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College Baseball: Rowley, Earls stockpiling accolades
Harold Earls-web
Harold Earls

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — After helping Army to a four-game sweep of Navy during the first weekend of conference play, junior right-hander Chris Rowley (South Forsyth, 2009) and freshman infielder Harold Earls (West Forsyth, 2011) earned Patriot League weekly awards on Monday.

Rowley, who tossed a one-hit shutout in the first game of the four-game set, collected the conference’s Pitcher of the Week award for the third time this season. Earls, meanwhile, was tabbed the league’s Rookie of the Week for the second time this spring after leading the Black Knights with a .450 batting average, nine base hits and two doubles last week.

The duo helped Army secure its second four-game sweep of Navy at Max Bishop Stadium in Army’s last three regular-season trips to Annapolis. The Black Knights, who have captured nine straight series stars versus the Midshipmen, are 31-9 versus Navy over the last nine seasons (including the postseason).

Army players have dominated the Patriot League’s weekly honors through the first seven conference releases, winning 11 of a possible 21 weekly awards.

The Black Knights have captured five Rookie of the Week certificates, four Pitcher of the Week accolades and two Player of the Week citations.

Rowley (6-0) faced just two over the minimum en route to his sixth straight win.

The right-hander carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, struck out five batters and did not allow a walk over seven strong innings.

The Duluth native retired 15 straight batters at one point and did not yield a base hit until there were two outs the sixth.

It marked the second complete-game shutout of the season for Rowley, who lowered his earned run average to a microscopic 1.38 following Saturday’s effort. He continues to lead the team with 35 strikeouts and 45.2 innings pitched. Opponents are batting just .168 against him, the lowest average among Army starters.

It marks the fourth career Pitcher of the Week award for Rowley, who earned the accolades once as a sophomore last season. He picked up the award in consecutive weeks earlier in the season after pitching Army to wins over George Washington and UMBC. He tossed a two-hit shutout against the Colonials and recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts versus the Retrievers.

Earls began his productive week by going 2-for-5 with a double in Army’s midweek setback at Columbia on Wednesday.

The Cumming native then exploded in the Black Knights’ four-game sweep of Navy over the weekend, rapping out seven hits in 15 at-bats against the Midshipmen.

He went 2-for-7 with an RBI double in Army’s doubleheader sweep on Saturday, before going 5-for-8 with two RBI, three runs scored and two stolen bases as the Black Knights finished off their four-game sweep on Sunday.

Earls has reached base safely in 23 straight games and is currently riding a nine-game hitting streak. The Black Knights starting third baseman leads the team with a .392 batting average and 11 stolen bases. He also lists among Army’s leaders with 31 base hits, three doubles, 11 RBI and 14 runs scored.

Earls took home the weekly rookie accolades for the first time in early March after batting .700 (7-for-10) during Army’s three-game series at UMBC.

Army has won 14 of its last 17 games overall and the Black Knights (19-7, 4-0 PL) are just one win shy of recording their ninth straight 20-win season.