Baseball Opens Home Schedule with 7-0 Victory over UMBC
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – A dominant pitching performance and offensive production from throughout its order gave the Navy baseball team a strong start to the home portion of its 2018 schedule with a 7-0 victory over UMBC. Playing at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium for the first time this season, the Mids (5-2) received a four-hit combined shutout from the freshmen duo of Tommy Goodridge (San Diego, Calif.) and Sante Grossi (Riverside, Calif.), as well as a hit or RBI from eight of the nine starters in their batting order to roll over the Retrievers (1-3) on Tuesday afternoon.
Making his first start of his collegiate career, Goodridge cruised over his six innings on the mound as he faced just two over the minimum and recorded two strikeouts during his 62-pitch outing. Two second inning singles were the only blemishes on the right-handed pitcher’s day. He was relieved by Grossi, who continued to hold the Retrievers out of the scoring column for the final three innings. Grossi was touched up for just two singles in the eighth inning. He finished with four strikeouts. As a staff, Navy had a 6:0 strikeout-to-walk ratio on Tuesday.
Navy’s offense was well balanced as all nine starters contributed either a hit, walk or RBI. The Mids’ leaders in hits were Zach Biggers (So., Walhalla, S.C.) and Evan Lowery (So., Williamsburg, Va.), who each went 3-for-5 with an RBI. In total, six different Mids were credited with RBIs against the Retrievers.
“This was a really solid all-around game for us,” remarked head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. “We got contributions from all throughout our lineup. We got real good days from both Evan and Zach. We played real solid defense. Mike [Coritz] played really well at shortstop, making all the routine plays and a few of the tougher plays too. Our pitching was really good. Tommy and Sante threw strikes and didn’t walk anyone. If you’re looking to script a game, that’s how you do it.”
After Goodridge sat down UMBC three-up, three-down in the top of the first inning, Navy’s offense immediately got into gear as Stephen Born (Sr., Strafford, Pa.), Biggers and Jacob Williamson (So., Sims, N.C.) all reached consecutively in the bottom of the first. Following a single by Born, Biggers drove him in with a double into the left field corner. After Williamson reached on an error to advance Biggers to third, Lowery grounded out to second base to plate the Mids’ second run.
The Retrievers only traction versus Goodridge came in the second inning when the team tallied two singles, one of which deflected off of Goodridge on the mound. Unfazed, the freshman forced a weak ground out in the ensuing at bat and the threat was averted. He came back in the third and downed UMBC’s three batters on only four pitches.
Navy extended its lead in the bottom of the third when the first five batters reached on a combination of two singles, a double and two walks. Ryan Duffey (Fr., Duxbury, Mass.) and Alex Smith (So., Stafford, Va.) came through with the big hits as the duo singled home Williamson and Christian Hodge (Jr., Winder, Ga.) in back-to-back at bats.
Goodridge continued cruising on the mound as he retired UMBC on nine pitches in both the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.
Up 4-0, the Mids tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Lowery got the team going with a leadoff double to left field. After Duffey singled him over to third, the sophomore came into score on sacrifice fly by Michael Coritz (So., Clifton, Va.). The second run of the inning came when Duffey scampered home on an Aaron Husson wild pitch.
Goodridge closed out his start with a three-up, three-down sixth inning. That mark his fifth spotless frame of the day. He exited after 62 pitches and gave way to Grossi, who was nearly as effective over the final three innings. On his way to a three-inning save, Grossi faced the minimum in both the seventh and ninth innings. UMBC touched up the righty for two singles to start the eighth, but Coritz and Navy’s defense quickly dispatched of that situation with a 6-3 double play up the middle. Grossi struck out the final Retriever to end that eighth inning.
The score went final at 7-0 as earlier Hodge doubled in Biggers with a drive to the left-center field gap in the bottom of the sixth inning. Hodge’s double was the fourth of the day for Navy.
For the game, Navy outhit UMBC, 13-4. Biggers and Lowery led the way with a team-high three hits. Born and Duffey added to the quartet of Mids with multiple hits as they each registered two base hits.
In his first collegiate start, Goodridge earned the victory to improve to 2-0 on the young season. Grossi’s save was his second in three relief appearances in 2018.
“Tommy hadn’t started a game in two years and hadn’t built up a huge pitch count, so what he did today was really good,” said Kostacopoulos. “He was in control for pretty much his entire outing. That’s good to see because a big part of this season will be focused on the development of our younger pitchers.”
Navy will be back again in home action on Wednesday with a 2 p.m. tilt versus the Coppin State Eagles.