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Extra Innings - Patriot League Play Begins

April 5, 2011

Reigning Patriot League Player of the Week A.J. Miller reclaims ownership of "Extra Innings" with a recap of the last two weeks of Lafayette baseball action.

Don't worry everyone, the blog is back. Last week was pretty hectic with work and games. It's not easy balancing my "4.0" GPA, baseball and finding time to write MY blog.

Last weekend, we played three games against the University of Pennsylvania. We were supposed to play a doubleheader Saturday and Sunday but due to the marvelous northeast weather, we played one game on Friday and two games on Saturday. We won a close one on Friday by a score of 5-4. Davila drove in the game winning run in the seventh to put us ahead, 5-4, and Sean McGrath pitched three hitless innings of strong relief to lead us to a victory.

Saturday was a different story for us, as we ended up losing both ends of the doubleheader. They were close games, but it seemed as though that we could not keep up the energy and keep the pressure on them for the entirety of the games. My roommate and fellow bash brother Alex Bechta had a strong weekend going 5-for-10 with four doubles and five RBI.

This past week we also had two midweek games. The first was against Villanova in the first round of the Liberty Bell Classic. Sophomore Mike Massa had a strong outing and pitched four scoreless until Villanova had a four-run fifth inning. We showed some life in the top of the ninth, putting up 2 more runs, but we were stopped short and lost, 5-3. The next day we had a quick turnaround as we played NJIT in Newark. This game went into extra innings as we won, 3-1, on a clutch hit from Kevin McCarville. Connor Ortolf pitched four hitless innings of relief with five strikeouts to earn him the win - which in turn helped him earn Patriot League Rookie of the Week.



Last weekend was the opening weekend of Patriot League play, and we opened up against defending champion Bucknell. Let me remind you readers that we were picked to finish last in Patriot League play on three separate polls, while Bucknell was picked to finish either first or second. To say the least, we played with a chip on our shoulders this weekend and we never let up. We split the games on Saturday, winning the first, 11-5, and losing the second, 11-2. Senior Zach Fritz earned the win with five innings of work, while Sean McGrath continued his pitching dominance, picking up the save with two scoreless innings. However Zach did let up a home run this weekend to Doug Shribman - the Patriot League's all-time home run leader - that is in the running for the farthest ball ever hit by a human being alongside the home run that Corey Shea gave up two years ago on the very same field to former Patriot League home run leader, Andrew Brouse. To Shea: inside move does not mean the same thing as throw a "get me over" fastball... just clarifying that for you.

On Sunday, we came out in full force with immeasurable amounts of energy and swept, winning by scores of 5-2 and 6-3. John Gentile pitched a strong complete game, allowing two runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts. Mike Massa had another strong pitching performance pitching 4.2 innings of work, while Sean McGrath snaked the win after 2.2 solid innings in relief. Jeff Snell (who is afraid to pitch to me in intrasquad games and chooses to walk me every time) picked up his third save of the season. Bobby Fargnoli and Kevin Casey both dropped bombs this weekend to get on the home run board with me while Matt Fenster and Brian Davila still only have warning track power.

Overall, it was a great weekend for the boys. We have our home opener this week against Monmouth on Wednesday followed by a home weekend series against rival Lehigh... hope to see everyone out there this week. Until next time, Roll `Pards.

- A.J.