Dane Grandizio, Ben Yoder Named Bucknell Baseball Captains

Ben Yoder will share team captain duties with Dane Grandizio.
Ben Yoder will share team captain duties with Dane Grandizio.

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Senior Dane Grandizio (Bloomsburg, Pa./Bloomsburg) and junior Ben Yoder (Belleville, Pa./Indian Valley) were named Bucknell baseball team captains recently. The two veteran All-Patriot League players were voted captains by their teammates.

“I am very pleased with the team’s selection of captains,” said Bison head coach Gene Depew, who enters the 2009 campaign two wins shy of 500 in his career. “Both Dane and Ben are outstanding players, but more importantly they are exemplary young men. They both possess a great work ethic to go along with their athletic ability, and that combination makes them successful players. They have rightfully earned the respect of their teammates and I am expecting them to provide leadership for our team this year.”

Grandizio, an outfielder and a two-year starter, earned his second consecutive Second Team All-Patriot League selection last spring when he hit .333 with four home runs and 35 runs batted in. He finished the season tied for the team lead with 66 hits, which places him third in program single-season history. Grandizio is also sixth on the Bison single-season at-bats list (198).

A center fielder, Grandizio hit toward the top of the lineup last year and led the team with 13 stolen bases in 17 attempts. He tied for third on the team with 33 runs scored and posted a nine-game hitting streak at one point.

Grandizio enters the 2009 campaign with a .313 career batting average, four homes runs and 53 RBIs in his career. His 22 stolen bases place him nine shy of joining the Bucknell top-10 list in that category.

Yoder will enter his third year as the starting second baseman for the Bison coming off a Second Team All-Patriot League selection. A consistent hitter, Yoder posted a .318 batting average last year to rank fourth on the team. He posted 14 multiple-hit outings and logged eight multiple-RBI games. Overall, Yoder scored 24 runs, drove in 26 and tallied 41 hits in 2008.

Like Grandizio, Yoder typically hit in the first or second spot in the batting order last year. He excelled in the second hole, hitting .438 (21-48). A Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and the Patriot League Rookie of the Year in 2007, Yoder recorded a nine-game hitting streak covering the final games of the regular season and the first contest of the Patriot League Tournament.

Grandizio and Yoder will attempt to lead Bucknell back to the NCAA Tournament in 2009. The Bison won the 2008 Patriot League Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament where they posted an impressive 7-0 win at No. 4 national seed Florida State. Bucknell’s 2009 campaign gets underway next Friday, Feb. 20, with the first game of a four-game set at Virginia.