Army baseball back in NCAAs

Last weekend the Army dealt a death blow to rival Navy's NCAA hopes. This weekend, for the second season in a row, the Black Knights sent Holy Cross packing to earn a trip to baseball's Big Dance.

Last weekend the Army dealt a death blow to rival Navy's NCAA hopes. This weekend, for the second season in a row, the Black Knights sent Holy Cross packing to earn a trip to baseball's Big Dance.

Army swept past Patriot League regular season champion Holy Cross 9-4 and 5-4 on Sunday to win the league tournament championship.

In game one Chris Rowley went nine innings striking out four and walking just one while scattering 11 hits to pick up his ninth win of the season. Mark McCants, Patrick Mescher, Jacob Page and Andrew Johnson each had two hits for the Black Knights.

In the second game Army sophomore Alex Robinett (7-3) pitched for 5.2 innings allowing five hits and seven walks while striking out seven. Brian Hapeman finished up the game, striking out two and allowing Holy Cross just two hits and no runs. Army third baseman Harold Earls had four hits and DH Mark McCants added three hits and three RBIs to pace the Black Knights.

It was Army's seventh Patriot League Tournament Championship. The Black Knights also won tourney titles in 1997, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2009, and 2012.

This will be the Black Knight's sixth NCAA baseball regional appearance. West Point also played in NCAA regionals in 2000, 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2012. In 1997 Army lost a 3-game NCAA play in series to Harvard after winning the PL title.

Army, expected to be a No. 4 seed, will learn of its NCAA Regional assignment on Monday, May 27 at noon (ESPNU). Last year Army traveled to Virginia as a No. 4 seed where Oklahoma ended the Black Knights season. In 2009 Army was also assigned a No. 4 seed. That year the Black Knights eliminated the No. 2 and 3 seeds and nearly upset No. 1 Texas in final game of the Army season.

It has been a truly amazing turnaround for a team that got off to an 0-7 start to the season. The coaching performance in 2013 by Joe Sottolano and his staff is the finest yet and that's saying a lot considering some previous outstanding Army teams fielded under Sottolano.
Game 1
            1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9  R   H E
ARMY        3 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 1  9- 11 0
HOLY CROSS  2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1  4- 11 5

Game 2
            1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9  R   H E
HOLY CROSS  0 0 1 0 1 2 0 0 0  4-  7 3
ARMY        1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 1  5-  8 1

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