Strong Pitching Helps Army Sweep Lafayette

Chris Rowley

Chris Rowley

April 13, 2013

Game One Box Score (.pdf) Get Acrobat Reader

Game Two Box Score (.pdf) Get Acrobat Reader

EASTON, Pa. - Chris Rowley posted a career-high 11 strikeouts over seven strong innings to help Army earn a 2-1 victory in the opening game, and Brock Davidson allowed just one run on four hits in nine innings in a 2-1 nightcap decision as the Black Knights swept a Patriot League doubleheader from Lafayette on Saturday at Kamine Stadium.

Army (14-16, 5-5 PL) managed only four hits in the first contest, but the Black Knights took advantage of Lafayette errors in the second and sixth innings to score their runs. Rowley (4-3) struck out the side in the second inning and fanned at least one batter in every frame. He permitted only six hits and one walk.

Davidson (2-3) was just as effective in the second game, permitting just four singles and one run in his first career complete game. The freshman right-hander struck out five and did not walk a batter, and Army pushed across the game-winning run in the top of the ninth inning en route to its first Patriot League doubleheader sweep of the season.

Army took a 1-0 lead in the opener on Jacob Page's sacrifice fly. Mark McCants, who began the uprising with a leadoff single, eventually scored the game's first run after stealing second and hustling to third base when the Lafayette catcher threw the ball into center field.

Lafayette (6-28, 3-7 PL) rallied to tie the score in the bottom of the fourth on Parker Hills' RBI single. The Leopards went on to load the bases in the fourth inning, but Rowley minimized the damage by striking out Andrew Landolfi and getting Andrew Santomauro to pop out to shortstop.

Army reclaimed the lead in the sixth inning with an unearned run. Harold Earls reached on an infield single leading off the frame and moved to second base on a throwing error by the Lafayette second baseman. Earls then advanced to third base on Patrick Mescher's single and scored on McCants' sacrifice fly.

Rowley was able to retire the Leopards in order in the bottom of the sixth before stranding the potential tying run at second base in the seventh en route to his second consecutive complete game.

Michael Massa (2-5) was the hard-luck loser for Lafayette after permitting two runs (one earned) on four hits in a complete-game effort of his own. The Leopards' ace, who retired 10 consecutive Black Knights at one point during the middle innings, struck out four batters and issued a pair of walks.

Lafayette's Kevin Casey was the only player to record multiple hits in the first game, going 2-for-4 in the contest.

After three scoreless innings in the second game, Lafayette grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth on Scott Kelleher's RBI single. Landolfi singled to begin the frame, advanced to second base on Santomauro's sacrifice bunt and scored on Kelleher's base hit to left field.

Army responded in the top of the fifth inning, plating an unearned run to even the score at 1-1. Earls reached on an error by the Lafayette center fielder, moved to second base on a wild pitch and scored when Alex Jensen hammered an RBI double down the left field line.

The Black Knights nearly took the lead in the sixth inning, but Page was thrown out at home plate trying to score on Dakari Cooke's fly out to left field.

Both teams stranded runners on third base in the eighth inning, before Army plated what proved to be the game-winning run in the top of the ninth. Cooke doubled leading off the frame, advanced to third base on Grant Van Orden's sacrifice bunt and scored on Earls' sacrifice fly.

Derek Gussaroff (0-3) suffered the loss for the Leopards after allowing one run on one hit over two innings. Lafayette starter Connor Ortolf matched Davidson throughout the contest, permitting just one unearned run on seven hits over seven innings of work.

Army and Lafayette close out their four-game series on Sunday with another doubleheader set for 12 p.m.

Game Notes: Army moves to 76-55-2 all-time against Lafayette ... the Black Knights have won the last 13 meetings versus the Leopards dating back to the 2011 season ... Chris Rowley has recorded 20 strikeouts over his past two starts, both complete-game efforts ... Brock Davidson pitched a career-best nine innings in the nightcap ... Davidson lowered his ERA in Patriot League games to a microscopic 1.35 ... he has allowed just three earned runs in 20 innings of work during conference play.

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