March 31, 2016
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EASTON, Pa. – After 20 non-conference games to begin the 2016 season, Lafayette gets its Patriot League schedule underway this weekend with a trip to New York to take on Army West Point. The teams will square off in doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday, with Game 1 set to begin at 1 p.m. each afternoon.
LAFAYETTE AT A GLANCE
The Leopards take a 6-14 record into the weekend, with 16 of those 20 contests played away from Kamine Stadium. Steven Cohen and Michael Coniglio are the lone Lafayette players to start in every game, and each have been productive in their time on the field.
Cohen leads the team with a .382 average, a .461 on-base percentage, 19 RBIs and nine doubles. He has also been successful on 6-of-7 stolen base attempts. Coniglio, the reigning Patriot League Player of the Week, is batting .321 with a team-high 18 runs scored and nine walks and a conference-best 11 stolen bases. Newcomers Dan Leckie (.327 BA, 6 2B) and AJ Kloehn (.318 BA, .455 SLG) have also had strong starts to the season.
On the mound, junior David Bednar has limited the opposition to four runs over his past three starts, pitching at least seven innings in each of those outings. Bednar holds a 3.62 ERA overall, striking out 30 batters over 27 1/3 innings and limiting opponents to a .210 average.
Fellow starters Mitch Leeds and John Cain, meanwhile, are coming off their best starts of the season, with the pair combining to allow two earned runs over 12 innings last weekend against Penn. Freshman David Giusti has played a key role as well. Pitching primarily out of the bullpen, Giusti has a 2.95 ERA over 21 1/3 innings, with opponents hitting only .182 against him.
SCOUTING ARMY WEST POINT
The Black Knights have dropped five of their past six contests to move to 9-14 on the year. Shortstop Kris Lindner hit .343 last spring, and he is once again among the conference leaders with a team-high .333 average and eight stolen bases so far in 2016. John McCarthy is the top power threat, with the sophomore outfielder batting .325 with three home runs and 23 RBIs.
Army has struggled on the mound, with none of its four primary starters registering an ERA under 5.64. The Black Knights have allowed 8.09 runs per game this spring, and opponents are hitting .323 through the team’s first 23 contests.
Army holds a 76-63-2 advantage in a series which dates all the way back to 1896. The Maroon and White, though, took all four games in Easton last year, sweeping the season series for the first time since their 2007 Patriot League Championship-winning campaign. Coniglio (.600 BA) and Tyler Hudson (.538 BA) led an offense which outscored the Black Knights 35-17 on the weekend. Lafayette had dropped 19 games in a row prior to last year’s sweep.
AROUND THE PATRIOT LEAGUE
Holy Cross travels to Navy and Lehigh plays at Bucknell in the other two Patriot League series this weekend. The Mids, who finished first in the regular season standings in 2015, are currently the lone squad over .500 with an overall record of 19-6-1.
Lafayette will have two midweek matchups at Kamine, welcoming Penn for a consolation Liberty Bell Classic tilt at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday and hosting Penn State the following afternoon at the same time. Both games will be streamed live on the Patriot League Network.