No-Hitter, Marathon Game Headline Final Day of Bucknell Baseball Series at Army
April 21, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Bucknell pitchers Ryan Ebner, Alex Cillo and Russell Seidell performed well enough for the Bison to win game two of Saturday's doubleheader at Army, but an RBI single by the Black Knights' Cody Murtle in the bottom of the 15th inning gave Army the 2-1 win and a sweep of the twinbill. The Black Knights captured game one by an 8-0 margin behind a no-hitter from Logan Lee, who carried a perfect game into the seventh, and final, inning.
The game two marathon is tied for the second-longest game in program history. Bucknell's (19-24, 6-10 Patriot League) only longer game was a 16-inning affair against Navy in last May's Patriot League Tournament. Two other times the Bison have played 15-inning contests.
Army (33-9, 16-0 PL) captured all four games in the Friday-Saturday series, but three of the contests were decided by one run. Outside of Saturday's eight-run game one, the Bison were outscored by a slim 5-2 margin.
The score in game two was tied 1-1 from the top of the third inning on as Bucknell scored its run in the third and Army plated its run in the bottom of the first.
Game two starters Ebner and Alex Robinett (Army) both gave way to their respective bullpens in the seventh inning. The bullpens came through as Cillo proceeded to pitch seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and one walk. Only once did he allow more than one baserunner in an inning, and that was due to an intentional walk.
Army reliever Gunnar Carroll matched Cillo by pitching seven shutout innings as well. He did give up eight hits and three walks while striking out eight. Three times he worked his way out of bases-loaded jams, including twice in extra innings.
The Bison loaded the bases four times from the eighth inning on, yet were unable to score. Back-to-back two-out singles by Gerry Runyan and Mark Figgie, followed by a walk by Justin Meier loaded the bases in the eighth, but Carroll struck out Luke Lombardi to end the frame.
Bucknell loaded the bases with none out in the top of the 12th, but Murtle gunned down Bob Donato at home when he was trying to score the go-ahead run on a sac fly to halt the rally.
The very next inning the Bison loaded the bases again, this time with two outs. Lombardi and Robb Scott reached on back-to-back singles. Donato then received the first of two intentional walks that loaded the bases, but Carroll struck out Duffett to end the inning.
Bucknell again loaded the bases in the 15th when Figgie led off with a walk. Meier tried to bunt him over, but ended up reaching on a throwing error by relief pitcher Manny Fernandez (4-0), who pitched two scoreless innings for the win. With runners on first and third and none out, Fernandez got Lombardi to pop out to second and then he struck out Scott. After an intentional walk to Donato, Duffett popped out to third, sending the game to the bottom of the 15th.
The Bison left 19 runners on base in the game, including 12 from the eighth inning on. Three times during that span they left the bases loaded.
The setup of game two was eerily similar to last year's 16-inning win over Navy. In that contest, Ebner and Cillo both pitched eight shutout innings as Bucknell came away with a low-scoring 1-0 win. This time Ebner allowed one run in six innings, while Cillo did not allow any in seven innings of work.
Army scored its run in the bottom of the 15th after Seidell retired the first two hitters in the frame. Kevin McKague got the rally started with a single up the middle. An error by Duffett allowed JT Watkins to reach, setting up Murtle's game-winning single to right field. Army scored 13 runs during the series and six were unearned, including McKague's winning run.
Bucknell's run came in the third inning when Scott hit a one-out single to right. He moved to second on a Donato walk and then scored on a Duffett single, one of three in the contest for the third baseman. Donato had four walks in the game, including three intentional passes.
The Black Knights scored their first run in the bottom of the first when Ebner walked Daniel Cortes. A McKague single, one of three in the game for him, moved him to third and he later scored on a sac fly by Watkins.
Just three of the 23 hits in the game went for extra bases. There were six sacrifice bunts by the two teams.
Lee (5-1) was the story of game one as he carried a perfect game into the seventh inning before walking leadoff hitter Donato. Lee then retired the next three hitters to finish the contest pitching to one hitter over the minimum. He struck out seven.
Army scored all the runs it would need when Mark McCants hit a one-out, three-run homer to right in the bottom of the first. The Black Knights tacked on single unearned runs in the fourth and fifth frames before putting three more runs on the board in the sixth on a three-run triple by Murtle, who had two hits in each end of the doubleheader.
Five of Bucknell's last nine losses have been by just one run, and seven of its last nine have been by two runs or less. Army has now swept four consecutive Patriot League four-game series.
The Bison will return home Tuesday, April 24, to host St. Bonaventure in a 2 p.m. doubleheader at Depew Field.