Baseball Clinches 2021 Patriot League Championship Crown
The Black Knights earned their third Patriot League title in four seasons after taking the winner-takes-all game three of the Patriot League Championship series 6-1 yesterday afternoon, May 27.
On winning the 2021 Patriot League title and a spot in the NCAA Regionals, head coach Jim Foster said, “This one is extra special because of everything these guys have been through. You immediately think of the guys from last season who didn't get to play for a championship last year. This one is for them.”
Overall, the title is the 10th Patriot League Championship for the Black Knights and fifth since 2009. That is the most by any team since the league's inception in 1991.
The Black Knights and Mountain Hawks played a tight game two contest, where the Black Knights mustered just one run on five hits, while Lehigh's three runs came on just four hits in the pitcher's duel, but Lehigh came out on top in game two, 3-1, setting up the winner-takes-all game three.
Army starter in game two, Robbie Buecker took the loss, allowing three runs on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Reliever Connley Early tossed 5.0 scoreless down the stretch with six strikeouts and just one hit allowed to keep the Black Knights close, but the offense just could not come together against Lehigh starter Matt Svanson who threw 8.0 complete of one-run, five-hit baseball before giving way to Will Grisack for the save.
Due to impending weather in the Bethlehem area expected the following day, both sides agreed to a doubleheader for games two and three, so the winner-takes-all game three started at approximately 3:45pm ET.
On the team's mindset from game two to game three, firstie captain Ray Bartoli said, “Today with a double header we needed to have a short memory, after dropping the first game we needed to sweep that game and move on quickly to game three.” Read more.