Baseball Opens League Play With Four Game Sweep over Navy

Jen Lee, Staff Writer

The baseball team swept Navy in a four-game home series this weekend to open Patriot League play. Thanks to strong pitching and swift bats, the Orange and Blue lifted their season record above .500. Starting pitchers Bryson Hough ’15 and Dan Weigel ’14 both earned wins on March 29, while Andrew Andreychik ’16 and Xavier Hammond ’15 led the Bison to victory on March 31.

Hough pitched 6.1 innings for the Bison in game one, allowing only five hits and one run. Reliever Tucker Rekucki ’15 came in with two men on and forced the Midshipmen batter to ground into a double play to clinch the Orange and Blue’s first victory, 2-1.

Weigel pitched through seven innings of steady rain, holding the Mids to only four hits and one run in the eventual 4-1 triumph. Setup man Mike Castellani ’17 entered with two men on and no outs to pitch a scoreless eighth, before Rekucki came in to close it out for his fifth save of the season. Brett Smith ’17 single-handedly posted almost half of the Bison’s hits in Saturday’s double-header, going 5-for-5 with a walk and a sacrifice bunt to help his team.

Starting game one on March 31 for the Bison, Andreychik continued his impressive performance thus far in the season, pitching a two-hitter in their 1-0 win over Navy with four strikeouts. This game marked Andreychik’s third straight shutout, extending his scoreless inning streak to 19.2. Smith scored the Bison’s only run in this game after stealing second off of his single to right in the bottom of the first, advancing to third on a fly ball by Corey Furman ’14 and eventually driven in by a well-placed sac fly by Joe Ogren ’16.

Hammond pitched his first complete game in game four, resulting in a 5-2 Orange and Blue victory. He allowed only three hits, with six strikeouts and zero walks. The Bison lost an early 2-0 lead in the fifth as the Mids capitalized on Bison errors to tie up the game. The Orange and Blue regained their footing in the sixth when Smith drew a two-out walk to start a rally. Furman followed with a single and Ogren walked to load up the bases for cleanup hitter Jon Mayer ’16. Mayer doubled down the left field line to clear the bases and give the Bison a 5-2 lead over Navy.

The combination of impressive pitching and clutch hitting showed promise for the future of Bison baseball this season. 

“We had a huge weekend where all 35 guys stepped up to play an important role and give us a strong 4-0 start to league play,” Spencer Stokes ’16 said.

The Bison look to build off of their impressive weekend performance with another four-game home series against Lehigh starting tomorrow.

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