CBB Visit: Bucknell sweeps Doubleheader to win Patriot League Crown

DougShribmanBucknell The Holy Cross Crusaders entered the final day of the Patriot League Championship Series with a 1-0 lead in the best of three series.

Game 2 of the series (first game on Saturday) saw Holy Cross send Matt Shapiro to the mound with a 4-3 record and a 5.33 ERA while Bucknell countered with Trey Frehler who was 4-6 with a 6.82 ERA.

Both pitchers would get into early grooves as the game would remain scoreless to the bottom of the third inning when Bucknell would break the seal. David Duffett got a fastball down the heart of the plate which he deposited over the left field wall to put the Bison up 1-0 after three innings. Doug Shribman extended the lead in the bottom of the fourth with a homer over the left center field fence on a 3-2 pitch which gave the Bison a 2-0 lead. Duffett would come through again in the fifth inning as he hit his second homer of the game over the left-center field fence to give Bucknell the 3-0 lead through five innings.

The Holy Cross offense finally broke through in the top of the sixth against Bucknell starter Trey Fahler as Eric Oxford would bring home John Sills on a sacrifice fly and Matt Perry would come home on an RBI single from Steve Tkowski to put the Crusaders down 3-2. The Crusaders would score another run in the top of the seventh when Alex Maldonado led off the inning with a bunt single. He would move up the second on a passed ball. After a Jack Laurendeau groundout to short for the first out of the inning, Maldonado was still at second when John Sills would hit a ball behind second base which would put runners on the corners with 1 out. Matt Perry would come through with a single between first base and second to bring home Maldonado with the tying run.

The game would remain tied until the bottom of the eighth inning when the Bison got a two out walk to Drew Constable. Bob Donato followed with a double off the left-center field wall which brought Constable around from first base with the lead run. The cutoff throw from Holy Cross shortstop Alex Maldonado would bounce in front of the plate but HC catcher Stephen Wadsworth would drop the ball as he went to tag Constable which let him score the potential winning run.

Holy Cross would go down in order against Ryan Ebner who pitched the last 2.2 innings allowing only 1 hit and striking out 3 batters as he upped his record to 2-0. Ryan George picked up the loss as he went 3.1 innings allowing only 2 hits but that huge run to put his record at 3-5 on the year.

Game 3 of the Patriot League Championship Series saw Bucknell send Jack Boehm to the hill as he was 4-3 with a 5.62 ERA in 11 starts while Holy Cross sent Matt Croglio got the start with a 1-3 record and a 8.48 ERA. Holy Cross had to use Croglio as number 3 starter as Chris Blanchard who would have gotten the start but was nursing an arm injury that held him out of pitching all weekend.

The Bison would jump all over Croglio in the first inning as BJ LaRosa and Ben Yoder got back to back singles. Andrew Brouse would strikeout for the second out of the inning bringing Doug Shribeman to the plate. He would get a 2-2 breaking ball that sat in the middle of the plate which he deposited over the center field fence for his second homer of the day and give Bucknell the 3-0 lead.

The game remained 3-0 until the bottom of the second inning when Stephen Wadsworth would single to third and Eric Oxford would walk to put runners on first and second with no outs. Steven Tkowski would hit a fastball high and long over the left field fence to tie up the game for the Crusaders at 3.

The game remained tied until the bottom of the fourth when Eric Oxford would lead off the inning with a homer over the right field fence which narrowly missed the large scoreboard to give the Crusaders the 4-3 lead. In the same inning, Jake Laurendeau had a two out double to center field which brought in Alex Maldonado and Nick Ciardello for the fifth and sixth runs of the game for Holy Cross. After four innings, the Crusaders were leading the Bison 6-3.

The lead was short-lived as Bucknell would get three runs in the top of the fifth by having David Duffett reach on an error by HC shortstop Alex Maldonado and a single by Ben Allen to start the inning. Holy Cross would make a pitching change lifting starter Matt Croglio in favor of reliever Bobby Holmes. BJ LaRosa would lay down a perfect bunt to the pitcher to move the two runners into scoring position with one out. Duffett would score from third on a wild pitch to cut the HC lead to 6-4 and would cut it to 6-5 as Ben Allen would score from third on a Ben Yoder RBI groundout. Andrew Brouse would follow with a homer over the left-center field fence to tie the game back up at 6.

Holy Cross would get the lead back in the bottom of the fifth with a leadoff homer by Matt Perry to the opposite field. The game remained 7-6 until 7th inning when Bucknell would strike again.

BJ LaRosa started the 7th off with a walk as HC head coach Greg DiCenzo decided on a 2-0 count to LaRosa to lift Holmes in favor of John Pedrotty. Ben Yoder followed with a single to left field to put runners on first and second. Coach DiCenzo would then come out again to make another pitching change to bring in Ryan George. Andrew Brouse would lay down a perfect bunt to third base to move both runners into scoring position. Doug Shribman came to the plate now with first base open by the Crusaders would not decide to intentionally walk him. Shribman made two terrible swings at the first two pitches to him from George. The third pitch to him was a hanging slider that Shribman would put over the left field fence for his second homer of the game (third of the day) and bring his RBI total for the game to 6. The homer gave the lead back to the Bison as they led 9-7.

The game remained 9-7 until the ninth as the Bison got three unearned runs as a bad throw on a dropped third strike extended the inning which led to a run scoring on the play and a two run single to right field by Matt LaMore which expanded the Bucknell lead to 12-7.

Ryan Ebner would get the Crusaders out in the bottom of the ninth leaving one runner stranded as he picked up his second victory on the day. He went five innings in game 2 allowing only two hits and two walks as he upped his record to 3-0. John Pedrotty gets the loss without recording an out as he gave up one run on one hit.

We have included our postgame interviews below. Special thanks to Holy Cross Media Relations all weekend for an excellent event. They did a faboulous job with getting access to players and coaches.