Patriot League Baseball Championship: Army, Holy Cross to play Game 3 Monday



2012 Patriot League Championship Central

WEST POINT, N.Y. — No. 1 Army and No. 2 Holy Cross split the first two games of the Patriot League Championship series on Sunday at Doubleday Field to force a winner-take-all Game 3 on Monday.

Army won 4-0 in Game 1 behind a complete-game effort from Logan Lee, but Holy Cross survived a back-and-forth battle in Game 2 to win 7-4.

Game 3 has been moved to a noon start on Monday at Doubleday Field. The Patriot League will provide any updates on potential schedule changes on Twitter. Click here to follow the Patriot League on Twitter

With the Game 1 victory, Army set a Patriot League single-season record for wins at 40, and if the Black Knights extend it to 41, they will have their sixth Patriot League Championship. Holy Cross will look to claim its first Patriot League title.

The Patriot League Champion will advance to the NCAA Tournament. Regional hosts and sites will be announced at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 27, and the 64-team bracket will be announced live on ESPNU at noon on Monday, May 28.

Game 1Army 4, Holy Cross 0  Boxscore | Video Highlights
Top-seeded Army surprised second-seeded Holy Cross by throwing senior lefty Logan Lee in Game 1 of the Patriot League Championship series and Lee did not disappoint, tossing a complete-game 4-0 shutout Sunday at Doubleday Field.

Lee held Holy Cross to three hits, a walk and two hit batters. He benefited from a pair of double plays and retired the final 11 batters he faced. He forced 15 groundouts and struck out two.

Army took a 2-0 lead in the fifth and added two more in the sixth to get all the offense Lee needed.

Holy Cross starter Nate Koneski lasted six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks.

After a strong start, Koneski ran into trouble in the fifth. He retired the first batter, but hit Zach Price and Daniel Cortes on consecutive pitches, and after a double steal, Kevin McKague hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field to make it 1-0.

J.T. Watkins followed with a single to right center to make it 2-0.

Alex Jensen tacked on two more runs with a one-out, two-run double off the left field wall in the top of the seventh. Andrew Johnson singled with one out to start the rally and Clayton Mosley reached on a perfect bunt down the third-base line.

After that, Lee tossed three straight 1-2-3 innings to end the game.

Holy Cross’ last big chance came in the sixth as a hit batter and a walk put two men on, and with two outs, Jordan Enos blasted a pitch to the warning track in left, but Cortes made the running grab to end the threat.

Game 2: Holy Cross 7, Army 4  Boxscore | Video Highlights
Second-seeded Holy Cross showed its resilience in Game 2, erasing deficits twice to even up the Patriot League Championship series with a 7-4 win over top-seeded Army Sunday at Doubleday Field.

Holy Cross plated two runs in the seventh and another two in the eighth to take the 7-4 lead, and John Colella picked up the win, pitching the final 3.1 innings, holding the Black Knights to two hits and two walks.

Army threatened in the top of the ninth with runners at second and third and the League’s top hitter at the plate, but Colella got Player of the Year Kevin McKague to ground out to shortstop to end the game.

The Black Knights struggled offensively throughout the game, and three of the four runs scored were unearned. The fourth came on an infield single that caught Holy Cross second baseman Andrew Barry by surprise after it hit the edge of the infield grass.

Holy Cross took its first lead with a pair of solo homers in the fourth inning by Jordan Enos and Brandon Cipolla, and Enos drove in another in the fifth with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to left field to make it 3-1.

The Black Knights tied it at 3-3 in the top of the sixth with a pair of unearned runs. Mark McCants bunted the ball to the left side and Crusaders starting pitcher Donny Murray fielded it cleanly, but threw it wide of first and into foul territory in right field. Daniel Cortes scored on the error and McKague came home as the right fielder overthrew second base for the second error on the play.

Cortes singled in Zach Price an inning later to give Army a short-lived lead at 4-3.

Army starter Chris Rowley lasted just 5.2 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk. Manny Fernandez came in and recorded the final out in the sixth to get the Black Knights out of a jam, but he hit the first batter in the seventh and walked the next before being lifted for closer Gunnar Carroll.

Carroll got one out before Chris Sintetos singled to right to tie the game at 4-4. Jack St. Clair, a pinch-runner for Patrick Puentes who walked, scored on a throwing error to make it 5-4.

In the eighth, Alex Maldonado and Josh Olson each reached on errors, allowing runs to come home and make it 7-4.

Army had a chance to tie it at 5-5 and keep a rally alive in the seventh, but on what appeared to be a sacrifice fly to left, Sintetos threw a strike from deep in the outfield to home plate. Catcher Steven Tkowski placed the tag and ended the inning to preserve the 5-4 lead.

Notes: Enos finished 2-for-3 in the game with two RBIs and a run scored. Cipolla also had two hits.