Navy Sweeps Iona on Saturday, 7-1 and 4-2
Mitch Harris struck out nine in six innings during the opener
Feb. 17, 2007
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Navy starting pitchers Mitch Harris (Mt. Holly, N.C.) and Matt White (Yorba Linda, Calif.) combined for 14 strikeouts in 11 innings of work to lead the Midshipmen to a doubleheader sweep of Iona on Saturday afternoon at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium. The Mids won game one, 7-1, before winning the nightcap, 4-2, to improve to 4-1 on the year. Iona dropped to 0-2 this season with the losses.
"Our pitching was definitely the key today," stated Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "We threw strikes and only once pitched ourselves into a jam, but Matt was able to bow his neck to get out of it. We made them really earn their runs this afternoon."
In the opener, Harris allowed only three hits and one unearned run with no walks and nine strikeouts to improve to 2-0 on the campaign. He has not yielded an earned run this year, allowing five hits and three walks with 16 strikeouts in 11.0 innings.
"We are becoming accustomed to the type of performance Mitch gives on a regular basis," stated Kostacopoulos. "He had a good breaking ball today that he was able to consistently throw for a strike, which was an improvement over his last start where he had a little difficulty locating the off-speed pitch."
Navy provided Harris with all the run support he would need in the first inning, putting up a six-spot in the bottom of the first. The big hit would come from freshman Mike Hoosier (Pomona, N.Y.), who drove a two-run double to left that scored senior Michael Garcia (Kailua, Hawai'i) and freshman Jonathan Berkowitz (Parkland, Fla.) to put the Mids ahead, 6-0.
The Midshipmen tacked on another run in the second inning, as Berkowitz delivered a sacrifice fly that plated freshman Kendall Bolt (Stockton, Calif.).
White followed up Harris' performance on the hill in the nightcap, as he scattered two hits and two runs with three walks and five strikeouts in five innings. White, who is 2-0 on the year, has held the opposition to a .093 (4-for-43) batting average to start his sophomore campaign.
"Matt really delivered for us on the mound for his second-straight start," Kostacopoulos said. "It was good to see him follow up one his best performances during his young career last week with another great outing."
Navy opening the scoring with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the second inning, capped off by freshman Drew Lydon's (White Plains, Md.) RBI-single to left that scored Garcia.
After Iona cut the margin in half with a run in the top of the third, the Midshipmen answered back with a run in the third and fourth innings. Junior Thomas Hamilton (Houston, Texas) drove a run-scoring double to left in the third and freshman Steven Soares (Coral Springs, Fla.) opened the fourth with a double and would come around to score on back-to-back wild pitches.
Berkowitz went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs on the day, while Bolt finished the afternoon 3-for-6 with three runs scored. Junior Renaldo Hollins (Virginia Beach, Va.), Garcia, Hamilton and Soares each produced multi-hit efforts on Saturday. The Midshipmen combined to out-hit their guests, 16-7, in the doubleheader.
"Kendall (Bolt) and Steven (Soares) really played complete games," commented Kostacopoulos. "In addition to their numbers, they made several subtle plays that didn't reflect in the scoresheet this afternoon."
Hollins also stole a base in the first game of the doubleheader to move into a tie for 10th place on the career stolen bases list with Jared Munde (2003-06), who swiped 33 bags over his career.
The Midshipmen and Gaels will close out the three-game series tomorrow at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium. The nine-inning contest is slated for a 12 noon first pitch.