Baseball Splits Saturday Doubleheader with NJIT
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy baseball team opened its four-game home series versus NJIT with a doubleheader split at a blustery Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium on Saturday. The Mids (7-3) posted a 4-0 shutout victory in game one before the Highlanders (1-4) came back in the second contest and notched a 7-1 win.
One first inning run was all Noah Song (Jr., Claremont, Calif.) needed in the initial game on Saturday as he notched his fourth complete game shutout of his career. Allowing just three hits and two walks, Song completed the game with five strikeouts. The Mids added three insurance runs in the bottom of the fourth.
In the second game at Max Bishop Stadium, NJIT scratched out single runs in the first, third and seventh innings to build up a 3-0 lead before Liam Lowery (Jr., Williamsburg, Va.) connected for a deep home run over the right field wall to tighten the game to a 3-1 margin. The visiting Highlanders tacked on four runs in the top of the ninth to extend its lead and earn the 7-1 victory.
Leading the list of top individual performers on Saturday is Song, who responded to his Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week honor from earlier in the week with his first complete game shutout since April 17, 2016. Sean Kamhoot (Sr., Gainesville, Fla.), the game two starting pitcher had an admirable performance as he hurled a career-high 8.0 innings and 106 pitchers before exiting with the score at 3-1 in favor of the Highlanders.
Offensively, nine different Midshipmen batters recorded hits on the day with sophomore 2B Zach Biggers (Walhalla, S.C.) leading the way with three. Biggers was one of five players with an RBI during the doubleheader. The loudest RBI of the twinbill came in the seventh inning of game two courtesy of Lowery and his solo home run. The round-tripper was the second of his career with the Mids.
Game One: Navy 4 - NJIT 0
The action on Saturday begin quickly as the Mids jumped on the Highlanders in the first inning with an RBI double by Jacob Williamson (So., Sims, N.C.) into right field to drive home Stephen Born (Sr., Strafford, Pa.).
Down 1-0, NJIT had its best chance of the game to get to Song in the ensuing inning. In the top of the second, the Highlanders tallied two hits off the right-hander, though Alex Smith (So., Stafford, Va.) helped his pitcher out with caught stealing putout of Tom Brady to cap a strike'em out, throw'em out double play.
Navy's offense continued to put runners on in each of the second and third innings, but it wasn't until the bottom of the fourth that the 1-0 game was blown open to a 4-0 margin. After Evan Lowery (So., Williamsburg, Va.) led off with a walk, Ryan Duffey (Fr., Duxbury, Mass.) came along two batters later with an RBI single to center field. Duffey crossed home on a single to right field by Michael Coritz (So., Clifton, Va.). The final run of the inning was Smith, who scored on a Biggers single.
With the score 4-0 after four, Song mowed down the Highlanders over the final three innings with a dominant nine-up, nine-down conclusion to the seven-inning game. He struck out two NJIT batters in each of the sixth and seventh innings. Credited as the victorious pitcher, Song finished with a line of 7.0 innings, three hits, no runs, two walks and five strikeouts.
For the game, Navy outhit NJIT, 7-3. Duffey led the Mids with a game-high two hits.
Game Two: NJIT 7 - Navy 1
The storyline was flipped in game two on Saturday as it was NJIT that jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning over Navy.
The visitors from Newark, N.J. slowly added on to their lead with another solo run in the third.
Down 2-0, Navy looked to put together a sustained rally in the fourth inning as the team loaded the bases on singles by Biggers, Williamson and Christian Hodge (Jr., Winder, Ga.). Unfortunately for the Mids, the Highlanders' starting pitcher, Tyler Stafflinger, forced a two-out ground out to get out of the jam.
Navy's starting pitcher Sean Kamhoot quietly went about his work on the mound as he kept NJIT within reach as scattered hits over seven of his eight innings, but never more than two in an inning.
The Highlanders increased their two-run advantage to three in the top of the seventh on a leadoff double and eventual sacrifice fly.
Trailing by three runs, Navy continued grinding for that first run of the game. With one swing of the bat, Liam Lowery provided instant offense as he powered a solo home run out to right field.
With the score at 3-1 in favor of NJIT through seven innings, the Highlanders shut down the Mids' offense over the final two frames and added four runs in the top of the ninth to close out the game with a final of 7-1.
For the contest, NJIT outhit Navy, 15-8. Biggers and Hodge each recorded two hits for the Mids in defeat.
On the mound, Kamhoot was saddled with the loss as he finished with a line of 8.0 innings, 10 hits, three runs, two walks and one strikeout.
The Mids and Highlanders will conclude their four-game series on Sunday with another doubleheader at Max Bishop Stadium. First pitch of the twinbill is set for 11 a.m.