with seven runs scored. Already the Patriot League career RBI leader, Moore's total of 176 is now 19 higher than any other player has recorded in League annals. He moved to second place in League history with 34 career home runs. Moore ties a Patriot League career record with his fourth Player of the Week award, and his second this year.
Pitcher of the Week
CHRIS ROWLEY, ARMY So., P, Duluth, Ga.
Rowley got Army off on the right foot in a key doubleheader with Lafayette on Monday by pitching a complete-game shutout as the Black Knights beat the Leopards, 9-0. He held Lafayette hitless for the first 4.2 innings and gave up just two hits and two walks while striking out three in seven innings of work. It was his first-career shutout and second complete game of the year. He earns the Pitcher of the Week honor for the first time.
Rookie of the Week
BRANDON BEANS, NAVY Fr., OF, Hartsville, S.C.
Beans had a strong weekend in helping Navy to a series win at Holy Cross, going 8-of-18 with six runs, four RBIs and three doubles in the four-game set. He had three multiple-hit games, scored at least one run in each contest and drove in a run in three of four matchups. Beans hit safely and scored a run in all five of Navy's games last week. He receives the Rookie of the Week award for the first time.
BOB DONATO, BUCKNELL Jr., OF, Williamsport, Pa.
Donato batted .500 (10-of-20) with four home runs, eight RBIs and 10 runs scored in five games for the Bison.
WES OLSON, NAVY Sr., P, Indianapolis, Ind.
Olson tossed 6.2 scoreless innings out of the Navy bullpen, with 4.1 to pick up the win Monday against Holy Cross.
JOHN COLELLA, HOLY CROSS So., P, Herndon, Va.
Colella did not allow a hit in 5.2 innings spanning three appearances, and broke the Holy Cross single-season saves mark.
Patriot League Notebook
11: The Magic Number
While all four Patriot League Tournament berths remain open, each team knows what is has to do to guarantee a spot in the field: get to 11 wins. Army and Navy are just one win away from doing that, while Lafayette (8-8), Bucknell and Lehigh (7-9) can each get to the mark with a strong weekend. It remains very likely that at least one team will make the field without getting to 11 wins, so Holy Cross (6-10) remains very much in the mix if it can win its series with Lehigh and get some help elsewhere on the weekend.
Army, Navy Have Inside Track to Host Semifinal Series
After winning three of four games over the weekend, Army and Navy stand in a tie for first place in the Patriot League at 10-6. That mark puts the service academies two games clear of third-place Lafayette, and very much on track to host at least in the semfinal round of the Patriot League Tournament. Each school will guarantee a top two seed and home field in the semifinals if they can win two games over the weekend. Neither team is in complete control of earning the No. 1 seed and right to host throughout the Patriot League Tournament, as a four-game sweep for both would still leave that spot determined by the result of the Lehigh/Holy Cross series. Should the Mids and/or Black Knights slip up, Lafayette, Bucknell and Lehigh all could jump in and earn a home series in the semifinals.
Know Your Tiebreakers!
With the standings so closely bunched, it's likely that at least one spot or seed for the Patriot League Tournament will come down to a tiebreaker. Ties are broken first by a head-to-head comparision, followed by a comparison of records starting at the highest seed and continuing through the lowest, if necessary. If a tie still exists, there is a comparison of records against out-of-league common opponents (only if the same number of games are played against an opponent), with RPI ranking after the end of the Patriot League regular-season schedule as a final tiebreaker. For more information, go to the baseball page at www.patriotleague.org or read the tiebreakers on the sidebar of page two of the release.
Patriot League Tournament
The 2011 Patriot League Baseball Tournament is a four-team event played over two weekends. The semifinals will be held on May 14-15, with the No. 4 seed playing at No. 1 and No. 3 at No. 2. The Patriot League Championship series will be played at the site of the higher seed on May 21-22. Each series will be a best-of-three, with every contest going the full nine innings. The winner of the Patriot League Tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals.
Moore Posts a Day to Remember
Army senior Clint Moore would have gone down as one of the most accomplished players in Patriot League history regardless of what he did on Monday. But Moore added another chapter to his legacy with perhaps his best day at West Point, as he posted four home runs and 11 RBIs in a doubleheader sweep of Lafayette. After hitting a grand slam in the opener, Moore tied a Patriot League record with three home runs in the nightcap. His 34 home runs are second in Patriot League history, and Moore's total of 176 RBIs stands 19 more than any player in League annals.
Shribman Proving 2010 Not a Fluke
While Moore's totals are amazing, you can't begin the talk about home runs in the Patriot League without first discussing Bucknell senior Doug Shribman, who left both the school and Patriot League career marks in his dust long ago. Shribman hit three home runs last week to push his career total to 42, eight ahead of Moore's total and 12 more than any Patriot Leaguer had recorded entering the year. Shribman's 15 home runs this year stand third in League history for a single season. Of course, Shribman still has a ways to go to set the Patriot League single-season home run record after he set an extraordinary standard with 21 long balls last season. He is also up to sixth in League annals with 147 career RBIs.
Lafayette's Miller Next to Set School Home Run Mark
Shribman and Moore each hold their school's home run record, and so does Holy Cross senior Nick Ciardiello. There probably will be another school mark to fall this year, and it would come in Easton. A.J. Miller has 11 home runs for the year and 21 for his career to come within one of Bob Osipower `00 for the Lafayette record in each category. And that's not the only mark the senior catcher is leaving this season. Miller leads the Patriot League in batting average (.422), on-base percentage (.503) and slugging percentage (.781), and stands among the national leaders in each category.
Army The Black Knights had a day to remember on Monday at Lafayette, as they won a suspended game, 8-6, in 12 innings before posting a convincing doubleheader sweep of 9-0 and 12-2 to win the four-game series and remain in a tie for first place with Navy...Clint Moore in particular had perhaps the finest day of his outstanding career, hitting four home runs with 11 RBIs in the sweep...He tied a Patriot League record with three home runs in game two alone...Moore had five home runs and 16 RBIs last week to earn the Patriot League Player of the Week honor...He is up to second in League annals with 34 home runs, and his 176 RBIs are 19 more than any student-athlete has ever recorded...It was also a memorable day for sophomore pitcher Chris Rowley, who tossed a two-hit complete-game shutout in the opener...It was the first shutout of his career and the first for any Patriot League pitcher this season...Army next plays Marist in the Hudson Valley Baseball Classic on Wednesday, and visits Bucknell over the weekend.
Bucknell The bats led Bucknell to a series win at Lehigh, as the Bison scored 40 runs while winning three of four games from the Mountain Hawks...The series victory brought Bucknell into a tie for fourth place in the Patriot League with Lehigh, and gave them the head-to-head tiebreaker edge....Bucknell posted a doubleheader sweep on Sunday by scores of 15-5 and 11-6...Doug Shribman had three home runs in the doubleheader to boost his Patriot League career record to 42, while Drew Constable homered twice and Bob Donato hit his fourth home run of the week...Alex Cillo won two of three games out of the bullpen for the Bison, allowing just one run in seven innings in two appearances...After playing a pair of midweek games, the Bison will try to qualify for a fourth-straight Patriot League Tournament when they host Army over the weekend.
Holy Cross Holy Cross saw its chance for a fourth-consecutive Patriot League Tournament berth take a hit over the weekend as it lost three of four games at home against Navy...The Crusaders won the opener of the series, 8-6, on Sunday before falling 10-8 in the nightcap and getting swept in Monday's doubleheader...Holy Cross fell to sixth place in the Patriot League at 6-10, though it stands just one game out of fourth place...John Colella saved each of the Crusaders' victories last week and has set a single-season school record with eight saves this year...He did not allow a hit in 5.2 innings of work over three appearances last week...He struck out six and walked just one in the outings...Holy Cross has a chance to overtake one of the teams in front of them when it hosts Lehigh to complete the Patriot League schedule over the weekend.
Lafayette After coming into Monday's action in sole possession of first place in the Patriot League, the Leopards fell two games off the pace by losing three contests to Army on the afternoon...Lafayette fell 8-6 in 12 innings in the completion of a suspended game, then was swept 9-0 and 12-2 in the full doubleheader....The Leopards are in third place, two games behind both Army and Navy...Rob Froio had five hits in the 12-inning defeat, and is tied for second place in Lafayette annals and 10th in Patriot
League history with 212 hits in his career...He is just four off the Lafayette record held by Adam Rosenberg (2001-04)...Despite the tough weekend, Lafayette is very much in control of its own destiny as three wins at Navy will guarantee the Leopards a spot in the Patriot League Tournament.
Lehigh The Mountain Hawks were dealt a setback to their Patriot League Tournament hopes as they lost three of four games at home against Bucknell over the weekend...Lehigh fell to 7-9 and in a tie for fourth place in the Patriot League with the Bison...The Mountain Hawks remain solid overall at home with a 15-10 record, and complete their home slate on Wednesday...Lehigh plays for its Patriot League Tournament life when it visits Holy Cross over the weekend.
Navy The Mids are on the cusp of securing their first Patriot League Tournament berth since 2008 after winning three of four games at Holy Cross over the weekend...Navy needs just one more win to lock up its spot in the field...The Mids won the last three games of the weekend at Holy Cross, with a 10-8 triumph in Sunday's nightcap and a sweep by finals of 11-2 and 5-2 on Monday...Wes Olson was
key in locking up the series by pitching 4.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen to earn the win in the finale...Greg Dupell hit a three-run home run in the first inning that stood up as the difference, and he drove in six runners overall in Monday's sweep...Brandon Beans had a solid weekend by going 8-of-18 with six runs, four RBIs and three doubles in the series...Navy has clinched a .500 or better League record for the first time since 2008...The Mids will guarantee a home series in the Patriot League semifinals with two wins against Lafayette over the weekend.