Army Hangs on to Sweep Baseball in Patriot League Tournament Semifinals

Go Leopards! Alex Bechta drove in a run in his collegiate finale
Alex Bechta drove in a run in his collegiate finale

May 14, 2011

Box Score

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Lafayette baseball team saw rallies fall short in both ends of a doubleheader as the 2011 season came to a close at Army in the Patriot League Tournament Semifinals by scores of 4-2 and 7-3.

The Leopards, who earned the No. 3 seed with a 10-10 league record, end the 2011 season at 18-30 overall. No. 2-seeded Army heads to the Patriot League Championship Series at 21-24 on the year.

Offensively, junior Bobby Fargnoli led the way with two hits and two runs batted in. His double was the lone extra-base hit off the Leopards' 13 knocks. Senior Alex Bechta and freshman Andrew Santomauro each notched an RBI, and Santomauro, Rob Froio, Brian Davila and Andrew Ruck had two hits apiece.

Senior right-hander Zach Fritz started game one and turned in a strong performance in his final collegiate appearance. Fritz (3-5) recovered from a four-run first inning to toss an eight-inning complete game. He scattered 13 hits and allowed just those four early tallies. Fritz recorded three strikeouts and did not issue a walk.

Fritz took the hard-luck loss, however, as Logan Lee fired eight solid innings for the Black Knights. Lee (4-8) surrendered four hits and one earned run. He filled his statline with five strikeouts and three wlks.

The 4-0 margin from Army's big first inning held until the top of the fourth inning. Senior A.J. Miller led off the stanza with a walk and took second on a single by senior Matt Fenster. Two batters later, Fargnoli lined a ball just out of the reach of the leaping second baseman to knock in the Leopards' first run.

 

 

Fritz and Lee continued to trade zeroes up to the ninth inning, when Army called on closer Ben Koenigsfeld. Fenster led off the final frame by reaching on an error then took second on a one-out single from Ruck. Davila followed with a base hit to move the runners 90 feet, and Fenster came around to score when the rightfielder overran the groundball single. Koenigsfeld recovered to strike out the next two batters, stranding the tying runs on base and closing the 4-2 win. The save was the seventh of the season for Koenigsfeld.

The Black Knights struck first in game two as well with a run coming home on a double-play groundout. The Leopards, the designated home team in game two, responded in the bottom of the frame with a Fargnoli double to score Miller, who had led off the stanza with a walk.

Again, both pitchers began to post scoreless frames - this time until the sixth. David Darnell hit a three-run homer in the top of the inning to give Army a 4-1 advantage, but the Leopards took one back in their half-inning. Davila led off with a single and scored on a two-out base-hit by Bechta to trim the margin to 4-2.

A pinch-hit single from Santomauro drove in Fenster in the seventh inning to bring Lafayette within one run at 4-3, but Army bullpen would surrender nothing further as the Black Knights added three insurance runs to close out the series with a 7-3 win.

Junior right-hander Ethan Perro (3-4) started for the Leopards. He allowed four earned runs on 10 hits in 5.1 innings. Juniors Sean McGrath and Jeff Snell combined to get the last 11 outs.

Right-hander Chris Rowley (4-4) worked the first six innings and got the win for Army. He allowed three earned runs on five hits, walking two batters and striking out six. Gunnar Carroll entered a one-run game and pitched the final 2.1 to notch his second save.

Army moves on to meet the winner of the Bucknell/Navy semifinal in the 2011 Patriot League Championship Series.

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