Five Games In Four Days For Army Baseball

Harold Earls

Harold Earls

March 26, 2014

WEST POINT, N.Y.   – The Army baseball team will make its home debut as part of a busy weekend.

The Black Knights, 14-6, will play five games at Doubleday Field this weekend, beginning with Thursday’s 3:30 p.m. contest against Columbia.

Army will then open Patriot League play with four games against Lehigh. Saturday’s doubleheader is set for noon, while Sunday’s two contests will begin at 1 p.m. Army was picked as co-favorite in the preseason Patriot League poll.

The Black Knights are coming off of a 7-1 trip to Tampa, Fla., and will hold their home-opener and Patriot League opener all in the same weekend.

Army is hitting .278 as a team and has scored 131 runs through 20 games.

Jon Crucitti leads the Black Knights with a .327 average that includes a team-best 21 runs scored and a team-high 36 bases. Daniel Cortes is hitting .341.

Harold Earls is second on the squad with 17 runs scored and paces the team with 10 walks. Jacob Page has a team-high eight doubles to go with 34 total bases, 26 hits and a .415 slugging percentage.

Patrick Mescher has hit two home runs, knocked in 18 runs, scored 13 runs and belted four doubles. Alex Jensen has five doubles and 13 runs scored and Mark McCants has 15 runs scored and 20 hits.

Army boasts a team earned run average of 3.10, allowing 61 earned runs in 177.1 innings of work.

Gunnar Carroll has a 4-0 mark on the mound with a 1.85 earned run average. He has struck out 21 and walked five.

Nick Dignacco is 3-1, has struck out 34 and walked five. Alex Robinett is 2-2 and leads the squad with 46 strikeouts. Robinett, Brock Davidson, Johnny Griffith, Julian Larimer and Brian Hapeman have all earned one save.

Columbia enters Thursday’s non-conference matchup with a 5-12 mark. The Lions beat South Florida twice, Kennesaw State twice and University of Texas at San Antonio. Losses have come to South Florida, Kennesaw State, UTSA, University of Texas and Texas A&M. The Lions open Ivy League play this weekend against Brown and Yale.

Jordan Serena leads the team with a .358 batting average that includes 24 hits and seven doubles. Robb Paller is hitting .307 on 23 hits with a home run. Nick Maguire is also over the .300 mark at .306 with a home run, triple and two doubles.

The Lions are hitting .245 and have scored 64 runs.

David Speer (1-2 with a 3.72 earned run average), Joey Donino (1-2, 4.43) and Kevin Roy (1-2, 5.85) have each started four games on the mound.  Zach Tax, George Thanopoulus, Mike Weisman and Adam Cline have each earned a save.

Lehigh is 9-8 heading into its Thursday game against Iona. The Mountain Hawks own wins against Fairleigh Dickinson, Western Michigan, Maine, Coppin State, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Mount St. Mary’s. Losses were to Mount St. Mary’s, Fairleigh Dickinson, Chicago State, Western Michigan, Saint Bonaventure and NJIT.

Lehigh, which has won its last four games heading into the Iona contest, is hitting .296 as a team.

Tim McKay is the leading hitter with a .421 mark that includes four extra base hits. Joe Abeln is at .361 with 22 hits and 15 runs scored, while John Elson is batting .350 with 21 hits and 13 runs scored.

Lehigh, picked fifth in the Patriot League preseason poll, has scored 100 runs.

Kevin Long has been Lehigh’s top pitcher thus far with a 3-1 record and 1.96 earned run average. Mike Burke is 1-0 with a 3.22 ERA in four starts. Colin Gotzon has also made four starts with a 1-0 mark and 4.50 ERA.

Army is the defending Patriot League champion after ousting Navy and Holy Cross in last year’s tournament. The Black Knights earned a berth in the Charlottesville, Va., Regional.

The Black Knights have won seven league championships and played in six NCAA Tournaments.

Knight Vision, Army’s multi-media department, will offer video streams of all five games through its subscription package. Thursday’s contest against Columbia and Sunday’s doubleheader vs. Lehigh will be available in the Hudson Valley on radio stations WEOK (1390-AM) and WALL (1340-AM).

Frequent updates will be made to the office Army Baseball Twitter account as well @Army_Baseball.


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