Ortolf Fires Gem, Army Wins 2-1
April 13, 2013
EASTON, Pa. - In a mirror image of game one, Army used a complete game from left-hander Brock Davidson and defeated Lafayette 2-1 in game two of Saturday's doubleheader. Army also came out on top in the first game of the series, winning 2-1.
Impressive pitching continued to be the theme of the day as Lafayette (6-28, 3-7 Patriot) starter Connor Ortolf and Army's Davidson picked up where game one left off. Ortolf and Davidson motored through the first three innings with Ortolf allowing the game's only hit, a single to Harold Earls in the first.
After an error put Mark McCants on base in the top of the fourth, the Leopards set up at double-play depth for Jacob Page. He reached safely on a hit through the left side and Army (14-16, 5-5 Patriot)had runners on first and second with one down. A groundout followed by a walk packed the sacks for Dakari Cooke, but Ortolf was able to escape without any damage when Cooke fouled out to Scott Kelleher at third base.
Leadoff hitter Andrew Landolfi found the hole between third and shortstop to start things for Lafayette in the home half of the fourth. He extended his hitting streak to six games and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Andrew Santomauro. Against Kevin Casey with one away, Davidson got the Leopards' second baseman to flyout to shallow left center field on an over-the-shoulder basket catch by shortstop Alex Jensen. Kelleher came through and laced an RBI single to left, scoring Landolfi from second.
Holding a 1-0 lead, Ortolf got the first out of the inning before Earls reached on an error. Jensen took advantage of the miscue and ripped an RBI double into the left field corner to tie the score at 1-1. Ortolf got the final two outs of the inning to limit the damage at just one run.
Following a 1-2-3 inning for Davidson, Army had a chance to take the lead in the top of the sixth. With runners on the corners and one away for Cooke, a fly ball to left and a strike from Alex Nickles to Parker Hills ended the frame with a double-play to keep the game tied. Davidson continued to fire strikes and continued his run of retiring batters consecutively, sending down seven straight to end the sixth.
A brilliant defensive play kept the game tied at the end of Army's half of the seventh when Campbell Lipe dove and smothered a low line drive off the bat of Patrick Mescher. Lipe got to his feet and flipped to Ortolf covering first to leave a runner on third and end the inning.
Davidson faced the minimum in the bottom of the seventh despite Casey's single to open the inning. Trying to sacrifice him to second, Kelleher popped up a bunt and Casey was doubled off of first base.
Army started the eighth with a standup double by McCants to left center, which ended Ortolf's afternoon on the mound. Ortolf's seven strong innings marked his longest outing of the season and he gave up one unearned run on seven hits, two walks and a strikeout. His relief was Derek Gussaroff, who got the first two outs on two pitches - a sacrifice bunt and a groundout to Landolfi at shortstop with the infield drawn in. Andrew Johnson came to the plate with McCants at third base and two outs, and he grounded out to second as the game remained tied.
Lipe's single opened the Leopards portion of the eighth and pinch runner Brett Thompson advanced to second when Hills gave himself up with a successful sacrifice bunt to third. A flyout to center moved Thompson to third before Thomas Dunleavy flied out to right.
Cooke began the top of the ninth with a fly ball down the left field line that found grass as he cruised into second with a double. A sacrifice bunt put Cooke on third base with one away for Earls, who brought him home with a deep fly ball to right field. Gussaroff got the final out of the inning and Army led 2-1 going into the bottom of the ninth.
Davidson finished off his afternoon with a 1-2-3 ninth inning and picked up his second win of the year, while Gussaroff was saddled with the loss. Davidson scatted four hits and struck out five Lafayette batters.
The series resumes with a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon starting at Noon. Fans can watch both games online by going to GoLeopards.com/allaccess