Army Hosts NYIT, Columbia This Weekend

Taylor Goucher

Taylor Goucher

March 22, 2013

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army baseball team begins a nine-game homestand this weekend (March 23-24) when the Black Knights host non-league rivals NYIT and Columbia at Doubleday Field.

The action gets under way on Saturday when Army plays a split doubleheader versus NYIT at 12 p.m. and Columbia at 3 p.m. Sunday's slate features a game between NYIT and Columbia at 11 a.m., with Army and NYIT squaring off at 2 p.m.

Live stats for all four contests will be available via GameTracker by logging onto Army's official athletics website (www.goARMYsports.com). In-game Twitter updates will also be offered through the official Twitter handle of Army Baseball (@Army_Baseball).

Army (4-10) was originally scheduled to open its home schedule on Wednesday against Quinnipiac, but snow forced the cancellation of that contest.

Chris Rowley (1-2, 3.42 ERA), Alex Robinett (2-1, 3.90 ERA) and Brock Davidson (1-1, 6.05 ERA) have comprised the Black Knights' starting rotation through the first month of the season. Robinett leads the team with 27.2 innings pitched, while Rowley tops the club with 13 strikeouts.

Justin French, who ranks second among the Black Knights' relievers with five appearances out of the bullpen, boasts a tidy 1.80 ERA and five strikeouts in five innings of work.

Patrick Mescher leads the Army offense with a .356 batting average and .516 on-base percentage. Jon Crucitti, who enjoyed a spectacular showing in Florida, currently ranks second on the team with a .347 batting average. Jacob Page (three doubles, 11 RBI) and Alex Jensen (four doubles, 11 RBI) have supplied some of the Black Knights' best power numbers thus far.

NYIT enters this weekend's action with a 2-9 overall record. The Bears will travel to Columbia for a doubleheader on Friday before making the trek to West Point. They have a .221 batting average as a team, while showing a 6.32 earned run average.

Bryan VanVranken paces NYIT with a .296 batting average, while Ali Rodriguez tops the squad with four doubles and one home run. James Bulva (1-2, 1.89 ERA) leads the Bears with 12 strikeouts and 19.0 innings pitched.

Columbia (2-11) is led by a pitching staff that boasts a 5.18 ERA as a team. The Lions are batting just .232 as a unit. Alex Black leads the team's regulars with a .326 batting average, three home runs and 10 RBI.

David Speer (0-2) anchors the Columbia starting rotation with a 3.50 ERA. He has 11 strikeouts in 18.0 innings. Fellow starter Tim Giel (0-1, 5.29 ERA) leads the Lions with 16 strikeouts.

Army and NYIT have met 29 times previously in a series that dates back to 1981. The Bears have enjoyed the upper hand over the years, holding a 17-11-1 lead in the all-time series. NYIT won the most recent meeting, securing an 8-7 victory during the 2010 campaign.

Army and Columbia have faced off 109 times in a series that began in 1893. The Black Knights enjoy a 59-49-1 lead in the all-time series, though the Lions took a 7-5 decision in last season's encounter.

Following this weekend's slate of games, Army will resume its homestand by hosting Siena on Tuesday, March 26.

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