About the Patriot League Tournament
Bucknell and Navy will meet in a best-of-three series this Saturday and Sunday at Depew Field. Games one and two will take place on Saturday beginning at noon. Game three (if necessary) will take place Sunday at noon. The Bison are the top seed in the four-team field, while the Midshipmen are the fourth seed. No. 2 Army will be hosting No. 3 Lehigh this weekend at West Point, New York, with the winners squaring off in the Patriot League Championship Series May 17-18 at the home field of the highest remaining seed. If Bucknell advances it will host the Championship Series with the dates potentially adjusting to avoid conflicting with the school’s Commencement ceremonies on May 18.
Live video of all games this weekend will air on the Patriot League Network.
Patriot League Tournament Format
In 2008, the Patriot League Tournament expanded to include the top four teams in the six-team league. Previously, only the first three squads in the final standings advanced to the postseason. The tournament, which was previously conducted on one weekend, also expanded to take up two weekends in May. The winner of the tournament earns the Patriot League’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Patriot League Titles
Bucknell, this year, will be going after its sixth Patriot League Tournament title. The Bison won the postseason tournament in 1996, 2001, 2003, 2008 and 2010, advancing to the NCAA Tournament each time.
Bucknell's PL Regular-Season Titles
Outright: 1996, 2003
Shared: 1999, 2001, 2006, 2009, 2014
Bucknell's PL Tournament Titles
1996, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2010
Since the current Patriot League Tournament format was adopted in 2008, the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 seeds have each won five postseason series.
Series Records by Seed (since 2008)
No. 1 Seed: 5-4 (titles: 2)
No. 2 Seed: 5-5 (titles: 1)
No. 3 Seed: 3-5 (titles: 1)
No. 4 Seed: 5-4 (titles: 2)
Bucknell vs. Navy
• Navy leads the all-time series 67-63-1
• The first game in the series took place in 1904.
• Bucknell has won 11 of the 19 Patriot League Tournament meetings, including seven of the last 10.
• Bucknell has won seven games in a row over the last two years.
• Bucknell swept this year’s regular-season series from Navy, marking its first four-game Patriot League series sweep since 2006.
Patriot League Tournament Appearances
Bucknell will be playing in its sixth Patriot League Tournament in the last seven years. This is the 15th time Bucknell has qualified for the Patriot League Tournament since making its debut in 1996. The Bison own a 22-21 all-time record in the Patriot League Tournament.
PL Tournament Records vs. Opponents
Holy Cross: 3-3
Not Much Postseason Experience
Bucknell’s 2014 roster has combined for just 16 games played, 36 at bats, six hits and five RBIs in the Patriot League Tournament. Bison pitchers have logged 14.0 innings with Andrew Andreychik, Xavier Hammond, Bryson Hough and Dan Weigel each seeing time on the mound last year vs. Holy Cross.
Close Game Improvement
Bucknell last year was 4-15 in games decided by two runs or less. This year, the Bison are a strong 10-6 in those close games, including 6-4 in one-run outings.
Double-Figure Patriot League Wins
Bucknell finished the Patriot League campaign with a 15-5 record. It marked the fifth time in the last seven years the Bison have won at least 10 games in league play. Bucknell has reached that plateau 16 times in 24 years in the conference. The 15 wins tied a program record for Patriot League victories. The 1999 and 2003 squads also reached the 15-win plateau.
Bucknell tied for the league lead with six All-Patriot League selections this year. Pitcher Dan Weigel, catcher Jon Mayer, second baseman Joe Ogren, outfielder Anthony Gingerelli and designated hitter Corey Furman were the five Bison first-team honorees, while outfielder Brett Smith landed on the Second Team. Smith also became Bucknell’s fourth Rookie of the Year, while Scott Heather was named Coach of the Year for the first time.
Academic All-Patriot League
Bucknell led the Patriot League with four players named to the 12-person Academic All-Patriot League Team. Tom Hrabchak, Joe Ogren, Tucker Rekucki and Dan Weigel were members of the team. No other school had more than two representatives on the squad.
Coach of the Year Scott Heather
• Scott Heather is in his second year as Bucknell head coach after eight years as an assistant to longtime mentor Gene Depew.
• Heather ranks fifth on Bucknell’s all-time wins list with 41.
• Heather was named Patriot League Coach of the Year this past week. He joins with four-time winner of the award Depew to give Bucknell five PL Coaches of the Year.
Starters vs. Bullpen
Bucknell’s starting pitchers are averaging 6.0 innings per start this year, logging 257.2 of the Bison’s 342.0 innings. Bucknell’s starters have a 3.63 ERA, while relievers own a 3.20 ERA. The Bison team ERA of 3.53 is their lowest since posting a 3.06 mark in 1976.
Bucknell used just four different starting pitchers in its Patriot League games this year, marking the third time in four years it did that. In 2011, Trey Frahler, Dylan Seeley, Ryan Ebner and Jack Boehm each made five Patriot League starts. Last spring, Bryson Hough, Dan Weigel, Dan Goldstein and Andrew Andreychik each started five Patriot League contests. This year, Hough, Weigel, Andreychik and Xavier Hammond combined to start all 20 Patriot League games.
• Bucknell is the top seed in the Patriot League Tournament for the first time since 2009. Fourth-seeded Lafayette defeated the Bison 2-1 in their opening-round best-of-three series at Depew Field.
• Sophomore catcher Jon Mayer hit two home runs in the series opener vs. Holy Cross the final weekend in May. He became the first Bison with a multi-homer game since Bob Donato in 2012.
• Bucknell has nine more wins than it finished the 2013 season with, marking the program’s biggest one-season turnaround since 2007 (16 wins) to 2008 (30 wins).
• Corey Furman, who will not play this weekend due to injury, enters the Patriot League Tournament hitting a league-best .388. He is on pace to become the first Bison to lead the league in hitting since Ben Stoll (.376) in 2003.
• Bucknell has not lost two straight games since March 22 vs. Penn State. That was also the last time the Bison were swept in a doubleheader.
• Bucknell has swept six doubleheaders this season.
• Bucknell has thrown six shutouts this season, one shy of equaling the program record held by the 2003 team.
• Bucknell’s lineup has received plenty of production from its younger members. The freshman class leads the team in hits this year:
- Hits by Freshmen: 107
- Hits by Sophomores: 77
- Hits by Juniors: 79
- Hits by Seniors: 56
• Bucknell has reached double-figure wins at home for the third time in the last four years.
• Freshman reliever Mike Castellani earlier this year pitched 20.2 scoreless innings and had 11 straight appearances without allowing a run.
• Andrew Andreychik came one out shy of a fourth straight complete game and saw his 26.1 scoreless inning streak snapped in early April vs. Lehigh.
• Bucknell hit .220 with a 0.84 ERA in its four-game sweep of Navy earlier this year. The Mids hit .132 with a 2.57 ERA in the series.
• Bucknell put together an eight-game winning streak earlier this season, marking its longest since 1998.
Bucknell Championship Teams
The Bucknell baseball team this month will attempt to become the second Bison team to win a conference title in 2013-14. The Bucknell women’s golf team is the other Bison squad to win a conference title this year. The softball and women’s rowing championships have yet be completed.
If Bucknell wins this weekend’s three-game series against Navy, it will host either No. 2 seed Army or No. 3 seed Lehigh next weekend. The winner of that series will claim the Patriot League title and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, which begins Friday, May 30.