LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell baseball team came up a run short in both ends of a doubleheader with Army West Point on Saturday at chilly Depew Field. Connor Van Hoose took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in game one, but the Black Knights scratched out a run in their final at-bat to win 1-0. Army then claimed a marathon nightcap by a 7-6 count.
Bucknell fell to 4-16 overall and 1-5 in Patriot League play. These were Army’s first conference games of the season, and the Black Knights improved to 9-12, 2-0.
The Bison, who have now dropped seven one-run games on the season, are back home again on Sunday against Holy Cross with a doubleheader starting at noon. The games can be heard on the radio on WVBU 90.5 FM. Army heads south to play rival Navy at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.
Army 1, Bucknell 0 – Game 1
Van Hoose and southpaw Tyler Giovinco locked up in a terrific pitcher’s duel in the opener. Bucknell had a couple of opportunities foiled by baserunning mistakes in the early innings, with a runner picked off of second base in the opening frame and another thrown out trying to go first to third on a single to end the third.
Evan Madigan hit a one-out double in the bottom of the sixth, but Giovinco worked out of trouble with a ground out and a strikeout.
Meanwhile, Van Hoose was terrific again for the Bison. His only major trouble to that point came in the third inning, when he loaded the bases with three walks in a rare bout of wildness. But he retired Army’s leading hitter, Jon Rosoff, on a fly ball to right field to escape the jam.
Van Hoose had yet to concede a base hit entering the seventh and final inning, but Matt Hudgins ended the no-hit bid with a ground ball up the middle to lead off the inning. After a sacrifice bunt and a ground out to first base, Josh White got the big hit for Army, a two-out single to left that plated pinch-runner Rob Regine.
Bucknell threatened in the bottom of the seventh, when Miles Moore doubled down the left-field line with one out. Giovinco induced a fly out to center, and then things got interesting. Alex Baumann was announced as a pinch-hitter, and Army coach Jim Foster went to his bullpen to match up with right-hander Daniel Burggraaf. Scott Heather countered with a lefty pinch-hitter, Evan Klugerman, but Burggraaf got Klugerman on a fly ball to center field to end the contest.
Van Hoose fanned six and walked three while allowing just the two hits over seven innings. Giovinco tossed 6.2 scoreless innings, striking out six while walking two and yielding five hits. Madigan went 2-for-3 for the Bison, who were shut out for only the second time this season, the other coming at Duke on Feb. 23.
Army 7, Bucknell 6 – Game 2
Game two lasted three hours, 52 minutes, as five Army pitchers managed to overcome 10 walks to hold on for the 7-6 win. The Black Knights broke open a 3-3 tie by plating four runs on five hits in the top of the sixth inning.
Bucknell got right back in the game in the bottom of the seventh. The Bison scored three times on three hits, but it might have been more if not for some good work out of the bullpen from Jacob Carte.
Tyler Wincig ignited the rally with a walk, and he scored one batter later on a booming double off the left-field wall by Moore. Freshman Harry Flannery came on in relief for Army and immediately walked Keifer Rawlings on four pitches. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch, and then Klugerman ripped a single into the right-center alley to make it a 7-6 game.
Another freshman, Matt Gray, came on for the Black Knights and was greeted by a single from Madigan. Dominic Toso dropped a sacrifice bunt to move runners to second and third with one out, but Carte came on and got a big strikeout. After a walk loaded the bases, Carte got a pop out to end the rally.
Carte then retired the side in order in both the eighth and ninth to pick up his second save. Carter Van Gytenbeek earned the win in relief of Matt Ball. Bison starter Jeff Gottesman struck out seven over 5.1 innings. He was charged with six runs, four earned, on six hits.
Bucknell finished with six hits from six different players. The Bison received a two-out RBI single from Wincig in the first and a two-out, two-run double from Luke Hartman in the fourth.
White and Trey Martin had two hits apiece for Army, while Drake Titus was 1-for-4 with four RBIs. His two-run infield single proved to be a big blow in that four-run sixth.