By Chris McCree
The baseball team won two of its four games this past weekend during their two-day doubleheader series at Patriot League counterpart Navy. Taking game one 2-1 and then game four 15-7, the Bison looked like a completely different team each day but came away with two victories nonetheless, leaving them with a Patriot League record of 4-8.
Behind a spectacular pitching performance by Ryan Ebner ’12, the Bison started off the series with a 2-1 victory over the Midshipmen. The Bison fell behind first when Navy scored their only run of the game in the fourth inning, but their lead didn’t last long. After an RBI single and bases-loaded walk by Doug Shribman ’11 and Bob Donato ’12 respectively, the Bison took a one-run lead, and that was all the support that Ebner would need. Ebner finished out the game allowing just four hits along the way to improving to a team best 5-1 on the year.
“I thought game one was good to set the tone for us as a pitching staff. We really needed to step it up because last weekend we gave up too many runs,” Ebner said.
The following day, the Bison came away with another split doubleheader but in dramatically different fashion. Unlike their first set of games, the Bison relied heavily on their hitting on day two, recording a total of 20 runs compared to the four they totaled on day one.
Most of the 20 runs came in the Bison’s 15-7 domination in game four. The Bison received strong hitting performances from just about everyone in the lineup. Six different players recorded multi-hit games, with Travis Clark ’13 and Justin Meier ’14 each tallying four hits. Collectively, the Bison amassed a season-high 19 hits. After riding the pitchers earlier in the series, the Bison offense provided more than enough support in game four.
In game two, the Bison once again plated two runs, but it was not enough to match the Midshipmen who tallied five against starter Dylan Seeley ’11. Shribman gave the Orange and Blue an early lead with a first inning homerun, but they quickly lost their lead in the bottom of the inning and faced a deficit for most of the game. Seeley lasted five innings and was replaced by reliever Alex Cillo ’12 who gave the Bison 2.2 scoreless innings of relief, lowering his ERA to a team best 3.04.
In game three, the Bison lost in heartbreaking fashion as Navy’s Nick Driscoll hit a game-winning walk off single to seal a 6-5 victory for the Mids. During the extra inning thriller, Clark and Gerry Runyan ’12 put the Bison in good position, going a combined 6-for-8 with two RBIs, but it wasn’t enough for the Bison to hold off the Mids’ late charge. Reliever Cillo was charged with the loss; his one earned run marked the end of his impressive 24 scoreless inning streak.
“The weekend came down to the hitters who really did well the last game which tied the series,” Ebner said. “Game three was a big game but we fell just short on both ends, and it felt good to dominate them in game four.”
The Bison will continue Patriot League play against Lehigh this weekend, traveling to Bethlehem, Pa. for a pivotal four-game series which has major playoff implications.
“We were disappointed that we could not win all four games, but I think everyone played hard every out and stayed positive. I am confident we will finish strong this season,” Drew Constable ’11 said.