ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Needing one win to secure a spot in the Patriot League Tournament, the Bucknell baseball team took the opening game of a doubleheader at Navy Saturday with a 5-0 victory. The two teams split on the afternoon, as the Midshipmen won the nightcap in extra innings, 5-4.
Bucknell (19-24, 10-8 PL) clinches a berth in the postseason for the second straight year and the fourth time in five seasons.
Evan Klugerman went 3-for-6 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored, Danny Rafferty went 4-for-8 with a double and one RBI, JohnPaul Bell went 3-for-7 with one RBI and two runs scored, while Sam Clark finished 3-for-7 with two extra-base hits, one RBI and one run.
The Bison wrap up the regular season and the four-game set on Sunday with a doubleheader. Game one is slated for noon. Both games will broadcast on the Patriot League Network.
Game 1: Bucknell 5, Navy 0
Connor Van Hoose (5-5) was masterful en route to picking up his fifth win on the mound this season. The right-handed pitcher tossed his third complete game of the season and held the Patriot League's most potent offensive team to three hits while striking out seven and walking one. Van Hoose had a stretch of 13 consecutive outs. The junior now has 84 strikeouts on the year, tying Eric Junge (1999) for the second-most strikeouts in a single-season in Bucknell history.
Bucknell got the best of Navy pitcher Noah Song, who entered the day with a 6-2 record. Song pitched 5.1 innings, giving up five runs on eight hits.
The Bison got on the board first with three runs in the fourth inning. Luke Johnson drew a walk and advanced to second on a single from Bell. Klugerman had his single drop into left field, scoring Johnson. Following an out on the next at bat, Chuckie Scales scored Bell and Klugerman on a single to left field.
Bucknell tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning, powered by a home run from Klugerman, his second of the season.
Game 2: Navy 5, Bucknell 4 (10 innings)
Clark got the Bison on the board in the opening frame with a homer to right field, his sixth of the year. The Bison scored their second run of the contest in the fifth inning, as Scales scored off a sacrifice fly from Rafferty.
Navy scored one run in the first and third innings, followed by two more runs in the fourth inning to hold a 4-2 lead.
The Bison tied the game up in the seventh inning, fueled by two-out RBI singles from Keifer Rawlings and Bell.
The Mids won the game in the bottom of the 10th inning on an infield single.
Mike Castellani pitched 6.1 innings, allowing three earned runs on nine hits while striking out four. Jack Simpson (1-1) pitched the final 3.0 innings and was credited with the loss, but not without showing poise in critical moments. The freshman left runners on second and third in the seventh inning and got out of a bases-loaded jam with a double play in the ninth inning.