Baseball swept in conference series: Leopards lose five straight games

Sophomore+pitcher+Kenny+Campbell+%28pictured%29+started+Saturday%E2%80%99s+second+game+for+the+Leopards.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Athletic+Communications%29

Sophomore pitcher Kenny Campbell (pictured) started Saturday’s second game for the Leopards. (Photo courtesy of Athletic Communications)

Daniel Figler

The Lafayette baseball team (12-6, 2-4) played a three game series against the Bucknell Bison (7-20, 4-7), coming up short in all three meetings over the weekend.

Lafayette entered the weekend just one place behind Bucknell in the Patriot League standings.

In the first game on Saturday, April 7, the Leopards took an early lead during the second inning after junior infielder Spencer Rouse and sophomore infielder Trey Durrah reached base. Junior first baseman Richard Villa’s base hit to centerfield was mishandled by the Bucknell outfield and the error brought Rouse home.

Sophomore pitcher Brett Kreyer pitched five scoreless innings and gave up four hits, but Bucknell was able to tie it in the sixth inning with an RBI double. A wild pitch with bases loaded brought home the game winning run in the seventh inning. Bucknell’s Connor Van Hoose pitched a complete, one run effort in the 2-1 walk-off win.

Sophomore pitcher Kenny Campbell started Saturday’s second game on the mound for the Leopards. Lafayette struck first in the second inning as Rouse managed to score for a second time on the day, this time after a wild pitch. Bucknell rallied back and put Lafayette down by a wide 7-1 margin. A late five-run rally from Lafayette, highlighted by sophomore infielder Mark Glover’s two RBI double and senior outfielder Luke Robinson’s homerun, was shut down by Bucknell who came away with the win after scoring two more.

Lafayette also lost on Sunday, April 8. The team gave up five runs, all unearned. Senior pitcher John Cain started for the Leopards and otherwise had a strong day. He threw for five innings and had five strikeouts. Bucknell took an early 1-0 lead, and two errors in the sixth inning allowed Bucknell to add four more. Missed opportunities left the Leopards scoreless until the seventh inning when a base hit from Rouse brought home Robinson.

Robinson has been a bright spot for the Leopards this season. Following Sunday’s game, the senior has reached base safely in 16 straight games. Robinson praised the scoreless pitching efforts from Kreyer and Cain.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t put up enough runs behind those two great outings, but it’s a good confidence booster when your starting pitchers go out and throw like that,” Robinson said.

Robinson said he hopes the team is able to stay competitive in conference play as they reach the halfway point of the season.

“We have Army up next, who’s been the best team in the league up until now, so it’s a great opportunity for us to not only gain some momentum but also to prove to ourselves that we can play with anyone in the conference despite a slow start,” he said.

Robinson pointed to focus as a key when starting off a series with a loss.

“If you drop game one of a weekend, you have to make sure everyone is on the same page in knowing that it’s over and game two, which is 45 minutes later, is just as important,” Robinson said. “Game three is the same way. Making sure everyone knows how important any one conference win can be is how we try to refocus everyone when we hit a tough spot.”

Lafayette’s struggles continued throughout this week. They lost a make-up game against Lehigh on Monday, 7-1. On Wednesday, a rally attempt came up short in a 4-2 game against Rutgers.

Following this wave of losses, Lafayette moves to 12-21 on the season and 2-8 against the Patriot League. Lafayette will play Army next in a home series this upcoming weekend. The first game starts at noon on Saturday, April 14 at Kamine Field.