Feb. 15, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Navy baseball team rode a strong pitching performance from the duo of Anthony Parenti and Andrew Bartek and got a two-run home run by Brad Borosak to earn a 2-0 win on the road at Florida A&M on Saturday afternoon. The Mids opened their season on Saturday versus the Rattlers after weather postponed the teams' scheduled opener on Friday.
"Our strong suit today was pitching. Anthony was very good and Bartek did a great job in some pressure spots," said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "We were the best on the mound today, but we followed it up well with our defense. Our bats were solid in the sense that we did a good job in counts. Brad had the big hit for us today that complemented the performance by Anthony and Andrew."
Robert Currie (Atlanta, Ga.) got Navy's offense going right from the start in the top of the first inning as the sophomore reached base in his 18th-straight game dating back to 2013 with a double down the right field line. The Mids would later threaten the Rattlers in the first with two runners in scoring position though FAMU's starting pitcher Chase Jarrell would get his team out unscathed.
Strong Navy defense in bottom of the first would negate a walk to FAMU's Bennie Robinson as sophomore Drew Hayes (Collegeville, Pa.) snagged a sharp grounder hit by Ryan Kennedy and quickly turned the 5-4-3 double play.
This pattern of the Mids getting men on-base and pressuring the Rattlers, but getting held off the scoreboard and responding with solid defense and/or clutch pitching was the story of the majority of the game, as Navy had at least one runner on base in all nine innings.
(Jr., Elizabeth, N.J.) made his dominating presence known early as he fought back from a 3-0 count to FAMU's Ryan Hutson to strike out the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the second. One inning later, after a double to Peter Jackson put a runner in scoring position with no outs, Parenti beared down and forced a bunt pop-out to the mound before striking out the next two batters.
The visiting Mids finally broke through onto the scoreboard in the top of the fifth inning. After freshman Travis Blue (Orange, Calif.) singled up the middle and stole second base, Brad Borosak (Jr., Jupiter, Fla.) took a Jarrell pitch and golfed a high fly ball out over the right field wall. His two-run home run was the first of his collegiate career.
After Parenti exited the game with a final statline of 6.0 innings pitched, six strikeouts and two hits allowed, Andrew Bartek (Fayetteville, Ga.) came out of the bullpen and didn't miss a beat. In the second-longest outing of his career the sophomore threw the final three innings and held the Rattlers scoreless. Similar to Parenti, Bartek exhibited a tough-minded mentality as in all three innings FAMU had runners on base, but never once did a Rattler reach third base. Navy's infield defense aided Bartek by turning double plays in the seventh and ninth innings.
"Our pitchers got behind a few times today, but they trusted their stuff and really did a good job of minimizing A&M's opportunities," said Kostacopoulos. "They made sure that they weren't helping them by allowing walks."
The game would go final with a 2-0 score in favor of Navy. Parenti collected the win; while Bartek earned his first career save by going 3.0 innings with three strikeouts and four hits allowed.
Offensively, Borosak, Currie and Blue each had a pair hits as they combined for six of Navy's seven hits. As a team, Navy outhit Florida A&M, 7-6.
"It felt like Opening Day, everyone was a little nervous and jittery and rightfully so," said Kostacopoulos. "I think all of our guys were excited to play. I think our rhythm will come along, it takes a little while to get that going completely."
The two teams will close out their series on Sunday with a doubleheader at Moore-Kittles Field. Beginning at 1 p.m., the Mids and Rattlers will first play a nine-inning game before contesting a seven-inning game.