Army Sweeps Doubleheader From Bucknell

Chris Rowley

Chris Rowley

April 20, 2013

Game One Box Score (.pdf) Get Acrobat Reader

Game Two Box Score (.pdf) Get Acrobat Reader

LEWISBURG, Pa. - Chris Rowley pitched a complete-game shutout in a 7-0 victory in the first game, and Army scored three runs in the top of the 10th inning to post a 5-2 win in the nightcap as the Black Knights swept a Patriot League doubleheader at Bucknell on Saturday at Depew Field.

Army (18-17, 9-5 PL) has won six straight conference contests to move into sole possession of second place in the Patriot League standings. Conversely, Bucknell (13-26, 7-7 PL) fell into a tie with Navy (7-7 PL) for third place in the conference standings after the Midshipmen split a doubleheader with sixth-place Lafayette (4-10 PL). Holy Cross (10-4 PL) remains atop the league standings after sweeping fifth-place Lehigh (5-9 PL) this afternoon.

Rowley (5-3) once again looked like the reigning Patriot League Pitcher of the Year, limiting Bucknell to four hits en route to his third consecutive complete-game victory. Rowley, who established an Army record with his eighth career shutout, retired the first seven Bucknell batters he faced and only allowed two Bison into scoring position all day. He struck out four and did not issue a walk.

Jacob Page went 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored, while Patrick Mescher finished 1-for-2 with two runs batted in to spark the Army offense, which scored two runs in the second, third and fifth innings to provide Rowley with all the run support he needed. Mark McCants chipped in a pair of hits and one RBI for the Black Knights, who outhit the Bison by a 9-4 margin in the opener.

McCants and Harold Earls both registered two hits in the nightcap, and it was Earls' leadoff triple in the top of the 10th inning that began Army's three-run rally and helped the Black Knights secure the victory. McCants' RBI single later in the frame capped the uprising, which provided Army with its third straight Patriot League doubleheader sweep.

Patrick Gardner (2-1) earned the win in relief for the Black Knights in the nightcap, tossing 1.2 scoreless innings. Gunnar Carroll worked around a two-out single in the ninth to post his second save of the season.

Army took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning in the first game as the Black Knights put together a two-out rally. With two outs and nobody on base, Page ignited the uprising with a triple down the right field line. Michael Sands followed with an RBI single through the left side of the infield to give Army a 1-0 edge, and Sands scored all the way from first base when Andrew Johnson lined an RBI double to right field to make it 2-0.

The Black Knights doubled their lead in the third inning on RBI singles by Patrick Mescher and Page to establish a 4-0 advantage. Alex Jensen was hit by a pitch with two outs, moved to second base on McCants' base hit and scored on Mescher's single through the left side of the infield. Page then singled through the right side for his second RBI of the game, scoring McCants from second base.

Army padded its lead in the top of the fifth, scoring a pair of unearned runs to extend its cushion to 6-0. Jon Crucitti and Earls hit consecutive singles to begin the inning, and Crucitti scored when the Bucknell third baseman committed a throwing error after fielding Jensen's bunt. Earls, who advanced to third on the play, later scored on Mescher's sacrifice fly to right field.

The Black Knights tacked on another insurance run in the top of the seventh thanks to an RBI single by McCants. Crucitti was hit by a pitch leading off the inning, moved around to third base on a couple of groundouts and scored when McCants lined a base hit into left field.

Bucknell starter Bryson Hough (2-5) took the loss on the mound for the Bison after being touched for seven runs (five earned) on nine hits in 6.2 innings of work. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.

Matt Busch was 2-for-2 to pace Bucknell's four-hit attack in the opener.

Army grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning in the nightcap. Sands was hit by a pitch with one out and scored all the way from first base on Johnson's RBI single to right field. Johnson then took second base on a passed ball, moved to third base on Earls' base hit and scored on a wild pitch.

Bucknell trimmed Army's advantage to 2-1 with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Justin Meier doubled with one out and he eventually scored when Carter Bumgardner drew a bases loaded walk.

The Bison then tied the score at 2-2 in the sixth inning when Joe Ogren doubled, advanced to third base on Scott Glass' sacrifice bunt and scored on Meier's infield single.

After being held in check by Bucknell starter Dan Weigel from the third inning on, Army finally broke through in the top of the 10th, scoring three runs on three hits and one Bison error to account for the final margin. Earls tripled to deep center field leading off the frame and scored what proved to be the game-winning run on a wild pitch. The Black Knights added a pair of insurance runs later in the frame as Crucitti scored on a squeeze bunt and McCants delivered an RBI single.

Weigel (2-6) was saddled with the loss for Bucknell. The left-handed pitcher, who retired 18 straight batters at one point, gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits in nine-plus innings of work. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter.

Army and Bucknell wrap up their four-game series on Sunday with another doubleheader scheduled for 12 p.m.

Game Notes: Army moves to 63-42 all-time versus Bucknell ...the Black Knights have won seven straight games against the Bison dating back to the 2011 season ... Army earned its first extra-inning victory of the season (1-3) in the nightcap ... Chris Rowley moved into a tie for fifth place on Army's all-time wins list (21) ... Rowley took over seventh place on Army's career innings pitch list (237.0) ... Rowley also moved into a tie for sixth place on the Black Knights' all-time strikeouts list (193) ... Mark McCants extended his hitting streak to nine straight games after posting two hits in both ends of today's doubleheader ... Jon Crucitti has reached base in 14 straight games.

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