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Baseball Begins League Play at Holy Cross

March 28, 2014


Lafayette at Holy Cross
March 29-30
| Worcester, Mass. | Fitton Field
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 Weekend Schedule
 Sat. Game 1
 11 a.m.
Live Stats @CrossBaseball
 Sat. Game 2
 1:30 p.m.
Live Stats | @CrossBaseball
 Sun. Game 1
 1 p.m.
Live Stats | @CrossBaseball

 Sun. Game 2
 3:30 p.m.

Live Stats | @CrossBaseball

Lafayette squares off against Holy Cross to begin the Patriot League portion of the schedule. The two squads will play a pair of doubleheaders with the first two games scheduled for 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and two games slated for Sunday at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Saturday’s forecast for Worcester calls for a high of 55 degrees with an 80 percent chance of rain in the late afternoon. Sunday's weather features a 100 percent chance of rain with a high of 38 degrees.

The Crusaders enter the weekend with a 6-13 mark after taking three out of four against Yale last weekend. Jack St. Clair leads Holy Cross with a .380 batting average and has added 13 RBI, while starting all 19 games this season. Evan Ocello (.373 avg.) tops the team with 31 hits and a pair of home runs. Anthony Critelli (.365 avg.) has also belted two home runs on the season. On the mound, Ben White leads all starters with 25.0 innings pitched over four starts and carries a 3.96 earned-run average. He is holding opposing hitters to a .226 batting average. Jon Escobar has made 10 appearances out of the bullpen en route to a 1.26 ERA and has allowed just nine hits in 14.1 innings pitched.

Lafayette leads the all-time series, 45-42, which dates back to 1903. The Crusaders took three of four from the Leopards a season ago.

LHP Connor Ortolf (1-3, 2.48 ERA) vs. RHP Ben White (0-1, 3.96 ERA)
RHP Mitch Leeds (0-2, 4.42 ERA) vs. RHP Phil Reese (2-2, 4.91 ERA)
RHP David Bednar (1-1, 0.96 ERA) vs. RHP Donny Murray (2-2, 7.58 ERA)
TBA vs. RHP Nate Walker (1-2, 6.14 ERA)

Lafayette’s starting pitchers have been solid to start the season. Of the four pitchers who have made multiple starts, freshman David Bednar leads the way with only allowing two earned runs in 18.2 innings of work. Bednar is 1-1 on the year and has given up eight hits, while striking out 19 and walking three. Junior Toby Schwartz owns a 2.45 ERA in two starts, while senior Connor Ortolf maintains a 2.48 ERA. Sophomore Mitch Leeds holds a 4.48 ERA to go with a 0-2 record. The Lafayette starters have combined to post a 2.56 ERA in 80.2 innings of work.

As a group, Lafayette relievers have combined to post a 3.78 earned run average in 47.2 innings of work. Junior Cory Spera has not allowed a run in seven innings, while sophomore Connor McMahon carries a 1.69 ERA. Freshman Trevor Houck has allowed just two earned runs in seven innings out of the pen and Ari Kaufman owns a 3.38 earned run average in six appearances, including one start. Overall, eight of Lafayette’s pitchers have an ERA under 2.70 for the season.

Three Lafayette players have been recognized by the Patriot League this season. Sophomore righty Mitch Leeds was named Patriot League Pitcher of the Week on March 4 after he threw 6.2 scoreless innings in a 10 inning, 1-0 loss at George Washington. Senior left-hander Connor Ortolf claimed the same honor on March 11 after he carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning en route to eight scoreless innings of one-hit ball in the series opener at Fairleigh Dickinson. In the final game of the series against FDU, David Bednar fanned five and walked one when he tossed 60 pitches in five shutout frames in his first career start to earn Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors.

Centerfielder Andrew Santomauro, left-handed pitcher Connor Ortolf, and right-hander Cory Spera were tabbed as team captains for 2014. Santomauro started all 49 outings for the Leopards last season, batting .258 with 11 doubles and five triples. Ortolf was 1-5 in 10 starts last season. He was responsible for 35 runs over 55.0 innings, a 5.73 ERA, with 25 strikeouts and 28 walks. Spera made 14 appearances in relief last season registering 15 earned runs, 12 strikeouts, and seven walks over 22.1 innings pitched.

The Leopards will take part in the Liberty Bell Classic at Penn University on Tuesday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

- 14 home games, including 2 Patriot League series
- Home Patriot League series with Navy and Bucknell
- Non-conference home games vs. Penn, Villanova, Monmouth, North Carolina Central
- Other non-conference games vs. VMI, George Washington, Rider, Fairleigh Dickinson, VCU, Rutgers, Buffalo, Norfolk St., Penn and Seton Hall
- Lafayette renews its series with rival Lehigh with a pair of doubleheaders in Bethlehem, Pa. on April 26 and 27.
- One opponent from the 2013 NCAA Tournament (Army)
- First time opponents in Buffalo, North Carolina Central and VCU