LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell senior outfielder Brett Smith was named Fifth Quarter Fresh Bison Athlete of the Week on Monday. Smith was 9-for-17 with five runs scored, five extra-base hits, three RBIs and five walks in helping the Bison baseball team to a 4-1 week, including a four-game series sweep of Patriot League opponent Lafayette.
Smith had at least one hit in every game last week to extend his hitting streak to nine games. He now has at least one hit in 26 of Bucknell’s 35 games this season, including 12 multi-hit outings.
The Bison leadoff hitter, Smith began the week with one hit and one walk in a non-conference game at Penn State. Smith was then 8-for-13 in the weekend series against Lafayette, recording at least one hit and one run scored in all four games. In Bucknell’s game two win Saturday, he was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate, coming just a double shy of hitting for the cycle.
No hit was more important than his walk-off double to right field to lift the Bison to an 11-10 win in the opening game of a doubleheader Sunday on Senior Day, scoring his classmate Alex Salem.
A starter in 177 consecutive games, Smith leads the Bison this season in batting average (.309), hits (43), runs (28) and doubles (11). Against Patriot League opponents, the captain is hitting .488 with 14 runs scored, seven extra-base hits and six RBIs.
Setting the Scene
Who: Bucknell (17-18) vs. St. Bonaventure (14-14)
When: April 18, 2017 (2 p.m./4:30 p.m.)
Where: Depew Field – Lewisburg, Pa.
Live Results: BucknellBison.com
Listen: BucknellBison.com or WVBU 90.5 FM (Play-by-play: Justin Antweil)
About the Bison/Last Time Out
* Bucknell will wrap up its 2017 home slate Tuesday with a non-league doubleheader against St. Bonaventure.
* The Bison earned a vital four-game sweep over Patriot League opponent Lafayette over the weekend, winning on Saturday by scores of 4-1 and 6-5, followed by 11-10 and 8-5 victories on Sunday. The highlight of the series came on Brett Smith’s walk-off double to defeat Lafayette in game three of the series on Senior Day.
* The four-game series sweep was Bucknell’s first weekend sweep of a Patriot League opponent since the squad took four games from Navy in 2014 and it’s the first against the Leopards since 2005.
* Smith and Luke Johnson led the Bison with eight hits apiece, while Sam Clark contributed two home runs, seven runs scored and six RBIs, as the Bison hit .347 as a team.
* Connor Van Hoose posted one of his best performances of the season, allowing no earned runs while striking out nine in a complete-game effort. He now leads the team in wins (4), strikeouts (71), and ERA (2.50).
* This season, the Bison have three batters hitting over .300 – Smith (.309), Johnson (.306), and Danny Rafferty (.305). The trio has combined for 116 hits and 32 doubles.
* The Bison pitching staff leads the Patriot League in shutouts (4) and fewest home runs allowed (19), while opponents have been successful on a league-low 65.3-percent of their stolen base attempts.
* Bucknell ranks in the top two of the league in on-base-percentage (.364), triples (13), and fewest strikeouts (227).
Scouting St. Bonaventure
* St. Bonaventure is 14-14 overall and have dropped its last three games, suffering losses to Wagner and Niagara.
* The Bonnies have a .275 batting average and a 4.32 ERA. The team has committed an Atlantic-10-low 28 errors.
* St Bonaventure is 3-7 on the road this season.
* Bucknell is 9-22-1 all-time against St. Bonaventure dating back to 1913. The Bonnies have won four of the last five meetings, including a 6-4 win last season in upstate New York.
Bucknell Baseball’s 2017 Weekly Awards
* Patriot League Pitcher of the Week – Mike Castellani (Mar. 28, Apr. 4)
* Patriot League Pitcher of the Week – JohnPaul Bell (Mar. 7)
* Bison Athlete of the Week – Brett Smith (Apr. 17)
* The Bison resume Patriot League play Saturday with a pivotal series at Holy Cross in a battle of second-place teams. Saturday’s doubleheader will begin at 2:05 p.m., while Sunday’s twinbill will begin at 1:05 p.m. All four games this weekend will broadcast on the Patriot League Network.