The Daily Item

WEST POINT, N.Y. — Big offensive outputs in the third and seventh innings propelled No. 1 Army to a 20-5 win over No. 2 Bucknell in the first game of the 2023 Patriot League Baseball Championship Series on Sunday afternoon at Doubleday Field.

Game two of the best-of-three series today at Army. If Bucknell wins, a third game will be played Tuesday.

The Black Knights posted 19 hits, including eight during a 10-run bottom of the third and four during an 8-run bottom of the seventh. The Bison racked up double-digit hits as well but left 13 runners stranded, including three in the top of the sixth and three more in the top of the seventh.

Bucknell’s Jacob Corson put together a 3-for-4 day at the plate and broke the scoring open with a solo home run in the top of the first inning. Sean Keys also homered for the Bison and walked twice. Army sent three over the fence and finished the day with five doubles.

After Army evened the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the second inning, Bucknell regained the lead with its best offensive showing in the top of the third. With one away, Anthony Sherwin, Corson and Grant Voytovich all singled in succession, and Tyler Dunn drove in Corson on a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1 in favor of the Orange & Blue.

The Black Knights’ bats came alive in the bottom half of the third, as they opened the frame with six consecutive hits before Will Greer entered the game and interrupted the barrage with a strikeout for Bucknell’s first out. Army continued, however, as another runner was walked in, a single up the middle scored two more, and a grand slam pushed the lead to 11-3. Maxwell then entered, and the Bison defense turned a double play to end the inning.

Keys’ two-run homer in the top of the fifth got Bucknell back in striking distance, but they were the final runs the Bison would score.

The Black Knights capitalized on four walks and three Bucknell errors in the bottom of the seventh and added a pair of doubles to make it a 19-5 game, and they added one more home run the following inning.

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