WORCESTER, Mass. – In a battle for Patriot League Tournament seeding, Bucknell baseball split a doubleheader at Holy Cross Saturday at Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field. The Crusaders won the opening game 5-3, while the Bison won the nightcap by an 11-5 score.
Bucknell and Holy Cross entered Saturday tied for second-place in the Patriot League standings with two weekend series remaining in the regular season. The top two seeds earn a home semifinal series in the Patriot League Tournament. Following today’s split, Bucknell moves to 18-21 overall and 9-5 in league play, while Holy Cross moves to 16-21 overall and 9-5 in Patriot League action.
The two teams will conclude the four-game set with a doubleheader on Sunday. Game one is slated to begin at 1:05 p.m. Both contests will broadcast on the Patriot League Network.
Game 1: Holy Cross 5, Bucknell 3
Holy Cross got on the board first with one run in the second inning. Bucknell grabbed the lead in the third inning, plating three runs. Sam Clark recorded a two-run double to right field and later rounded the bases on a single from Johnson.
The Crusaders took the lead for good with three runs in fifth inning, highlighted by a home run from Alex Volpi. Holy Cross added insurance with one more run in the sixth inning to pick up the victory.
Connor Van Hoose (4-5) was credited with the loss.
Game 2: Bucknell 11, Holy Cross 5
Bucknell scored first with two runs in the third inning. Scales scored from third base on a fielding error, while Smith reached home off a RBI groundout from Danny Rafferty.
The Bison scored four more runs in the fourth inning, fueled by a home run from Johnson, his second of the season, along with RBIs from Evan Madigan, Scales and Rafferty.
Bucknell added three runs in the sixth inning. Smith scored Evan Klugerman on a single, while Scales scored on a sacrifice bunt from Rafferty, who later rounded the bases on a double from Clark, extending his hit streak to 11 games. Clark now has 19 RBIs in league play this season. The Bison plated two more in the seventh inning, scored by Madigan and Klugerman.
Holy Cross scored two runs in the seventh inning and three more in the eighth inning.
Mike Castellani (4-1) pitched 6.2 innings, scattering seven hits while striking out four and surrendering just two earned runs. Hunter Robichaux (1.0 IP) and Jack Schoenberger (1.1 IP) came in relief for the final 2.1 innings. Schoenberger was solid, limiting the Crusaders to one hit while striking out two.