LEWISBURG, Pa. – Andrew Andreychik came one out shy of his fourth consecutive shutout as the Bucknell baseball team took game one of a doubleheader from Lehigh by a 9-1 score Sunday afternoon at a sun-splashed Depew Field. The Mountain Hawks came back to win game two by a 4-2 margin when two unearned runs in the top of the eighth broke a 2-2 deadlock.
Bucknell (16-12-1, 7-1 Patriot League) took three of the four games in the weekend series with Lehigh (12-14, 3-4 PL), marking the fourth straight year it has done that. The game one victory stretched the Bison’s winning streak to eight games, their longest since 1998, while the 7-1 Patriot League start is the best since the 2001 squad won its first eight conference games.
Corey Furman had hits in both ends of the doubleheader to extend his hitting streak to a team-high seven games, while Anthony Gingerelli stretched his hitting streak to six games with two hits in the twinbill. Greg Wasikowski has now hit in five straight thanks to three hits on Sunday. One day after totaling 18 runs and 27 hits against the Mountain Hawks, the Bison added 11 runs and 15 hits, lifting their team batting average to a season-high .253.
While Bucknell plated nine runs in game one, Andreychik was once again the story. He extended his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 26.1 before Lehigh plated its lone run of the game with two outs in the top of the seventh in the seven-inning contest. Still, Andreychik earned his third straight win as he improved to 4-2 on the year and saw his ERA drop to 2.25. He retired 13 in a row after leadoff hitter Justin Pacchioli reached on a bunt single in the first. Andreychik struck out five and did not issue a walk for the fourth straight outing, and fifth time in seven appearances this spring.
The Bison scored five runs in the second, three in the third and one more in the fourth to give Andreychik more run support than he had received in his previous four starts combined. The five-run second inning was aided by two instances when left fielder Jacen Nalesnik lost the ball in the bright sun.
Gingerelli led off the second by lifting a fly ball to Nalesnik in left, but the freshman lost it in the sun, allowing Gingerelli to end up at second with a double. A single by Rob Krentzman and a hit by pitch by Sam Clark loaded the bases for Justin Meier. The senior co-captain lofted a fly ball to left-center, which Nalesnik again lost in the sun. He picked it up and was able to get Clark out at second, but Gingerelli scampered home for the first run of the game.
The next four hitters in the inning drove home runs as Danny Rafferty singled, Wasikowski followed with an RBI double and Brett Smith drove home Rafferty with a single up the middle. Furman’s sac fly capped the scoring in the inning at five runs.
The first three hitters in the third inning – Joe Ogren, Gingerelli and Krentzman – were hit by pitches from Lehigh starter Colin Gotzon (2-1). All three came around to score as Clark drove home two with a single to right center and Rafferty lifted a sac fly to left.
A final insurance run came across in the fourth when Ogren reached on a one-out error and later scored on a two-out double by Krentzman. It was one of four RBIs on the weekend for Krentzman, who now has nine on the year.
Lehigh relievers Nick Macaione and Matt Kozemchak pitched the final three innings and yielded just two hits and one unearned run while striking out three. Connor Faust and Pacchioli combined for four of the team’s five hits in the opener.
Bucknell had trailed for just four innings during its eight-game winning streak, but the Mountain Hawks struck first in game two, plating a run in the top of the second. They never allowed the Bison to take the lead as both teams scored once in the fourth and Bucknell tied it at 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth.
The score remained 2-2 entering the eighth. Bucknell starter Xavier Hammond got the first hitter to ground out to third, but was removed from the game after walking cleanup hitter Tyler Brong on a full count. Tom Hrabchak came in and retired the first hitter, but Faust followed with a single to put two runners on with two outs. Patrick Donnelly followed with a screaming grounder to Krentzman at first, but the ball bounced off his glove and toward second base, allowing two runs to score.
Furman and Ogren led off the bottom of the eighth with back-to-back singles, but reliever Nick Cassell retired the next three Bison in order to get out of the jam and he then sent Bucknell down 1-2-3 in the ninth to earn his third win of the season. He pitched 3.2 scoreless innings in place of starter Kevin Long, who was touched for four hits and two runs in 5.1 innings.
The Bison’s first run came in the fourth when Mayer drew a leadoff walk and scored on an Ogren triple. Getting the leadoff guy on also proved vital in the fifth when Wasikowski led off with a single and later scored on Ogren’s ground out.
Hammond (1-3) had a solid outing on the mound for Bucknell as he logged 7.1 innings and allowed seven hits. He was charged with three runs (two earned) and struck out five.
Bucknell hit .347 in the four-game series against Lehigh and had an ERA of just 1.97. Krentzman led the way with a .538 batting average against the Mountain Hawks, while Gingerelli (.462), Ogren (.438), Furman (.429) and Smith (.400) were also above .400 in the series.
The Bison, who are a strong 8-2 at Depew Field this year, will now be on the road for their next 11 games, starting with a doubleheader Tuesday at Binghamton.