Army Heads To Hartford For Wednesday Matinee

Patrick Gardner

Patrick Gardner

April 15, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn.  – The Army baseball team will step out of conference Wednesday for a mid-week match up at Hartford’s Fiondella Field. First pitch between the Black Knights and Hawks is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

The Black Knights are 22-12 overall and tied for second in the Patriot League at 7-4. The Hawks are 18-13 on the season, currently occupying second place in the America East standings at 6-2.

Army is coming weekend split against Bucknell. The Black Knights opened both Saturday and Sunday with game-one victories before the Bison rallied to win the finale both days. Jon Crucitti and Daniel Cortes led the Army offense, going 4-for-10 in the four games. Cortes drove in five runs, while Crucitti scored three times and knocked in two more. Gunnar Carroll was the winning pitcher on Sunday, going seven innings in a 10-4 victory. He allowed just one earned run, striking out five and walking only one.

Crucitti and Cortes are also on top of the Black Knights’ batting ledger through 34 games. Crucitti is hitting .336 with a team-high 40 hits, 29 runs scored and three triples. His .463 on-base percentage is also best on the team. Cortes has 26 hits in 78 at-bats (.333) with 14 runs scored and 16 driven in. Rookie Kris Lindner is also batting north of .300 at .329 with 20 runs scored, 11 RBI and three doubles.

Patrick Gardner is expected to get the start on the mound, but the Black Knights will utilize several relievers during the game. Gardner is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA. He is unscored on in 7.2 innings of work, allowing four hits, striking out four and walking one. He has not been in the starting lineup this season. As a team, Army boasts a Patriot League best 3.07 ERA. The Black Knights are second in the league with 255 strikeouts.

The Hartford regulars are led by Ryan Lukach and his .277 batting average. Lukach is slugging .402 with 15 runs batted in and 20 runs scored. James Alfonso has hit a team-high two home runs and paces the team with 16 runs batted in.

Brian Murphy will start for the Hawks. In six previous appearances, all starts, he is 1-1 with a 5.49 ERA. He has given up 23 hits in 21 and one-third innings, striking out 11 and walking 10.

Wednesday’s game begins an 11-game road stretch for the Black Knights. Army is at Holy Cross for a four-game series on April 19-20, takes on Marist in the WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic at Dutchess Stadium on April 23, travels to arch-rival Navy for four games on April 26-27, and plays at New York Tech on April 29.

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