Bring On Army
May 10, 2009
LEWISBURG, Pa. - No one, not even Lafayette head coach Joe Kinney, expected Sunday's starter, Ryan Hanna, to pitch seven innings after throwing three-plus innings on Saturday. Hanna defied expectations, however, and his seven innings of one-run ball helped advance the Leopards to the Patriot League Championship series with a 10-2 win over Bucknell. Lafayette will head to West Point next weekend to face No. 2 seed Army.
The Leopards (24-27) scored in all but two innings as their 10 runs on 18 hits gave Hanna all the run support, and more, that he needed. Leadoff hitter Rob Froio led the offense with a 4-for-5 performance that included two RBI and a run scored. Senior tri-captain Jeff Butler went 3-for-5 and four other batters had multi-hit days.
Lafayette returns to the championship series for the first time since its 2007 Patriot League championship season. The Leopards also faced Army that spring and swept the Black Knights en route to the title.
The Leopards put up two more runs in the second. Matt Fenster drew a one-out walk and Alex Bechta drove a RBI triple to deep center that scored Fenster. Bechta scored Lafayette's third run on Froio's infield single.
Lafayette made it three straight innings with at least one run when they put one more on the board in the third. Justin Shepherd scored on Fenster's hard single to center field to make it a 4-0 Leopard lead.
The scoring continued in the fourth. Froio led off with a single, took second on Pisarri's sac bunt and scored on Bierce's single.
Hall had a hustle double to open the fifth and a double off the bat of Froio sent Hall home with the game's sixth run.
Butler made it a 7-0 Lafayette lead in the sixth when his double down the right field line allowed Pisarri, who had reached on an infield single, to score.
Hanna's shutout ended on a brief, two-out rally by the Bison in the sixth. Ben Yoder walked with two outs and advanced to third on Doug Shribman's excuse-me single. A passed ball on A.J. Miller allowed Yoder to score his squad's first run to make it 7-1. Hanna quickly rebounded to retire Andrew Brouse on an inning-ending strikeout.
After being held without a run in the seventh, the Leopards got right back at it in the eighth with another two runs courtesy of a two-run jack off the bat of Hall, his eighth round-tripper of the year. Froio found another gap in the right side of the infield to send home another run for a 10-1 score.
Hanna, who worked through the seventh inning, gave way to Jeremy Atkins in the bottom of the eighth. Yoder had a RBI hit off Atkins that made it 10-2 but the junior righty worked a one-two-three ninth to clinch the victory.
- Lafayette becomes the second-straight No. 4 seed to advance to the championship series. Bucknell, last year's No. 4 seed, defeated No. 1 Army in the opening round.
- Lafayette finished the three-game series with 49 hits, including 36 in the final two games.
- Bucknell finished the season with an overall record of 22-25.