LEWISBURG, Pa. – Jon Mayer hit two home runs in game one and drove in five runs overall and starting pitchers Bryson Hough and Dan Weigel logged complete games to lead the Bucknell baseball team to a doubleheader sweep of Holy Cross Saturday afternoon at Depew Field. The Bison won game one 4-2 with all four runs coming on home runs and Weigel recorded the team’s sixth shutout of the season en route to a 5-0 victory in game two.
With Saturday’s two wins, Bucknell (24-16-1, 14-4 PL) is in position to win a Patriot League regular-season title and clinch the No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming Patriot League Tournament. The Bison will enter Sunday’s season finale twinbill vs. the Crusaders with a 1.5-game lead on second-place Army (29-13, 12-5 PL). The Black Knights will play two games at Navy on Sunday and then still have a makeup contest against Lehigh to play. A Bucknell win or an Army loss will clinch the No. 1 seed for the Bison.
Mayer, who has reached base in eight straight games, had a career day Saturday. He was 3-for-6 with three runs scored and five RBIs in the doubleheader. In game one as the designated hitter he staked the Bison to a 2-1 lead with a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning and his two-run home run to left in the fifth extended that advantage to 4-1. Mayer became the first Bucknell player to hit two home runs in a game since Bob Donato against James Madison in 2012.
Mayer drove in two more runs in game two on a first-inning single and a third-inning sac fly. He now ranks fourth on the team with 18 RBIs on the season.
Brett Smith (3-for-6 with two runs scored) and Anthony Gingerelli (3-for-7 with two runs scored, one home run, one RBI) also had three hits for the Bison. Mayer, Smith and Gingerelli combined for nine of Bucknell’s 14 hits in the two games.
Holy Cross (12-30, 3-13 PL) outhit the Bison 16-14 in the doubleheader, but three Crusader errors led to five unearned runs in the two games.
Bucknell’s other run in game one came on Gingerelli’s one-out home run in the first inning that tied the score at 1-1. It was his team-high fifth round-tripper of the year.
Hough (6-3) picked up his team-best sixth win of the season in the seven-inning game one as he recorded his third complete game of the season. After allowing Evan Ocello and Andrew Barry to reach on back-to-back hits to start the contest, Hough retired the next three in a row to end the first and then pitched to the minimum number of hitters over the next five innings thanks in part to a pair of double plays. Hough finished with four strikeouts and one walk while allowing six hits.
Brandon Cipolla hit a one-out home run in the top of the seventh and Holy Cross proceeded to get the tying run on base against Hough, but a grounder to third by Alex Voitik ended the contest.
Weigel’s (5-4) first career shutout came in game two as he scattered eight hits over the first four innings, but settled down and allowed just four baserunners over the final five innings. He ended with three strikeouts and two walks while allowing 10 hits. It was the sixth shutout of the season by Bison pitchers, one shy of the program record set by the 2003 squad. It was also the 12th complete game this year.
Bucknell scored all the runs it would need in the bottom of the first inning when three unearned runs crossed the plate. Smith reached on an infield single and it appeared as though Holy Cross starter Donny Murray (2-6) was going to get out of the inning, but Barry committed an error on a potential double play ball off the bat of Ogren.
Mayer followed with an RBI single, plating Smith. Ogren then scored on a throwing error by Barry, while Carter Austin drove in Mayer on a fielder’s choice grounder to put three runs on the board on just two hits.
Bucknell added a run in the third when Gingerelli led off with a single to center and later scored on Mayer’s sac fly, eluding the catcher’s tag on a throw up the third base line. Another run came across in the fifth when Smith led off the inning with a single and later scored on a double play ground out.
There were a total of five double plays turned in the doubleheader, including four by the Bison defense.
Holy Cross used four pitchers in game two. After Murray pitched the first 6.0 innings, Collin Manning, George Capen and Jon Escobar combined to pitch the final 2.0 innings and allowed one hit and no runs.
Ben White (0-5) suffered the loss for the Crusaders in game one. He struck out six and didn’t walk a hitter, but was touched for seven hits and four runs (two earned).
Bucknell will enter Sunday’s doubleheader against Holy Cross with its most wins since the 2011 team posted 25 and it is just one Patriot League victory shy of equaling its most league wins (15-5 in 2003).
Sunday’s doubleheader will mark the final regular-season games for the Bison. Prior to the 12 p.m. first pitch, Senior Day ceremonies will take place, honoring Bucknell’s seven seniors. Both games will be broadcast live on 90.5 WVBU FM and BucknellBison.com.