Baseball Advances to Patriot League Championship Series
Army West Point Baseball defeated Lafayette, 7-3 on May 16 at Doubleday Field to win the Patriot League Championship Divisional Semifinal series. The Black Knights advance to the championship series at Lehigh set for May 26-28.
The Black Knights were fueled by a clutch pitching performance from firstie Ray Bartoli, who nearly went the distance, tossing 8.1 innings, allowing just three runs (two earned) on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts. He gave way to Tyler Pritchard as the Black Knights played the matchups in the top of the ninth. Pritchard finished things off as he got the only batter he faced to hit into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Offensively the Black Knights got on the board early and often. They tacked two runs on in the first and another two in the second inning to jump out to a 4-1 lead. They never relinquished that lead, and the game was blown open in the bottom of the sixth inning as Cam Cerruto mashed his first home run of the year, a three-run shot to left to make it 7-1, Black Knights.
The Leopards added a run in the sixth and a run in the seventh but that was all they would be able to tack on against Bartoli and Pritchard. Kevin Dubrule was also outstanding at the dish for the Black Knights on the day, driving in three of the Black Knights' first four runs. Hunter Meade also looking comfortable at the plate in the leadoff spot, tallying a team-high three hits as he went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
Lafayette starter Jake Bloss took the loss, tossing 5.1 innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Reliever Jacob Ciccone tossed 2.1 scoreless down the stretch but the damage had already been done.
The Black Knights will travel to Lehigh for the championship best-of-three series, starting Wednesday, May 26 at 2pm ET. Game two is set for Thursday, May 27 at 2pm ET and the if necessary, game three is scheduled for Friday, May 28 at 2pm ET.