Offense Powers Navy to 17-5 Win Over Air Force
Feb. 26, 2010
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Navy baseball designated hitter Mike Hoosier (Sr./Pomona, N.Y.) belted two long home runs to key a 17-5 victory over Air Force on Friday afternoon at historic Grayson Stadium.
The Midshipmen, off to their best start since the 1981 season, improved to 5-0 on the year. The Falcons dropped to 0-5.
Hoosier finished the day with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate with the pair of long balls, five RBIs and three runs scored. Prior to Friday's contest, the Navy senior had belted two career home runs.
Michael Speciale (Jr./Pearland, Texas) went 3-for-6 with a home run, double, four RBIs and two runs scored. Team captain Steven Soares (Sr./Coral Springs, Fla.) went 3-for-4 with three runs scored, two RBIs and a walk, while Matthew Curley (Sr./Boston, Mass.) and Josh Moore (So./Mills River, N.C.) recorded multi-hit efforts.
In total, 12 Midshipmen accounted for the team's 20 hits on the afternoon, while nine Mids crossed home plate.
"We had a very good offensive performance today," stated Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "We got contributions from nearly everybody in our lineup. Mike (Hoosier) was the star today with his three hits and two home runs. The whole offense was just on the ball today."
Meanwhile, Navy starting pitcher Sam Long (Jr./Newnan, Ga.) was solid in his second outing of the year to earn the victory. The Navy southpaw fired six innings of four-hit, two-run baseball with one walk and nine strikeouts over his 96-pitch performance.
"It always starts with good starting pitching and Sam gave us one today," said Kostacopoulos. "He delivered six strong innings and threw very well, especially in that circumstance. Once we got the lead, he went out there and kept collecting outs."
Navy struck in the first with a two-out, RBI-single off the bat of Soares. In the third, Navy broke the game open with a five-run frame, highlighted by a three-run blast off the light tower in left-center by Speciale and a two-run shot to center by Hoosier.
Air Force got on the board in the fourth with two runs, but Navy countered with four unanswered runs between the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Curley produced a RBI-single to center and Alex Azor (So./Miami, Fla.) lifted a sacrifice fly to center. One stanza later, Hoosier pounded a two-run home run to left field that soared out of the stadium.
Following a Falcons run in the seventh, Navy delivered a methodical final blow with a seven-run bottom half of the inning, as seven different Mids recorded a RBI in the frame.
The Midshipmen and the Falcons will meet for game two of this three-game series tomorrow at 5 p.m. Live stats will be available via GameTracker on www.NavySports.com(.)
- Navy's 5-0 record marks the best start since the 1981 Mids won their first-eight games of the spring.
- Navy has won seven-straight games, dating back to the end of last season ... the seven-game winning streak is the longest since 2007, when the Mids won seven-in-a-row en route to a program-record 35-win season.
- The Midshipmen have scored 58 runs over its first-five games this spring, the highest total during the same span since the 1945 squad plated 72 runs over their first-five contests.
- Navy is now 11-12 all-time against Air Force, but has won seven of the last-eight meetings, dating back to 2005 ... the 17 runs scored on Friday were the most scored by either team in series history ... Navy plated 16 runs against Air Force in a 16-6 win two years ago.
- Mike Hoosier became the 36th player in school history to record a multi-home run game ... the last performance came from Mike Guadagnini at UMBC on April 7, 2008 ... prior to Friday, Hoosier had two career home runs.
- Michael Speciale's three-run shot in the third inning was his 18th career home run, moving him into sole possession of third place on the program's all-time list ... he has totaled 16 RBIs over the first-five games of the year, which is half of his season total from 2009.
- Sam Long's nine strikeouts in six innings of work marked the 10th time among his 12 career starts that he struck out at least as many batters as innings pitched ... over his career, he's fanned 98 in 77.0 innings, good for an average of 11.45 strikeouts per nine innings.
- Mike Guadagnini extended his hitting streak to 20 games, dating back to last spring ... during this span, he is hitting .407 (37-for-91) with 28 runs scored.
- Head coach Paul Kostacopoulos has led Navy to an impressive 25-8-2 (.743) record in February contests since taking over the reigns in 2006 ... prior to Kostacopoulos's arrival, the Midshipmen were 29-63-1 (.317) all-time in games played during the month of February.
- This weekend's series marks the second-straight weekend that Navy is playing in a minor-league park ... historic Grayson Stadium is the home of the Savannah Sand Gnats of the South Atlantic League ... last weekend, the Mids played in Durham Athletic Park, the longtime former home of the Durham Bulls and the site of the classic movie, "Bull Durham."