April 14, 2013
Game One Box Score (.pdf)
Game Two Box Score (.pdf)
EASTON, Pa. -
Patrick Mescher was 3-for-3 with three runs batted in to lead Army to an 8-4 victory in the opening game, and Jacob Page went 3-for-4 with two RBI in a 9-4 nightcap verdict as the Black Knights finished off a four-game sweep of Lafayette by taking both games of a Patriot League doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Kamine Stadium.
The weekend sweep vaults Army (16-16, 7-5 PL) into a tie with Bucknell for second place in the Patriot League standings with just two conference weekends remaining on the schedule. The Black Knights and Bison will meet in a pivotal four-game series next weekend in Lewisburg, Pa.
Lafayette (6-30, 3-9 PL) falls to sixth place following this weekend's action. The Leopards trail Lehigh by two games for fifth place and are three games behind Navy for the fourth and final playoff spot. Lafayette will travel to Annapolis, Md., to meet the Midshipmen next weekend, while the other conference series sees Lehigh take on Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.
Mark McCants and Jon Crucitti both added two hits apiece for Army in the first game, and Alex Robinett (5-2) struck out seven batters in six innings as the Black Knights rallied from a 4-1 deficit. Army took advantage of five Lafayette errors in the opener as five of the Black Knights' eight runs were unearned.
Crucitti was 2-for-3 with three runs scored in the nightcap, and Julian Larimer (1-1) earned the victory on the mound after yielding two runs on five hits over 3.2 innings of work. Army jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the third inning and never looked back en route to the nightcap win.
Army took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning of the opener as the Black Knights pushed across an unearned run. Alex Jensen reached on an error by the Lafayette shortstop, stole second base and scored when Mescher singled through the left side of the infield.
Lafayette responded in the bottom of the second inning, scoring four runs on four hits and one Army error to assume a 4-1 advantage. Parker Hills' RBI double tied the score, Campbell Lipe's two-run double gave the Leopards a 3-1 lead and Andrew Santomauro's run-scoring double extended the cushion to 4-1.
Army began to chip away at Lafayette's lead in the top of the third with its second unearned run of the contest. Harold Earls walked leading off the inning, advanced to third base on a failed pickoff attempt and scored on Mescher's sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.
The Black Knights then reclaimed the lead in the fifth inning, scoring four runs on four hits and two Lafayette errors. McCants, Mescher and Page hit consecutive singles to load the bases, and the Leopards' shortstop committed two miscues on Grant Van Orden's grounder to allow three runs to score. Van Orden, who motored around to third base on the play, scored on Andrew Johnson's RBI single to make it 6-4.
Army padded its lead in the sixth inning with two more unearned runs. McCants and Mescher both drilled RBI doubles to account for the runs, which extended the Black Knights' advantage to 8-4.
Mitch Leeds (1-1) was saddled with the loss for Lafayette after yielding six runs (three earned) on six hits and four walks in 4.1 innings.
The Black Knights grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning in the nightcap. Crucitti singled to right field leading off the game, advanced to second base on Van Orden's sacrifice bunt and scored when Jensen singled to center field.
Army made it 2-0 in the second inning when Page tripled with one out and scored on Johnson's RBI groundout. The Black Knights scored four more runs in the top of the third to extend their lead to 6-0. Page's RBI triple was the only hit of the inning, which featured two Lafayette errors and a pair of walks.
Lafayette got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning on Andrew Ruck's RBI single. Army got that run back immediately in the top of the fourth when Michael Sands tripled leading off the frame and scored on Earls' sacrifice fly.
Lafayette put two runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning on RBI singles by Jackson Kramer and Thomas Dunleavy, trimming Army's lead to 7-3. Scott Kelleher then blasted a solo home run to left field in the seventh inning to make it 7-4.
The Black Knights answered with a single run in the top of the eighth as McCants singled with one out and scored on Page's RBI double. Army capped the scoring in the ninth inning on Mescher's RBI single.
Gunnar Carroll fired a pair of scoreless innings to nail down Army's fifth straight victory. Lafayette starter Toby Schwartz (1-6) took the loss for the Leopards after permitting six runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks in three innings.
Kelleher went 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored, and Ruck finished 2-for-5 with an RBI to pace Lafayette offensively. The Leopards outhit the Black Knights 12-9 in the nightcap and 20-19 on the day.
Army returns to action on Wednesday, April 17, when the Black Knights host non-conference foe Manhattan at 3:30 p.m.
Game Notes: Army moves to 78-55-2 all-time against Lafayette ... the Black Knights have won 15 straight games against the Leopards dating back to the 2011 season ... Julian Larimer pitched in both of today's games ... Larimer earned his first career win in the nightcap after posting career highs with 3.2 innings pitched and two strikeouts ... Patrick Mescher had a career-best three RBI in the first game ... Mescher also matched his career high with three hits in the opener ... Jacob Page registered the first two triples of his career in the nightcap ... Page tied his career highs with three hits and eight total bases in the second game ... Michael Sands collected his first career triple in the second game ... Jon Crucitti equaled his career high with three runs scored in the nightcap.