Leopards Roll to 11-1 Win over ESU in Wednesday Baseball
March 8, 2006
EASTON, Pa. - Lafayette used 13 hits to roll up an 11-1 win over regional foe East Stroudsburg on Wednesday in non-conference baseball action at the Class of 1978 Stadium. Lafayette starter Brian Cope gave up just one hit in three innings on his way to the mound win while Kevin Leasure used a 3-for-4 day to knock in three runs.
The scoreboard was dark for both teams through the first two innings. In his final inning of scheduled work, Cope (1-0) retired East Stroudsburg (4-3) in order in the top of the third. He fanned the first batter of the inning for the final of his four strikeouts and got two groundouts to end the inning.
The Lafayette (3-4) offense scored all of the runs it would need in the bottom of the third inning. Junior Mike Raible doubled home classmate James Conrad who had reached on a lead-off walk. With runners on second and third with one out, Leasure ripped a double to right to give Lafayette a 3-0 lead.
The Leopards tacked a run on in the fourth on a Raible sac fly off East Stroudsburg starter Dave Boyer. Boyer (1-1) left the game following the inning and was charged with the loss. He allowed four runs on seven hits while walking two.
Leading 4-0, Lafayette broke the game open with three runs in the fifth inning and four in the sixth. In the fifth, Lafayette immediately got to reliever Jay Grobelny. Senior Ian Law drew a lead-off walk, stole second and came plateward when Leasure placed a single down the rightfield line. With runners on first and second and no outs, head coach Joe Kinney called for the sacrifice bunt from Nick Benvenuto. The play paid off as Benvenuto laid down a perfect bunt and would have beaten the throw to first for the hit, but the throw was wild, allowing Leasure to score from second while moving runners to first and third. Junior catcher Dave Drechsel plated Tom Ambrosole from third with a fielder's choice for the final run of the inning.
In the sixth, Lafayette put the game away with four more runs. Jeff Butler's single up the middle drove in a pair of runs off reliever Ben Wenczel. Both of those runs were credited to Grobelny who was lifted with one out in the inning and the bases loaded. Conrad doubled home Butler to give Lafayette an 11-0 margin.
Lafayette reliever Steve Roberts cruised through the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. The sophomore allowed just three hits and struck out five while walking none. Ryan Hanna and Nick Tucker split the seventh. Hanna retired the first two batters in order. Tucker walked the first batter he faced, Blake Knecht, and awarded him second with a wild pitch. East Stroudsburg scored its only run of the game when Dave Manter singled home Knecht.
The eighth inning saw East Stroudsburg native Kevin Reese take the mound against his hometown team. Reese did not allow a hit against the Warriors. Things got interesting in the bottom half of the inning. Fans watched the unlikely happen as ESU reliever Bill Pasqualichio struck out four Lafayette batters in the inning. He fanned freshmen Joe Ezekiel, Chris Luick and Ian McCutcheon, but the third strike to McCutcheon rolled through the catcher's legs and allowed McCutcheon to reach first. Unfazed, Pasqualichio struck out Butler to end the inning.
Lafayette will have several days off from game action before traveling to Fresno Calif. for Spring Break. Lafayette will play six games at the Pepsi/Johnny Quik Classic at Fresno State beginning with a 10 a.m. (PT) game on March 13 vs. Binghamton. Lafayette fans can follow the play-by-play for all the games for free using GameTracker on www.goLeopards.com