Bison baseball sweeps Lafayette in three-game series, fall to non-conference Towson

Michael Caruso, Senior Writer

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The Bison baseball team (10-21, 7-7 Patriot League) dominated in a three-game series against Lafayette on April 7-8 with scores of 2-1, 9-5, and 5-1. The biggest story of the series for the Orange and Blue involved pitching, as Connor Van Hoose ’18 and Jeff Gottesman ’19 combined for 17 strikeouts in 13 innings with just one unearned run on the first day. However, the Bison could not carry the momentum as they fell to Towson 10-3 on April 10 in a non-conference game.

The first game proved to be a low-scoring outing for both teams, as the Orange and Blue relied on efficient defensive execution to secure the victory. Throughout the game, Lafayette put Van Hoose in a number of uncomfortable situations, threatening to score with runners on base. However, he managed to escape every time and deliver in dominant form on the mound. With Van Hoose and Gottesman keeping the Bison in the game, it was up to the team to start delivering at the plate. JohnPaul Bell ’20 led the Bison to their first walk-off victory this year, as he stole home for the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Bison were in control throughout the second game against the Leopards. It was a big day at the plate, especially for Bell, who notched his fifth home run of the season and currently leads the Patriot League in that category. The Bison pulled out to a 7-1 advantage, but Lafayette closed the gap to 7-5 in one inning. The Orange and Blue then answered with a quick two runs in the next inning to put the game out of reach. The Bison stole a season-high eight bases, and with three-hit games from Evan Madigan ’20 and Chuckie Scales ’18, the Bison showed their strengths offensively.

In the third game, the highlight was Jack Grabek’s ’19 pitching. He managed to escape from many difficult situations on the mound, recording eight strikeouts in the contest and allowing zero earned runs, which all contributed to the Bison’s dominating defense. Lafayette made a number of mistakes that the Bison capitalized on, especially in the fourth inning, when the Orange and Blue tacked on four runs without hitting the ball due to six walks and two errors by the Leopards. Evan Klugerman ’19, Tyler Wincig ’20, and Luke Johnson ’18 all recorded RBI walks in the inning to give the Bison a comfortable lead for the rest of the game and to complete the weekend sweep.

“We had some great team wins this past weekend, but really need to step up against a good team like Holy Cross,” said Evan Madigan ’20. “Being able to win two or three games would be huge for us not only to bump us up in the current standings but also potentially get a home series in the playoffs. It should be a fun, hard-fought series.”

The Bison then traveled to Depew Field to take on out-of-conference opponent Towson, but they were unable to keep their momentum. The Tigers scored 10 runs on only seven hits, but were walked 15 times in the contest. Even though the Bison were on top in the first inning 1-0, they gave up six runs in the next innings, and from there, the Tigers capitalized on mistakes from the Bison. Wincig and Hunter Robichaux ’19, however, each pitched a scoreless inning of relief down the stretch.

The Orange and Blue will travel to Holy Cross on April 14-15 for a three-game series, trying to claim the third-place spot in the Patriot League from the Crusaders.

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