Feb. 10, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida A&M starting pitcher Cirilo Manego threw seven innings of eight-hit baseball as Navy was unable to complete its rally with a 6-5 loss at Moore-Kittles Field on Saturday afternoon.
Navy was unable to capitalize on eight Florida A&M errors, stranding 15 runners on base, in dropping to 1-1 on the year. The Rattlers picked up their first win of the season, upping their mark to 1-5.
"We had three opportunities between the fifth and the eighth inning where we left the bases loaded, and therein laid the game," stated Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "We never got that big hit to get over the hump. Our inability to come up with the clutch hit was costly for us today."
Trailing by a 6-2 score heading into the seventh inning, the Midshipmen began to chip away at the deficit. Junior right fielder Mitch Harris (Mt. Holly, N.C.) delivered a one-out single, advanced to second on an error and would score on freshman Jonathan Berkowitz's (Parkland, Fla.) single and error by the right fielder. After a hit by pitch loaded the bases, Manego was able to induce a popout to get out of the inning.
Manego finished the day with three runs allowed, two of which were earned, with one walk and four strikeouts. The Florida A&M hurler threw 120 pitches on the afternoon, 79 of which went for strikes.
In the eighth inning, the Midshipmen plated a pair of runs on a Kendall Bolt (Stockton, Calif.) fielder's choice and an error to pull within one at 6-5. Navy had runners on first and second with one out in the ninth, but Florida A&M reliever Artist Patton induced a game-ending double play.
Navy starting pitcher Mark McCoy (Parkland, Fla.) was tagged for the loss, as he gave up seven hits and five runs with two walks and three strikeouts over four innings of work. Freshman reliever Oliver Drake (Gardner, Mass.) kept the Midshipmen in position for the late rally attempt, scattering three hits and one run with no walks and a strikeout in four innings of work during his first-collegiate appearance.
"Oliver did exactly what we wanted him to do," said Kostacopoulos. "He came in and really gave us five opportunities to come back and win the game. He had pretty good velocity and as a freshman in his first-career game, this is something we can definitely build off of."
Junior center fielder Renaldo Hollins (Virginia Beach, Va.), Harris and Berkowitz each produced two hits for the Midshipmen on Saturday. Hollins scored twice and stole a base, Harris scored once and drove in a run and Berkowitz knocked in two runs.
Jared Jeffries, Corey McFadden and Patrick Brown each posted two hits for Florida A&M as the Midshipmen were out-hit by their hosts, 10-9.
The rubber game of the three-game set between Navy and Florida A&M will take place tomorrow at 12 noon.