June 3, 2010
Patriot League NCAA Baseball Release
Center Valley, Pa. - After winning the Patriot League Baseball Championship as the No. 4 seed for the second time in the past three years, Bucknell will hope history repeats itself again as it heads to the NCAA Baseball Regionals in Columbia, South Carolina beginning on Friday at 7 p.m. against the host Gamecocks.
Bucknell is the No. 4 seed in the region, where it will play No. 1 South Carolina on Friday. No. 3 The Citadel and No. 2 Virginia Tech will square off in the opening game of the day at 2 p.m. The regional is a double-elimination format, with a winner's and loser's bracket after Friday's games and subsequent contests through Monday.
When Bucknell won the Patriot League title as the No. 4 seed in 2008, the Bison made history in the NCAA Regionals by knocking off the No. 4 overall seed in the field, and No. 1 in the region, Florida State, 7-0, in the opening contest. Bucknell followed with a loss to Tulane and in the rematch with the Seminoles to get knocked out of the postseason. Still, the Bison recorded their first victory in four appearances in the regionals (1996, 2001, 2003, 2008).
Bucknell will also try to continue a solid stretch of performances for Patriot League teams in the NCAA Regionals. After the Bison recorded the first-ever opening victory in 2008, Army became the first Patriot League team to make it to the Regional final by upending both Texas State and Boston College last season. Patriot League teams have six victories in NCAA Regional play.
The Bison are led by an offense that has compiled one of the most impressive seasons in Patriot League history. Junior Doug Shribman had seven home runs and 16 RBIs as Bucknell beat Army and Holy Cross in three-game series in the Patriot League Tournament, and has shattered the Patriot League single-season record with 20 home runs. Shribman earned Tournament MVP honors. Teammate Andrew Brouse, the Patriot League Player of the Year, follows with 17 home runs and led the League with 58 runs scored. The Bison have a League record 72 home runs, besting the previous mark of 57.
Bucknell won its fifth Patriot League title on May 22, sweeping a doubleheader from Holy Cross to take the three-game series, 2-1. The Bison also won a three-game semifinal series at top seed Army to advance to the Championship round. Bucknell's five titles are tied for the most in Patriot League history.
Patriot League NCAA Notebook
Bison Win One for the Thumb
Bucknell joined Army and Navy at the top of the Patriot League title list by winning its fifth championship over Holy Cross on May 22. The Bison trailed the three-game series after a heartbreaking, 8-7 loss the night before, but rallied to win the set with victories of 4-3 and 12-7 in a doubleheader. Bucknell also had to go to three games to win its semifinal series at top-seed Army the week before.
Bucknell Leads in NCAA Regional Appearances
While the Bison tied Army and Navy for all-time Patriot League titles, they are taking the lead among all schools with five NCAA Regional trips as a Patriot League member. Bucknell has earned an NCAA Regional berth in each of its Patriot League title seasons, previously making the field in 1996, 2001, 2003 and 2008.
Can't Count Out The Bison
Bucknell's improbable run to the title set a couple of precedents in the Patriot League Tournament. It became the first team to win the crown after finishing under .500 in League play, as Bucknell wrapped up the slate with an 8-12 record. In the Championship series, the Bison became the first road team to win the title after losing in the opening contest. Bucknell also pulled off a pair of "seconds", becoming the second champion to win it all with an overall record under .500 and to win the title on the road in game three.
Bucknell has already replicated its success from its last Pariot League title season in 2008 by winning the crown on the road as the No. 4 seed. Now, the Bison hope to repeat the NCAA Regional result from that year. Bucknell scored its only victory in four regional appearances when it took out No. 4 overall seed and host Florida State, 7-0, in the opening contest. The Bison went on to lose to Tulane and in the rematch with the Seminoles in the next two games, but still became the only Patriot League team to ever win its opener in the NCAA Regionals.
More Success for the Patriot League?
While Bucknell set a precedent for Patriot League teams in the NCAA Regionals in 2008, Army followed with another standard last season. The Black Knights became the first Patriot League team to advance to the regional final by knocking off both Texas State and Boston College in the Austin Regional. Army nearly forced a decisive final game with host and top overall seed Texas before bowing out to the Longhorns in the ninth inning of the first regional championship contest. Army became the first Patriot League squad to win two games in an NCAA Regional, and half of the Patriot League's six regional victories have come in the past two seasons.
Bucknell's Shribman Bombs Away
Bucknell junior first baseman Doug Shribman almost single-handedly dominated the Patriot League Tournament to earn Most Valuable Player honors and help the Bison to the crown. He finished the six games with seven home runs and 16 RBIs, and saved the best for last in game three of the Championship series against Holy Cross. Shribman gave the Bison the early lead with a three-run home run in the top of the first inning, then added a three-run shot in the seventh that gave Bucknell a 9-7 edge and proved to be the difference in the 12-7 victory. Shribman set Patriot League Tournament records for home runs, RBIs and runs scored (10), and led a Bucknell offense that eclipsed multiple League Tournament marks.
Bison Hitters Adding to Record-Setting Season
The success in the Patriot League Tournament was nothing new for the Bucknell offense, especially with the long ball. Shribman has 20 home runs to shatter the previous Patriot League single-season record of 14. Teammate Andrew Brouse, the Patriot League Player of the Year, also eclipsed the prior mark with 17 home runs and has the Patriot League career record of 30 home runs. Bucknell's 72 home runs as a team easily eclipsed the League mark of 57 set by Army last season.