Baseball Sweeps Army, Opens Season 4-0 in Patriot League Play
April 1, 2007
EASTON, Pa. (www.lafayette.edu) - Lafayette completed the season sweep of Army with a pair of victories on Sunday at the Class of 1978 Stadium. Kevin Leasure had a pair of two-run singles in a 5-4 win in the opener, while a four-run second was the key frame in a 5-3 victory in the nightcap.
In the opener, Army took a 2-0 lead in the third before Leasure drove a two-out, two RBI single in the bottom of inning to tie the score. Daniel Bierce drew a leadoff walk to open the inning, James Conrad followed with a double, and both runners came around to score.
The Black Knights used a sacrifice fly by pitcher Cole White to go ahead 3-2 in the fifth, but the lead was once again short-lived as Lafayette put together a three-run inning in the bottom half. Conrad started the action with a single, Jeff Butler doubled and Tom Hayes was hit by a pitch to load the bases. All three runners moved up on a wild pitch, with Conrad scoring, and Leasure plated the other two runners with a single to right to give the Leopards a 5-3 advantage.
An infield single by Tony Capozzi scored J.P. Polchinski in the sixth to cut the margin to 5-4 before Brad Woodfield relieved starter Kevin Reese with two outs and runners on first and second. A double steal put both runners in scoring position, but Woodfield got out of the inning as leadoff hitter Barnes Connell lined out softly to the pitcher.
Woodfield threw a perfect seventh to earn his first career save. Reese allowed three earned runs in 5.2 innings and improved to 2-1 with the victory after entering the game with a 0.64 ERA (14.0 IP, 1 ER). White went all six innings for Army and fell to 2-2.
Army scored first to open the second game as well, when White singled with two outs, stole second and came home on a base hit by Chris Simmons, but Lafayette quickly restored order with four runs in the second.
Mike Raible led off the inning with the first of his four hits in the game, stole second and scored on a single by designated hitter Brad Weiss. Weiss proceeded to steal second as well, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single by catcher Tom Ambrosole. The Leopards loaded the bases as Chris Luick beat out an infield single and Daniel Bierce reached on a fielders choice, and Jeff Butler came through with another two-out hit, doubling inside the third base bag to extend the lead to 4-1.
Army cut the Lafayette advantage to 4-3 as Simmons picked up his second RBI of the game with a single to score White in the third, and Polchinski homered to leadoff the sixth. The first two batters reached base in the seventh when head coach Joe Kinney lifted freshman starter Jeremy Atkins for reliever Jason Morytko. A long flyout to right moved the runners to second and third, but Morytko struck out Kyle Stramara swinging, and induced an inning-ending groundout to preserve the lead.
The Leopards stretched their advantage to 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh, as Conrad legged out a leadoff triple to left-center and scored on a swinging bunt by Tom Hayes.
Closer John Fugett pitched around a two-out walk in the eighth, and retired the first two batters in the ninth before Simmons walked and Stramara singled, but Bierce knocked down a groundball behind second and beat pinch runner Caleb Love to the bag to close the game.
Atkins' record moves to 3-1 and Fugett earned his second save of the year as part of a Lafayette bullpen that allowed just two hits in 4.1 innings on Sunday. Drew Clothier went 7.2 innings for Army and drops to 2-2 this season.
Lafayette will face Penn in the semifinals of the Liberty Bell Classic on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at Class of 1978 Stadium. The winner will advance to the final which will be played Tuesday, April 10 at 7 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Lafayette faced La Salle in the final last year, falling 6-5.