Baseball Takes Game 1, Game 2 Suspended
April 24, 2011
EASTON, Pa. -
Sophomore Scott Kelleher drove in four runs for the Lafayette baseball team in a 9-7 victory in game one over Patriot League foe Army on Sunday afternoon. The Leopards rallied late to tie the nightcap, 6-6, as the game was suspended due to lightning entering the 10th inning.
The incomplete game will be resumed tomorrow, April 25 at noon prior to the regularly scheduled twinbill between the Leopards and Black Knights.
Lafayette currently stands in first place in the Patriot League at 8-5. Lafayette is 14-20 overall. Army is 15-20 on the season with a 7-6.
Kelleher was 1-for-2 in the opening game with a three-run homer and a sacrifice fly accounting for his four RBI. Senior catcher A.J. Miller - the Patriot League leader in average, slugging and on-base percentage - went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Senior first baseman Matt Fenster also had an RBI in the contest, while senior right fielder Alex Bechta and junior shortstop Brian Davila each went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Junior southpaw Sean McGrath earned the win in relief. McGrath (3-3) tossed 3.2 innings of two-hit ball, allowing just two hits and one earned run. He struck out three batters and walked one. Senior right-hander Zach Fritz started on the mound and worked the first 3.1 frames.
Army got on the board in the top of the first inning via a Ben Koenigsfeld home run, but the Leopards responded with four runs in the bottom of the frame. Senior centerfielder Rob Froio reached on catcher's interference to lead off, and Davila and Bechta each legged out an infield single to load the bases. A Fenster groundout pushed one run across, and Kelleher's roundtripper to left centerfield cleared the bags to give Lafayette a 4-1 advantage.
A pair of sacrifice flies and a RBI single for the Black Knights in the top of the third inning knotted the score at 4-4, but the Leopards once against responded to Army's offense with an outburst of their own. Davila and Bechta once again singled to set the table, and Miller followed with a two-run double to the gap in the left centerfield to reclaim a 6-4 lead for the home team. After advancing to third on a Fenster flyout, a deep flyball out off the bat of Kelleher allowed the Lafayette catcher to cross the plate, extending the lead to 7-4.
One swing of the bat pulled the Black Knights back even, as Koenigsfeld went yard for the second time. His three-run shot drew the score to a 7-7 tie in the top of the fourth inning, but Army would not score again off of McGrath.
The Leopards took the lead for good in the bottom of the stanza. Freshman left fielder Andrew Santomauro started the action with a one-out single, and Froio was then hit by a pitch. An error by Army third baseman Steve May allowed Davila to reach safely and Santomauro to score, and Miller's RBI single added an insurance run as Lafayette took a 9-7 edge into the fifth inning.
McGrath and Army hurler Logan Lee - who settled down to finish a complete game - traded zeroes the rest of the way as the Leopards claimed the series opener, 9-7.
Lee tossed all six innings for Army, allowed nine runs (six earned) on eight hits. He struck out four batters and did not issue a walk.
Game two began as a pitcher's duel between the Leopards' junior right-hander Ethan Perro and Army southpaw Nick Dignacco. Each hurler tossed three scoreless innings to start the contest, but both were touched up in the fourth frame.
Army posted two runs in the inning without the benefit of an RBI, as an error and a double-play ball each allowed a runner to cross the plate. Lafayette's responded in its half of the frame with a three-run stanza. Bechta led off with a double and, two batters later, Fenster drove him with a single up the middle. After a wild pitch moved the Leopards' first baseman into scoring position, a nearly identical base hit from Kelleher brought him around to tie the score. Later in the inning, with two out and the bases loaded, Froio connected on an RBI infield single to give Lafayette its first lead of the nightcap, 3-2.
The bats then went quiet until the seventh inning, when the visitors from West Point scratched three runs across to take a 5-3 lead. Koenigsfeld, Joey Henshaw and Steve May had the RBI base-hits in the frame. Army pushed another run across in the top of the eighth - courtesy of a Zach Price single - claim a 6-3 lead just six outs away from salvaging a split.
The Leopards, however, pulled even in their half of the eighth. Sophomore designated hitter Andrew Ruck drew a walk to lead off the stanza, and sophomore Kevin Casey followed with an infield hit to put runners on first and second. Santomauro then walked to load the bases, and Froio came through again with a two-run single to bring the Leopards back within a run. The equalizer came off the bat of Miller, whose booming sacrifice fly to centerfield scored Santomauro with the tying run.
After both teams were retired in the ninth inning, lightning was spotted over Kamine Stadium. Per NCAA rule, the field must be cleared for 30 minutes following any instance of lightning. After several more flashes were seen - all of which caused the 30-minute countdown to be reset - the umpires and head coaches decided to suspend the action.
The Leopards and Black Knights will pick up where they left off in the top of the 10th inning tomorrow at noon. The regularly-scheduled doubleheader will follow. All three games will be streamed live via LSN All-Access at GoLeopards.com.