Walk-Off Single by Krentzman in Game Two Propels Bucknell Baseball to Doubleheader Sweep of Lehigh
April 15, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Freshman Rob Krentzman's walk-off single to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday's game two vs. Lehigh gave the Bucknell baseball team a 7-6 victory over the Mountain Hawks and helped the Bison to a sweep of the doubleheader. Ryan Ebner pitched a three-hit shutout in game one as Bucknell won by a 6-0 margin, its first shutout since last year's Patriot League Tournament.
Krentzman was 3-for-7 on the day with four RBIs, including the game-winner in the nightcap. Lehigh (14-26-1, 3-9 Patriot League) had scored two runs in the top of the ninth off Alex Cillo (3-0) to tie the score at 6-6 and set up Krentzman's heroics.
A one-out double to right center by Bob Donato got the ninth-inning rally started for Bucknell, which evened its record at 19-19 overall and 6-6 in Patriot League play as it took three of the four games in the weekend series. David Duffett, who was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and three RBIs in game two, grounded out to second, advancing Donato to third. Krentzman, who had driven in two runs earlier in the game on sac flies, then lined a 2-2 pitch over the head of second baseman John Elson to give the Bison the victory.
Game two was a back-and-forth affair throughout as Bucknell went up 1-0 in the first. Lehigh then took a 3-1 lead in the third, but two runs in the bottom of the third for the Bison tied the score at 3-3. The Mountain Hawks then went up 4-3 in the top of the fifth before Bucknell re-took the lead (6-4) with three runs in the bottom of the frame.
While Krentzman's single won it for Bucknell, Ryan Gajdos was nearly the hero for Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks loaded the bases with two outs against Cillo, who was looking for his seventh save of the year. Gajdos stepped to the plate and grounded a single through the right side for a two-run, game-tying single. Pinch runner Josh Flyer easily scored from third. Another pinch runner, Lance Kirschenbaum, rounded third and headed home. Right fielder Gerry Runyan's throw came home and was on time, but slightly high, as Kirschenbaum slid under a falling Justin Meier's tag to tie the score.
The top of the lineup was key for Bucknell in the nightcap as leadoff hitter Donato (2-for-4, 2 runs), No. 2 hitter Duffett (3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBI) and No. 3 hitter Krentzman (2-for-3, 3 RBI) combined for seven of the team's 11 hits. Duffett was particularly impressive with three extra-base hits, including two triples, in his first three plate appearances.
Dan Goldstein got the game-two start for the Bison and pitched 4.2 innings, yielding six hits and four runs. Back-to-back two out doubles by Brendan McGaheran and Gajdos that gave Lehigh a 4-3 lead in the fifth knocked him from the game. Russell Seidell came in and allowed just three baserunners in 2.2 innings of work and was in line for his third win of the year before Lehigh's ninth-inning comeback.
The Mountain Hawks used six pitchers in game two with reliever Dan Ciccone (0-3) giving up the winning hit to Krentzman, who is now hitting .360 on the year and is 9-for-19 over his last five games.
Ebner, the 2011 Patriot League Pitcher of the Year, was the story in game one as he pitched Bucknell's first shutout of the year. It was the first solo shutout by a Bison pitcher since Dylan Seeley had a pair down the stretch in 2010.
The Mountain Hawks did not have a runner reach third base the entire seven-inning game against Ebner, who walked three and struck out two, improved to 3-5 on the season.
The Bison gave Ebner all the run support he would need in the first three innings. An RBI single by Krentzman put them on the board in the first, while a two-run single by Matt Lamore in the second pushed the lead to 3-0. Travis Clark then led off the third with his first homer of the season, and the fifth of his career. Lamore then drove in Scott Reed with an RBI double to left.
An RBI single by Runyan in the sixth rounded out the scoring for Bucknell, which left two runners in scoring position in both the fourth and fifth innings.
Lehigh starter Colin Gotzon (1-4) suffered the loss as he walked three hitters in 1.1 innings. Overall, three Mountain Hawk pitchers issued six walks in the contest.
Clark was 3-for-4 in game one and Lamore was 2-for-3 as they combined for five of Bucknell's nine hits.
Thanks to Sunday's hitting success, three different Bison now own hitting streaks of at least five games. Duffett has hit in a team-high six straight, while Reed and Krentzman have five-game streaks intact.
Bucknell's doubleheader sweep was its first since winning both games against James Madison on Feb. 25. The Bison have also now won three games in a row for the first time since claiming four in a row from March 17-24.
Bucknell, which will play nine of its final 11 games away from Depew Field, will travel to Penn State for a 6:05 p.m. game Wednesday.