May 10, 2009
Patriot League Baseball Championship page
No. 4 seed Lafayette and No. 2 seed Army each posted blowout victories on Sunday to advance to the Patriot League Baseball Championship series, with the Leopards taking out No. 1 seed Bucknell, 10-2, and the Black Knights defeating No. 3 Holy Cross, 11-0, in the deciding game three of each semifinal series.
Lafayette scored in each of the first six innings to build a 7-0 lead at Depew Field, and maintained the advantage behind seven innings without an earned run from starter Ryan Hanna. Army scored three runs in the third and six in the fourth to blow its game with Holy Cross wide open, and starting pitcher Kirk Porter made it hold up with eight scoreless innings at Doubleday Field.
The Leopards and Black Knights advance to meet in next week's Patriot League Championship series at Army's Doubleday Field on Saturday and Sunday. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday and single game, if necessary, on Sunday.
Lafayette and Army have faced off for the Patriot League title on two occasions, with the home team winning each time. Army swept the Leopards in 2004, and Lafayette returned the favor in 2007. Army will go for its fifth Patriot League title, while Lafayette has just the 2007 crown to its name.
Full recaps and box scores from each of Sunday's games can be found below.
No. 4 Lafayette 10, No. 1 Bucknell 2 (Game 3)
Lewisburg, Pa. - No. 4 seed Lafayette scored in each of the first six innings and got seven innings without an earned run from starting pitcher Ryan Hanna on its way to a 10-2 victory over No. 1 Bucknell in game three of their semifinal series at Depew Field on Sunday.
The Leopards advance to the Patriot League Championship series to face No. 2 Army, which defeated No. 3 Holy Cross, 11-0, in their game three on Sunday at West Point.
The Leopards grabbed the early lead in the deciding game three with a run in the top of the first inning. Dan Bierce singled in A.J. Pisarri with one out to give the Leopards the first run in each game of the series.
Lafayette extended the lead to 3-0 with a couple of big two-out hits in the second inning. Alex Bechta tripled in Matt Fenster for a 2-0 advantage, and came around to score on Rob Froio's single for the third Leopard run of the game.
Lafayette scored again in the third, with Fenster singling to center to bring home Justin Shepherd for a 4-0 lead.
The Leopards plated another run in the fourth, with Bierce lacing a single to bring in Froio for a 5-0 lead.
Lafayette made it five straight innings with a run when they plated one in the fifth. Matt Hall doubled to lead off the inning, and Fenster followed with a run-scoring double to make it 6-0 and chase Bucknell starting pitcher Dylan Seeley from the game. Daniel Hart came out of the bullpen for the Bison and escaped the inning without any further damage.
While the Leopards were scoring, senior starting pitcher Ryan Hanna rolled through the first five innings. Hanna allowed just three hits with no walks and four strikeouts to keep the Bison off the board in the first five frames.
The Leopards scored for a sixth consecutive inning to pad the lead to 7-0. Pisarri led off with a single, and came in to score on a one-out double by Jeff Butler.
Bucknell got a run back in the bottom of the sixth. Ben Yoder walked and Doug Shribman singled to put runners on first and third with two outs, and Yoder came in to score on a passed ball for the first Bison run to cut Lafayette's lead to 7-1.
After a scoreless seventh inning, Lafayette added to its lead with three runs in the eighth. Hall hit a two-run home run to right center to make it a 9-1 game, and Froio singled in another run for a 10-1 advantage. Bucknell cut one run off the lead when Yoder singled in Dane Grandizio in the bottom of the frame.
Bucknell could not get any closer in the ninth inning, as Lafayette's Jeremy Atkins closed out the Bison to send the Leopards to the Patriot League Championship series with a 10-2 victory.
Hanna allowed just five hits and one unearned run on the mound for the Leopards, while striking out seven batters. Froio was 4-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI, while Butler and Bechta were each 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI. Hall was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.
Lafayette heads to the Patriot League Championship series for the second time in the last three years after winning the title in 2007. It is the third overall Championship series for the Leopards, who also advanced to the final round in 2004. Lafayette faced Army for the title both times, with the Black Knights sweeping the series in 2004 and Leopards sweeping in 2007.
The No. 4 seed has won all three series it has played in two years of the Patriot League Tournament. Bucknell won the title as the first No. 4 seed last year, beating Army and Navy on its way to the crown.
No. 2 Army 11, No. 3 Holy Cross 0 (Game 3)
West Point, N.Y. - Army scored three runs in the third and six in the fourth to break open its game three with Holy Cross, and Kirk Porter threw eight scoreless innings on the mound as the Black Knights knocked off the Crusaders, 11-0, in game three at Doubleday Field on Sunday afternoon.
Joey Henshaw and Ben Koenigsfeld each homered in the six-run fourth as Army built a 9-0 lead. The Black Knights are back in the Patriot League Championship series for the second time in the past three years, and will go in search of their first League crown since 2005.
The starting pitchers were in control early at West Point. Army's Kirk Porter pitched three hitless innings to keep Holy Cross of the board, and the Crusaders got a pair of scoreless frame from starter Bobby Holmes.
Army's offense ended that stretch as it got to Holmes for three runs in the bottom of the third. Andy Ernesto singled up the middle and Clint Moore followed with a double to left-center to give the Black Knights a 1-0 lead. After Joey Henshaw walked, Ben Koenigsfeld doubled to deep right-center to bring in two more runs and put Army up, 3-0.
After another scoreless frame from Porter, Army blew the game wide open with six runs in the fourth to take a 9-0 lead. J.T Watkins singled with one out, and Holmes hit Zach Price with a pitch and walked Ernesto to load the bases. Matt Croglio came in out of the bullpen for the Crusaders, and Moore greeted him with a sacrifice fly for a 4-0 Army lead. Henshaw came up next, and lifted a ball to left-center field that just cleared the fence for a three-run home run and a 7-0 Army lead. McKague kept the inning going with an infield single, and Koenigsfeld followed with another home run to left field to give the Black Knights a sizable 9-0 advantage through four innings.
Kyle Fleming hit Army's third home run of the game to lead off the fifth and give the Black Knights a 10-0 advantage.
Porter continued to cruise on the mound for the Black Knights, allowing just five hits while keeping the Crusaders off the board in his eight-inning outing.
Army scored one more run in the eighth to make it 11-0, and Henshaw closed it out with a 1-2-3 ninth inning to send the Black Knights to the Patriot League Championship series.
Porter allowed just five hits and one walk with two strikeouts in his eight innings of work. Koenigsfeld was 2-for-5 with a run and four RBI, while Henshaw went 1-for-3 with two runs and three RBI. Moore was 3-for-4 with a run and two RBI.
Army will go in search of its fifth Patriot League title. The Black Knights previously claimed the crown in 1997, 2000, 2004 and 2005. They defeated Lafayette in the final series in 2004, and lost to the Leopards for the title in 2007 in their last Patriot League Championship series appearance.
For more information on the semfinal series and upcoming Patriot League Baseball Championship series, visit the League's Baseball Championship page by clicking here