LEWISBURG, Pa. – Senior Brett Smith hit a walk-off double on Senior Day to lift the Bucknell baseball team to an 11-10 win over Lafayette in game one of a doubleheader, as the Bison went on to complete the season sweep on Easter Sunday at Depew Field. The Bison won the nightcap by an 8-5 score.
Bucknell (17-18, 8-4 PL) completed its third doubleheader sweep of the season and its first weekend sweep in 2017. It’s the Bison’s first weekend sweep of a Patriot League opponent since the squad took four games from Navy in 2014 and its the first against the Leopards since 2005.
The Bison produced at the plate on Saturday and continued to hit the ball extremely well on Sunday. Bucknell hit .375 as a team with 19 hits and 11 extra base hits. The squad hit .347 for the weekend.
Evan Klugerman was perfect at the plate Sunday, going 4-for-4 with one home run, five RBIs and two runs scored. Sam Clark went 4-for-8 with one homer, four RBIs and five runs scored, Luke Johnson went 3-for-7 with two doubles and two RBIs, while Smith finished 3-for-7 with two extra base hits, one RBI and three runs.
Bucknell improved to 17-18 overall and 8-4 in the Patriot League, moving into a tie for second-place with preseason favorite Holy Cross. The two teams will square off next weekend (Apr. 22-23) in Worcester in a pivotal four-game series. All four contests will broadcast on the Patriot League Network.
Before their series at Holy Cross, the Bison will wrap up their home schedule with a non-conference twinbill against St. Bonaventure on Tuesday. Game one is slated for 2 p.m.
Game 1: Bucknell 11, Lafayette 10
The Leopards scored on their first plate appearance, but the Bison quickly answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning, thanks to RBI base hits from Rafferty and Johnson.
The two teams traded one run each in the second inning. The Bison scored one run in third inning off a RBI groundout from JohnPaul Bell. Lafayette tallied four runs in the fourth inning to take a 6-4 lead.
Bucknell cut into the deficit in the bottom of the fourth inning, thanks to a solo home run from Klugerman, the first homer of his career.
Lafayette tacked on a run in the fifth inning, but the Bison answered with three scores, highlighted by a homer from Clark, his second home run of the weekend. The Leopards scored two runs in the sixth inning and one more in the seventh to set the stage for a dramatic final half-inning.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Bell drew a walk and advanced to third on a double from Chuckie Scales. Klugerman doubled to left center to score the game-tying two runs. Alex Salem replaced Klugerman as a pinch runner and rounded the bases on the walk-off double to right field from Smith to pick up the win.
Nate Grisius (1-1) earned his first career win on the mound in the contest.
WATCH Smith hit the walk-off to score Alex Salem and give the Bison an 11-10 win! pic.twitter.com/1yhhfKmq5B— Bucknell Baseball (@Bucknell_BB) April 16, 2017
Game 2: Bucknell 8, Lafayette 5
The Bison got on the board first, thanks to a RBI groundout from Clark to score Smith from third. Lafayette tied the game with a run in the third inning and took the lead with a run in the fourth inning, while plating two more in the sixth inning.
Bucknell took the lead for good in the fifth inning, plating three runs, highlighted by a two-run single from Clark. The Bison scored three more times in the sixth inning, fueled by a two-out triple from Keifer Rawlings that scored two runs.
Bucknell added insurance in the eighth with one run, scored off a two-out double from Johnson.
Jack Grabek (2-5) earned the win on the mound. He pitched 5.2 innings, scattering seven hits while striking out five and was charged with three earned runs. Coming off a save in Saturday’s nightcap, Jack Simpson was solid in Sunday’s outing, pitching 2.2 innings, surrendering just two hits. Matt Shobe came in for the final out en route to picking up his first save of the season.