Bucknell Baseball Splits Doubleheader at Saint Joseph's
March 24, 2012
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Bucknell and Saint Joseph's used just three pitchers each as the squads split a low-scoring baseball doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the Hawks' Maguire Campus Field. The Bison took game one, 4-3, behind a four-run second inning, while Saint Joseph's claimed game two, 2-1, scoring the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Bucknell (11-9), which extended its winning streak to four games with its game one victory, received strong pitching all day. Ryan Ebner (2-3) earned the win in game one, logging 6.0 innings and yielding just three hits. He did walk six, but limited the Hawks to just two runs in the second inning on a two-out, two-run single by Kevin Kratochwill. Alex Cillo pitched the seventh, and final, inning of game one, and saw his consecutive hitless (10.0 IP) and scoreless (12.0 IP) streaks come to an end, but he struck out two of the final three hitters he faced to record his fifth save of the season, and second in as many days.
Freshman Bryson Hough (1-3) followed Ebner's solid start with his first career complete game. However, Bucknell's offense scored just once for Hough, who gave up five hits and two runs in 8.0 innings of work. He retired 13 of 14 hitters and 19 of 21 in the middle innings until a leadoff walk to Eddie Palmer in the eighth came around to score and break a 1-1 tie. Hough's previous career long outing was 6.0 innings and he recorded the first complete game by a Bison hurler in 2012.
While the Bucknell pitchers were strong, Saint Joseph's (5-18) just about matched the Bison. Alex Pracher (1-5) struck out eight and logged a seven-inning complete game in game one. He retired Bucknell in order in the third, fourth and fifth innings and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh to give the Hawks a chance to come back from a two-run deficit against Cillo. Jordan Carter scattered nine hits in 7.0 innings in game two as he allowed only an unearned run in the fifth. Steven Schuler (2-0) pitched a perfect final 2.0 innings to earn the win. He struck out three during his time on the hill.
Bucknell won game one thanks to a four-run second inning against Pracher. The Bison totaled three doubles and a single in the frame. Gerry Runyan got things started with a leadoff double. He scored on a Matt Lamore double. A Robb Scott single moved Lamore to third. Mark Figgie, who later scored what proved to be the winning run on a passed ball, drove home Lamore and Scott with a double of his own.
The Hawks scored two runs in the bottom of the second on Kratochwill's single, but could only muster one more run the rest of the game.
Bucknell's lone run in game two came in the fifth inning when Justin Meier reached on an error and then scored on a Figgie single. The Bison had their chances in game two, registering at least one baserunner in six of the first eight innings. However, they only advanced a runner as far as third base three times.
Saint Joseph's capitalized on a leadoff hit by pitch to score its first run in the bottom of the first and then plated the go-ahead run in the eighth after a leadoff walk.
Bucknell senior outfielder Bob Donato had two hits in game one and one in game two to extend his hitting streak to 19 games. He is just eight games shy of the program record of 27 that is held by Kevin Silverman (1995) and Randy Ruger (1969-70). Donato is hitting a team-best .414 this year and 16 of his 36 hits have gone for extra bases.
All three games in this weekend's series have been decided by one run. The Bison defeated the Hawks 4-3 in game one Friday afternoon.
Bucknell and Saint Joseph's will wrap up their four-game series Sunday with a single game starting at 1 p.m.