LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell split its Patriot League-opening doubleheader against Navy on Saturday at Depew Field, rolling to a 10-2 win in the first game before falling 3-2 in the second contest.
Bucknell, the preseason favorite in the conference, moved its record to 4-12 overall and 1-1 in the league, while Navy, which was picked second in the preseason poll, ended the day at 15-5 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
Game 1 – Bucknell 10, Navy 2
Evan Klugerman smacked two doubles, including one off the right-field fence, and drove in four runs to lead Bucknell to a 10-2 win in the league opener. The Bison scored in each of the first four innings on their way to the blowout run.
The Bucknell offense backed up a stellar performance from starting pitcher Connor Van Hoose. The senior went six innings, giving up two unearned runs, seven hits, and four walks while striking out six batters. Nate Grisius pitched one scoreless inning of relief.
The Bison’s offensive surge is made even more impressive when you factor in the opposing pitcher. Noah Song, a Preseason All-Patriot League selection, entered with a 3-1 record, a 1.12 ERA, and 38 strikeouts to just eight walks.
Bucknell led 3-0 before Klugerman helped them pull away with rallies in the third and fourth innings. He hit a two-run double in a two-run third inning and added a two-run double as the Bison scored four runs in the fourth.
The Bison finished with eight hits, including a single and double by Dominic Toso. Luke Hartman, Luke Johnson, Tyler Wincig, and Kiefer Rawlings all singled. Hartman and Johnson added two RBIs apiece. The game was the fifth straight in which the Bison scored at least eight runs.
Michael Coritz paced Navy at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a single and a double.
Game 2 – Navy 3, Bucknell 2
The Bison trailed late before nearly pulling off a comeback, but the attempt came up just short in a 3-2 loss to the Mids in the second game of the day.
Starting pitcher Jeff Gottesman did his part to keep Bucknell in the game until the offense could come around. He gave up just one run through seven innings before allowing two to start the eighth frame. Mike Stephens was effective, as well, pitching two scoreless innings of relief.
Bucknell pulled within one, 3-2, with two runs in the eighth and had the game-tying run on third with two outs, but relief pitcher Jared Leins got a flyout to left field to end the threat. Leins went 1.2 scoreless innings to notch his second save of the season.
Miles Moore started the Bison’s rally in the eighth with a leadoff single. He advanced to second on a single by Keifer Rawlings, and scored on a one-out single by Klugerman. Rawlings scored the second run of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Evan Madigan.
The teams traded zeros before Navy struck first with a run in the top of the sixth inning. Jacob Williamson singled with one out, moved to third on a single through the right side by Evan Lowery, and scored on a squeeze bunt by Christian Hodge.
Lowery went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs to lead Navy offensively. Williams was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Hartman finished with two hits for the Bison. Johnson, Moore, Rawlings, Klugerman, and Madigan had one hit apiece.
Sean Kamhoot started and went 7.1 innings on the mound to get the win for the Mids. He have two runs on six hits, didn’t walk a batter, and struck out eight.