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April 18th, 2012

Army takes four game sweep of rival Lafayette

Army's Logan Lee fired a one-hit shutout in the first game.
West Point - Logan Lee fired a one-hit shutout in the first game, and Alex Robinett threw seven scoreless in the nightcap as Army completed its fourth straight four-game weekend sweep by taking both games of a Patriot League doubleheader from Lafayette on Sunday afternoon at Doubleday Field.

Lee came within two outs of pitching the first perfect game in Academy history, and Army’s bats came to life early and often as the Black Knights cruised to an 8-0 victory in the opener. Robinett then limited Lafayette to just four hits over seven innings en route to a 6-0 Army win in the series finale.

Kevin McKague led Army offensively during today’s sweep, going 5-for-8 with four runs batted in and two runs scored. Alex Jensen finished the doubleheader with four hits and two runs scored as the Black Knights outhit the Leopards 25-6 over the two games.

Army (28-9, 12-0 PL) clinched a spot in next month’s Patriot League Tournament following this weekend’s action. The Black Knights, who have won 23 of their last 28 games, enjoy a four-game lead over Holy Cross (8-4 PL) in the conference standings with two league weekends remaining on the schedule. Army, which has swept three consecutive Patriot League weekends for the first time since joining the conference in 1993, can finish no lower than third in the final standings.
Lafayette (10-26-1, 4-8 PL) falls into sole possession of fourth place in the Patriot League standings following today’s twinbill results. The Leopards have lost five in a row and nine of their last 11 games.

Lee (4-1) was masterful throughout his start, retiring the first 19 Lafayette batters of the game. He struck out four, did not walk a batter and did not allow a hit until there was one out in the top of the seventh. The senior lefty from Laguna Niguel, Calif., carried a perfect game into the seventh inning, but Thomas Dunleavy broke up that bid when he reached on an error. Lee’s no-hitter remained intact until Kevin Casey grounded a single through the left side of the infield. With runners on first and second, Lee finished off his second shutout of the season by retiring Bobby Fargnoli and Tim Lazor.

Army jumped all over Lafayette in the opener, scoring seven runs over the first three innings to provide Lee with all of the run support he would need. McKague and Daniel Cortes were both 3-for-4 in the contest, while Harold Earls went 2-for-3 with two runs batted in.

The Black Knights took an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, scoring three runs on four hits. Cortes, McKague and Mark McCants hit consecutive one-out singles to plate the first run, and Earls’ two-run double down the right field line scored two more.

Army scored a pair of runs on three hits in the second inning to extend its advantage to 5-0.

Lafayette starter Derek Gussaroff (4-4) was touched for seven runs (six earned) on nine hits over 2.2 innings and was saddled with the loss.

The second game mirrored the first contest in that Army received seven strong innings from its starter and that the Black Knights pushed across several early runs.
Robinett (3-1) struck out five and yielded just four hits and one walk in one of his best outings of the season. The freshman right-hander faced only five over the minimum during his stint on the mount, and allowed just three Leopards to reach second base. Manny Fernandez pitched a perfect eighth inning and McKague struck out the side in the ninth to nail down the victory.

McKague sparked the Army offense in the nightcap, going 2-for-4 with three RBI. His two-run homer in the third inning gave the Black Knights all the run support they would need. Jensen finished 3-for-4 in the second game, while Price and Andrew Johnson each recorded two hits apiece.

Connor Ortolf (1-1) surrendered five runs on seven hits in 3.1 innings of work and took the loss for Lafayette in the nightcap. Casey and Brad Hopek both went 2-for-4 to pace the Leopards offensively.

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