ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Mike Castellani tossed his third complete game shutout of the season to lead fourth-seeded Bucknell to a 5-0 win and a series sweep over No. 1 seed Navy on Sunday in the Patriot League Tournament Semifinal Series at Max Bishop Stadium.
Bucknell (21-26) has advanced to the Patriot League Championship Series and will take on No. 2 seed Holy Cross (May 18-20) in a best-of-three series to determine the league's automatic NCAA berth.
Sunday's win marked the Bison's first postseason series victory since they claimed the 2014 Patriot League title over Lehigh. Bucknell's 21 victories this season are the most since its championship campaign.
The story of the series was Bucknell's exceptional pitching. Connor Van Hoose was impressive in his outing in game one, and Castellani (5-1) followed it up with a masterful performance in game two. Castellani held Navy to three hits while striking out six, matching his season-high. He was perfect through the first four innings of the contest.
The Midshipmen (37-17) entered the weekend with the league's top offense, leading the Patriot League in nearly every offensive category. Navy, who placed seven on All-Patriot League Teams, was held to one run in 18.0 innings on six hits while striking out 12 times. Travis Blue, the Patriot League Player of the Year, was held without a hit (0-7). Entering with a team batting average of .303, the Midshipmen hit .105 for the series.
Kyle Condry (7-2), the Patriot League Pitcher of the Year, had his day come to an end after 5.2 innings, surrendering two runs on seven hits. The Mids used three relievers over the final 2.1 innings.
Bucknell scored one run in the first and third innings, coming off the bat of First Team All-Patriot League senior Sam Clark. Clark, who went 3-for-3 on the day, scored his classmate Brett Smith on a sacrifice fly. In the third inning, Clark recorded a two-out single to score Chuckie Scales.
The Bison plated two more in the seventh inning. Luke Johnson scored Danny Rafferty on a single to left field, while Clark scored on a throwing error following a fielder's choice from JohnPaul Bell. Bucknell scored one more run in the eighth inning, thanks to a RBI single from Scales to score Evan Klugerman.
The Bison finished with 12 hits for the second straight game. Bell (2-for-4), Klugerman (2-for-4) and Rafferty (2-for-5) joined Clark with multi-hit outings. For the series, Bucknell outhit Navy 24-6 and outscored the Mids 9-1.
The Patriot League Championship Series will broadcast on the Patriot League Network.