April 29, 2011
Weekly Release (4.26.11)
Cumulative Statistics (4.26.11)
Center Valley, Pa. - Patriot League baseball teams will play for all the marbles, or at least the chance to do so, on the final weekend of the regular season with all four berths in the upcoming League Tournament still at stake.
The regular-season slate wraps up with four-game series on Saturday and Sunday pitting Army at Bucknell, Lafayette at Navy and Lehigh at Holy Cross, with all six teams still holding out hope for a League Tournament berth. The Patriot League Tournament begins with the semifinal round on May 14-15.
Army and Navy sit in a tie for first place at 10-6 in the Patriot League, with Lafayette at 8-8, Bucknell and Lehigh at 7-9 and Holy Cross at 6-10. Any team that gets to 11 wins will guarantee a Patriot League Tournament berth, though Holy Cross remains very much in the mix as well as a number of scenarios put a team with 10 wins or less into the postseason.
Army (18-21, 10-6) put itself on the cusp of the Patriot League Tournament on Monday when it won a suspended game and followed with a doubleheader sweep at Lafayette. Senior shortstop Clint Moore had one of the best days of his career with four home runs and 11 RBIs in the doubleheader as the Black Knights broke out with a sweep by a combined score of 21-2. Army leads all teams with a 4.08 ERA in Patriot League games, and the Black Knights will need to be on their game against a hot Bucknell lineup. The Bison (21-25, 7-9) lead all teams in home runs (19) and runs scored (110) in Patriot League action, Patriot League all-time home run leader Doug Shribman is leading the League again with 15 home runs in 2011 to pace a deep lineup. Bucknell is one of the few Patriot League teams with recent success against the Black Knights, knocking Army out in the Patriot League Tournament semifinals in two of the past three years and taking three of four at home against the Black Knights in 2008.
Two teams trying to get back to the Patriot League Tournament meet when Navy (26-18-1, 10-6) hosts Lafayette (15-23, 8-8). The Mids have not been in the field since 2008, but need just one win over the Leopards to get in. They have yet to lose a Patriot League series this season, including wins in three of four games at Holy Cross over the weekend. The pitching has directed the Mids, with Sam Long, Johnny Schoberl and Ben Nelson all in the top 10 in the Patriot League in ERA and Wes Olson pitching to a 1.06 ERA in 17 innings in League action out of the bullpen. The pitchers will all have to contend with a Lafayette lineup led by senior catcher A.J. Miller, who paces the Patriot League in batting average (.422), on-base (.503) and slugging percentage (.781). Lafayette heads on the road for a Patriot League weekend for the first time since taking three of four at Bucknell to open the season.
Lehigh (23-18, 7-9) and Holy Cross (21-22-1, 6-10) are both facing must-win series when they meet in Worcester. Each team dug itself a hole last week as Lehigh lost three of four games at home against Bucknell and Holy Cross did the same against Navy. The Mountain Hawks lead the Patriot League in overall batting average (.292) and are second in League action, posting a challenge to a Holy Cross pitching staff that is last in both overall and League only ERA, with a 7.63 mark in the first 16 Patriot League games. The Crusaders counter with a strong lineup that hits over .300 in Patriot League games and is led by sophomore Stephen Wadsworth and senior Nick Ciardiello.
The Patriot League composite schedule includes all live stat, audio and video links for the weekend, and will have all final scores with recaps and box scores at the conclusion of each day.