Army, Lehigh, Holy Cross, & Bucknell To Vie For NCAA Bid
Center Valley, PA–The Patriot League Baseball Tournament field was finalized on Sunday, and the semifinal matchups on the weekend of May 15-16 will present rematches of series on the final weekend as No. 4 Bucknell visits No. 1 Army and No. 3 Holy Cross is at No. 2 Lehigh.
The Black Knights had already secured their place as the top overall seed in the field coming into the weekend, and were joined by Lehigh, Holy Cross and Bucknell. The Mountain Hawks and Crusaders each earned their berth on Saturday, while Lehigh clinched the No. 2 seed with a 5-2 win over Holy Cross in the opener of Sunday’s doubleheader. Lehigh won three of four in the weekend series. The final spot in the field was up for grabs entering Sunday’s contest, with Bucknell needing a victory over Army to have a chance to clinch the spot. That win came in the opener, as junior Dylan Seeley threw a two-hit complete-game shutout and Doug Shribman homered in a 1-0 triumph. Army won the nightcap and took three of four games in the series.
The semifinals are best-of-three matchups with a doubleheader on May 15 and a single game, if necessary, on May 16. The winners move on to the Patriot League Championship series at the site of the higher seed on May 22-23.
Outstanding Year in West Point
Army capped an outstanding regular season by winning three of four games from Bucknell over the weekend. The Black Knights earned their sixth regular-season crown since the Patriot League went to a one-division format in 1995, and third consecutive regular-season title. They clinched the outright title for the fifth time, adding to previous instances in 1997, 2004, 2005 and 2008. Army’s 16-4 Patriot League record and four-game advantage in the standings were each the best totals since Lafayette went 17-3 and won by four and a half games in 2007. The Black Knights are in the Patriot League Tournament for the fourth year in a row, and will enjoy home-field advantage at Doubleday Field where they are 14-3 this season. Army won every Patriot League series it played this year, taking three of four games four times and sweeping Lehigh.
Impressive Turnaround in Bethlehem
Picked to finish sixth in the preseason poll, Lehigh finished off its best season since 2006 by winning three of four games against Holy Cross over the weekend to take the No. 2 seed in the League Tournament. The Mountain Hawks are in the postseason for the first time since winning the League title in 2006. Lehigh had only won a total of 13 League games in the past three years before going 12-8 this season. It has an 11-3 home record, and went 7-1 at home against League foes.
Three in a Row For Crusaders, Bison
Holy Cross and Bucknell have each advanced to the Patriot League Tournament for the third straight season. The Crusaders are the No. 3 seed for the third year in a row, and will look for their first Patriot League title. The Bison are the No. 4 seed for the second time in the past three years, which could be good news after winning the title from the No. 4 spot in 2008.