Bucknell Baseball Splits with Lafayette, Falls Short of Postseason Berth
April 29, 2012
EASTON, Pa. - The Bucknell baseball team needed to sweep Sunday's doubleheader at Lafayette to earn a Patriot League Tournament spot for the fifth consecutive year. The Bison captured game two by a 10-4 score, but that followed a 6-2 loss in game one that eliminated them from postseason contention. Bucknell concluded its 2012 campaign with a 21-28 overall record, including 7-13 in Patriot League play.
The Bison finished the season in a tie for fourth place in the Patriot League standings with the Leopards (14-32-1, 7-13), but Lafayette earned the postseason berth thanks to winning three of the four games this weekend.
Sunday's doubleheader marked the final games in the illustrious 31-year head coaching career of Bison leader Gene Depew. Depew, a 1971 Bucknell graduate, will retire as the program's all-time leader in wins with 591.
The Bison started senior left-hander Ryan Ebner (3-6) in Sunday's game one. He had allowed three earned runs over his last four starts (23.0 innings), but he gave up a three-run home run to Brad Hopek in the bottom of the first and three more runs in the bottom of the third. All six runs were scored with two outs. Ebner, who pitched a complete game, allowed five hits in the first and third innings and just three in the other four innings.
Bucknell's offense posted six hits and Lafayette committed two errors, but the Bison only pushed across single runs in the fourth and six frames of the seven-inning game. Both runs scored on one-out groundouts by Corey Furman and Colby Vanderbeck.
Freshman Toby Schwartz (1-3) earned his first win of the year for the Leopards as he logged 5.1 innings and gave up six hits, two runs and three walks while striking out four. Chris Boyce pitched the final 1.2 innings and retired all five hitters he faced to clinch the postseason berth for Lafayette.
Travis Clark was 2-for-3 in game one to lead the Bucknell offense.
With the Patriot League Tournament berths and matchups decided, game two featured plenty of seniors in the Bison lineup. Eight of the team's 10 seniors saw action in the game with only game-one starter Ebner and reliever Alex Cillo, who pitched Saturday, not entering the game.
Senior Russell Seidell (3-3) received the start on the mound in game two and allowed just two hits, one walk and three unearned runs in 6.0 innings to earn his third win of the season. Classmate Jack Boehm, who had an RBI single off high school teammate Jeff Snell in the ninth inning in his first career at bat, pitched the final 3.0 innings and yielded two hits and one run to earn his first career save.
Bucknell pounded out 15 hits in the game, led by Scott Reed, who was 3-for-5 with five RBIs. He posted a pair of two-run singles and another RBI single to account for half of the team's runs. Bob Donato, Robb Scott and Mark Figgie also added two hits apiece. Scott and Luke Lombardi each drove in a pair of runs.
The Bison jumped out to a 5-0 lead as they scored an unearned run in the second and four in the third. The big hits in the third were a two-run single by Reed, an RBI ground out by Lombardi and an RBI single by Scott.
Lafayette finally got to Seidell in the bottom of the fifth and scored three unearned runs in the frame thanks to a pair of Bison errors. Seidell had pitched to the minimum number of hitters over the first four innings thanks to a first-inning double play following a first-inning leadoff walk.
Bucknell tacked on two more runs in the sixth, two in the seventh and one in the ninth.
The Leopards committed four errors in the nightcap and used six pitchers. Starter Connor Ortolf (1-3) was tagged with the loss after allowing eight hits, five runs and three walks in three innings.