Baseball splits series with Lafayette, falls to Penn State

Anslee Krouch, Staff Writer

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After a tough opening loss on April 13, the men’s baseball team bounced back to split a four-game series against Lafayette over the weekend of April 16-17. In the Penn State game, the Bison lost 8-1 with their only run being scored by Brett Smith ’17 on a sac fly by Spencer Stokes ’16. Christian Tailor ’19 started on the mound for the first two innings. However, the Bison emptied their bullpen with Austin Zimmerman ’16, Max Kra ’16, Hunter Robichaux ’19, Tommy Gambon ’17, Mike Stephens ’18, and Danny Rafferty ’17 all pitching in relief.

The Orange and Blue then traveled to Easton, Pa. on April 16-17 for a four-game series. The Bison started strong with Andrew Andreychik ’16 starting on the mound and winning his third consecutive start. This was the 17th win of his career, moving him up to third place on the program’s all-time list. Andreychik had 10 strikeouts, allowing six hits, walking three batters, and only letting in one run in the fourth. Joe Ogren ’16, Sam Clark ’17, and Rafferty all scored in the top of the sixth. Smith also scored in the top of the seventh, thanks to a one-out single by Ogren.

Although the Bison fought hard, they could not manage to pull off the win on April 16. They tied the score in the top of the third with three runs, with a timely hit by Ogren prior to a two-run double by Clark. Lafayette answered with a run in the fourth and two more in the seventh. The Bison made a push in the ninth, when Evan Klugerman ’19 started with a walk. Mark Powell ’17, graduate student Alex O’Neill, and Smith followed with singles. Rafferty scored Powell with an infield single, pulling the Bison within on run. The rally fell short, with the Bison losing 6-5. Rafferty, Clark, and Ogren each had two hits. Clark finished the day with two RBIs. Smith extended his hitting streak to 12 games.

“Although going two-two wasn’t exactly what we wanted, we’re in a good position moving forward to make the playoffs and possibly be the one seed with series against Holy Cross and Navy coming up. We fought hard against Lafayette and were able to come back in game three after coming up short in game two,” Andreychik said.

The Bison started play on April 17 on a positive note, chalking up a 5-3 victory. Dan Keller ’16 started on the mound. He struck out four and walked four, and only allowed four hits and three runs. Connor Van Hoose ’18 closed the game with the first save of his career. The Orange and Blue were scoreless through six, but rallied in the seventh with the first three batters getting on base. Ogren and Stokes followed with RBI singles to narrow the gap to one run. Clark provided the game winner with a three-run double. Stokes was three-for-three at the plate.

The Bison lost their final game of the series 6-4 in the nightcap on April 17. Jack Grabek ’19 started on the mound, and the bullpen was active with Robichaux, Zimmerman, Gambon, and Rafferty pitching well in relief. Robichaux struck out four. The Bison closed the gap with Clark and Jon Mayer ’16 driving in runs. Not to be outdone, Smith followed suit with an inside-the-park home run. Stokes drove in another run in the eighth, scoring Chuckie Scales ’18.

“We’re hitting the ball really well right now, and our pitching is giving us opportunities to win day in and day out. I’m really excited about where we’re headed and look forward to facing some of the better teams in the conference to end the season,” Andreychik said.

On April 19, the Bison faced Penn State again in University Park, Pa. They could not pull off the win, as the final score was 9-5. The Bison had one run in the fourth scored by Klugerman off a ground out by Scales. The Bison scored four more in the seventh. Smith had an RBI single and Ogren hit a three-run inside-the-park homer. After starting pitcher P.J. Strahm ’19 left the mound, Van Hoose, Kra, Jack Schoenberger ’17, and Gambon only allowed four earned runs in the final 7.2 innings. The Bison’s overall record is now 16-24.

This Orange and Blue will host Holy Cross for a four-game series at Depew Field April 23-24.

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