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Baseball Notebook: Army looks to clinch fourth straight NCAA Tournament bid

The Black Knights will host Bucknell in a best two out of three series for the Patriot League tournament title in the midweek.

Army is only two wins away from its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance!

After sweeping Holy Cross over the weekend, the Black Knights will host Bucknell in the middle of the week in a best two out of three series for the Patriot League Tournament title.

Out west, another team is battling for their NCAA Tournament chances as Air Force needs to continue winning to make the Mountain West Tournament.

For both Air Force and Army this time of year is “win or go home”.

Results

Friday

Air Force 4, San Jose State 2

Saturday

Army 9, Holy Cross 3

Air Force 8, San Jose State 4

Army 14, Holy Cross 2

Sunday

San Jose State 30, Air Force 9

Thursday

Air Force 25, New Mexico 6

Schedule

Friday

Air Force vs New Mexico – 8 p.m. (Mountain West Network)

Saturday

Air Force vs New Mexico – 2 p.m. (Mountain West Network)

Tuesday

Bucknell vs Army – 1 p.m. (ESPN+)

Wednesday

Bucknell vs Army – 1 p.m. (ESPN+)

Thursday

Bucknell vs Army – 1 p.m. (ESPN+ IF NECESSARY)

Army

Just like we expected, Army took care of business this past weekend. The Black Knights have beaten up on Holy Cross this season like a bully taking lunch money.

They swept the doubleheader by winning game one, 9-3, and game two, 14-2.

In the opener, the teams went back and forth for three innings before Army exploded for five runs in the fourth inning. Connelly Early went a career-high eight innings on the mound, fanning seven Crusaders and giving up three earned runs.

The nightcap was an offensive onslaught from Army as the Black Knights scored two or more runs in six of their eight innings at the plate. Nick Manesis, Sam Ruta, and Ross Friedrick combined for 12 of the 13 Black Knight RBI in head coach Jim Foster’s 400th career win.

Up next for Army is Bucknell and a chance for their fourth straight NCAA Tournament. The Bison have given Army struggles this season, taking three of five against the Black Knights. Luckily for Army, both of their wins against Bucknell are at Doubleday Field.

All they have to do is win two games.

Air Force

After a strong weekend against San Jose State, the Falcons are in the driver’s seat to make their first Mountain West Tournament since the field shrunk to four in 2017.

Taking two of three against San Jose State, Air Force won in a different way than usual, it’s pitching. In its victories, the Falcons combined to give up five earned runs.

In the series opener, Paul Skenes pitched another gem as he struck out 10 batters, giving up only one earned run in eight innings of work. A Sam Kulasingam two-run single in the second inning made the difference.

On Saturday, Rob Martin went four and a third innings in relief to pick up the win for Air Force. He would strike out five Spartan batters, giving up one earned run on two hits.

Air Force took the series opener against New Mexico and with a win on either Friday or Saturday, the Falcons will clinch a spot in the conference tournament.