Leopards Use Split With Brown to Gear Up for NCAA Tournament
May 24, 2007
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Lafayette baseball team geared up for its trip to the NCAA Regional round next week with a doubleheader against Ivy League champion Brown on Thursday afternoon at Marist College. Brown took game one before the Leopards coasted to an 11-4 victory in the nightcap.
Game two saw Lafayette jump out to an early first inning lead. James Conrad was hit by a pitch to lead off the game. He made his way to third following a Chris Luick walk and Mike Raible fielder's choice. With Conrad on third and Raible on second, Tom Hayes drove a double into the left-centerfield gap, bringing home both runners to give the Leopards an early 2-0 advantage.
Lafayette added to its lead in the fifth when Ryan Roberts started the inning with a base hit. Following a balk, sophomore Daniel Bierce ripped a single of his own, but was caught stealing on the ensuing pitch. Conrad continued the inning with a walk and with runners on first and third, Luick pounded a base hit through right side of the infield to plate Roberts.
The Leopards continued the inning when Patriot League Coach of the Year Joe Kinney called a successful double steal to send Conrad to third and Luick to second. A passed ball brought Conrad home and Lafayette opened a 4-0 lead.
A Raible walk followed by a Kevin Leasure single to center brought home Luick. Again, Kinney started the runners and Hayes delivered, roping a shot into right field to score Raible and send Leasure to third. A Dave Drechsel sacrifice fly on the next play scored Leasure to cap the Leopard five-run inning.
Senior Ted Gjeldum threw strikes early and often for Lafayette, puzzling the Brown hitters throughout his four innings of work to secure the win. The Wheaton, Illinois native struck out three, giving up only two hits on the day.
Juniors Kevin Reese and Brad Woodfield relieved Gjeldum, before turning the ball over senior closer John Fugett for the final four outs. Hayes paced the Leopards, going 3-for-5 with five RBI's in the game.
In game one, Ivy League Pitcher of the Year Jeff Dietz went eight innings, surrendering no earned runs on four hits, striking out six Leopard batters. With the win, Dietz recorded his eighth win and set the Brown single season record for wins.
Senior Matt Kamine cruised through the first five innings for Lafayette and held a 1-0 lead before Brown got on the board. The Bears used three hits and a walk coupled with two sacrifices to generate two runs and take a 2-1 lead going into the Leopard half of the sixth inning. Brown tacked on four more runs in the seventh and held Lafayette at arm's length on its way to a 6-1 victory in the opener.
Kamine finished his six innings of work, giving up two runs on five hits while striking out three. Luick was 2-for-3 and scored the lone Leopard run.
Lafayette will now wait out the weekend before finding its NCAA Regional destination on Monday, May 28. Lafayette will host an NCAA Baseball Tournament Selection Show gathering in the Wilson Room of Pfenning Alumni Center starting at 11:30 a.m. on Monday. All Lafayette parents, alumni and fans are welcome to join Coach Kinney and his squad for this open-to-the-public event which will include lunch served by Papa John's of Easton.
Kinney used the doubleheader to prep the majority of his pitchers for the NCAA regional round, as seven pitchers saw action on the mound for the Leopards.
The team will keep busy on Sunday by completing a community serivce project on the banks of the Delaware and Lehigh River in downtown Easton. Kinney and his squad will clean up debris and litter, as part of the team's community outreach and service project.
The Maroon Club has partnered with East Coast Touring Company, based in Easton, to offer a travel package to Lafayette's contests in the 2007 NCAA Baseball Regional. Arrangements can be made in advance through East Coast Touring and reservations will be secured following the NCAA Selection Show