Bucknell Baseball Hosts Tuesday Doubleheader vs. St. Bonaventure
April 23, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - The Bucknell baseball team will welcome St. Bonaventure to Depew Field for a doubleheader on Tuesday. First pitch of the first game is slated for 2 p.m. with the second contest following after a brief intermission. Both ends of the doubleheader are scheduled for seven innings.
The Bison are coming off of an 0-4 trip to Army, which remains undefeated in Patriot League play. Bucknell (19-24, 6-10 Patriot League) stands third in the Patriot League after the weekend series that featured great pitching performances from both teams. The Bison pitchers posted a 1.82 ERA against Army, allowing only seven earned runs in the four games.
Bucknell dropped the first two games of the series despite not allowing a single earned run. Sophomore lefty Dan Weigel pitched a complete game, allowing only four hits and one walk. Senior centerfielder Bob Donato collected the team's only hit, a double, in the contest. The nightcap featured more solid pitching by the Bison staff. Freshman righty Bryson Hough logged 7.1 innings and allowed two runs, both unearned, before senior Alex Cillo recorded the final two outs. Hough struck out five and walked none. Hough now has a 3.16 ERA and has pitched the second-most innings (51.1) on the staff, behind team-leading Weigel (65.2). Over his past five starts, Hough has thrown 37.2 innings and has recorded a 2.39 ERA. He has also struck out 23 and walked only five over that span and has lowered his season ERA by over two runs.
After losing Saturday's first game, the Bison had a chance to get a win in the series finale, but dropped the final game of the series in a 15-inning nail-biter. Senior third baseman David Duffett went 3-for-8 and collected the team's only RBI on the day. Senior lefty Ryan Ebner pitched six strong innings, allowing only one earned run. He allowed six hits, two walks, and struck out six in the start. Ebner has now pitched to a 1.17 ERA in his last four games. He has struck out 20 and walked eight in 23 innings over that span. He also owns a 2.23 ERA over his last seven starts. Cillo relieved Ebner in the seventh inning and pitched a tremendous seven innings. He allowed only two hits and one walk while striking out four in his longest outing since the 2011 Patriot League Tournament semifinals when he pitched eight innings of scoreless relief. The outing lowered his ERA to 2.95 and opponents batting average to .176.
Several Bucknell players are moving up the program's record books. Donato currently ranks first in Bison history in career doubles (55), second in at bats (655), third in total bases (340), fourth in home runs (23), games started (173) and games played (180), tied for fourth in hits (204), eighth in runs scored (128), and 10th in RBIs (104) and walks (64). Duffett is currently sixth in games played (166), tied for sixth in games started (157), seventh in at bats (561) and 14th in career hits (151). Cillo now ranks fifth in career saves (9) and third in career appearances (66).
The Bison will face a 16-15 St. Bonaventure squad on a three-game winning streak. The Bonnies are led by junior third baseman Billy Urban, senior right fielder Ryan Skellie, and senior left fielder Nick Brennen. Urban is batting .378 with 10 doubles, one home run, and 31 RBIs. Skellie is currently hitting .333 with two home runs and 19 RBIs and Brennen is batting .310 with 23 RBIs. The Bonnies hit .287 as a team and average 5.84 runs per game. Their pitching staff owns a 5.05 ERA.
Bucknell has a 7-17 all-time record against St. Bonaventure. The series dates back to 1913. The Bonnies beat the Bison in 2010 in both games of a doubleheader in Olean, N.Y. Donato went 3-for-7 in the two-game series with two runs and three RBIs. Classmate Matt Lamore went 2-for-3 with a double and one run scored in one game. The Bison last beat the Bonnies in 2005. The two teams were scheduled to meet last year at Depew Field, but weather forced the cancellation of the doubleheader.
The Bison will then travel to play Lafayette this weekend for their final regular season series before the Patriot League Tournament begins in mid-May. The series will feature Saturday and Sunday doubleheaders. First pitches are set for noon on April 28 and 29 in Easton, Pa.