LEWISBURG, Pa. – Jack Grabek came one out away from a shutout in Bucknell’s 5-0 win in game one, but Holy Cross pounded out 14 hits in a 9-4 win in the nightcap to gain a split of a doubleheader at Depew Field on Sunday.
Bucknell is now 2-6 in Patriot League play heading into a big three-game road series at 4-0 Army West Point next week. The Crusaders, who own a win over No. 24 Houston and a sweep of Charleston Southern this season, moved two 2-2 in the Patriot League after splitting two away twin bills at Navy and Bucknell over the weekend.
Before heading to West Point, the Bison have two mid-week non-conference games on the schedule. They will travel to St. Bonaventure on Tuesday at 2 p.m. before hosting Villanova on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.
Bucknell 5, Holy Cross 0 – Game 1
Grabek (1-2) was terrific in the opener against the defending Patriot League champions, allowing six hits, all singles, in 6.2 innings. His lone major trouble came in the second and seventh. The Crusaders loaded the bases with two outs in the second, but Grabek struck out Riley Livingston to end the threat.
A single and a couple of two-out walks in the seventh drove Grabek’s pitch count up, and freshman Brenden Tuttle came out of the bullpen to fan Kellen McCormick with the bases loaded to record his second save.
Meanwhile, Bucknell plated three runs in the second and two in the fifth against Declan Cronin (1-2). In the second, JohnPaul Bell hit a one-out double, followed by a walk to Keifer Rawlings. One out later, Chuckie Scales rifled a double into the right-field corner to score both runs. Scales then came home on a sharp single back through the box from Dominic Toso.
The Bison tacked on two insurance markers in the fifth. After walks to Scales and Toso to start the inning, Luke Johnson drove in a run with a single, and then Evan Klugerman executed a perfect safety squeeze to bring in Toso.
The Bison collected seven hits in the game, including two from Rawlings. Scales was 1-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Alex Gionis had two of the Crusaders’ six hits.
Holy Cross 9, Bucknell 4 – Game 2
Johnson rapped three hits in the nightcap – his 10th multi-hit game of the season upped his team-best batting average to .366 – but the Crusaders parlayed a five-run third inning into the 9-4 verdict.
Bucknell jumped out to a 3-0 lead, sending eight men to the plate in each of the first two innings. Luke Hartman singled and scored on a Klugerman sac fly, but the Bison stranded the bases loaded in the opening frame. In the second, Bucknell loaded the bases with one out on two walks and a hit by pitch. Johnson sent Caleb Broughton home with a sac fly, and then with two outs Klugerman singled home Scales.
Jack Simpson (1-4) breezed through the first two frames, but Holy Cross exploded for five runs on six hits in the third. Cam O’Neill blooped a two-run single into left field, and then the big blow in the inning was a two-out, three-run triple from Jared Enders.
The Bison stranded two runners in the third and fourth, then loaded the bases on two hit batsmen and a walk with one out in the fifth. In a key moment in the game, Liam Dvorak (1-1) came out of the Holy Cross bullpen and secured a strikeout and fly out to escape the threat with a 6-3 lead.
Bucknell did get one back in the sixth inning on Bell’s RBI single, but with two on and none out, Dvorak induced a 6-4-3 double play to take the wind out of the rally. Holy Cross then tacked on two runs in the eighth and one more in the ninth.
Tyler Wincig pitched the final four innings for the Bison, striking out four while yielding three runs on five hits. Dvorak allowed a run on three hits while fanning five in 4.2 innings and earned the win in relief.
The Bison logged eight hits and also drew seven walks and had four batters hit by pitches, but they left 14 runners on base. The Crusaders received two hits each from Gionis, David Kale, Cam O’Neill, Thomas Russo, Chris Rinaldi and Cam Meyer. O’Neill and Enders finished with three RBIs apiece.