March 7, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Junior LHP Anthony Parenti (Elizabeth, N.J.) continued his winning ways on Friday afternoon as the Navy baseball team rode another strong start of his and found some timely hits to defeat Penn by a 2-1 score at Max Bishop Stadium. With the win, Navy improved to 4-6 on the season.
Parenti upped his individual undefeated mark to 4-0 with a 100-pitch effort over 8.0 innings. The southpaw held Penn (0-4) to one unearned run on three hits and a walk, while striking out six. Senior 1B Kash Manzelli (Dunwoody, Ga.) and Connor Deneen (So., Tustin, Calif.) led Navy's offensive efforts as Manzelli collected a game-high two hits, while Deneen drove in the game-winning run.
"Tony has been so strong for us and quite frankly led the way today," said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "Connor came through with a clutch hit and Travis Blue got us a hustle run early that proved big in a one-run game. It was really on Tony today, though Sam [Sorenson] did a good job for us too. Closing is always tough and he did a good job in a pressure situation. We did enough things defensively, got outstanding pitching and managed to win the game."
Navy got on the scoreboard early as Travis Blue (Orange, Calif.) caused chaos for Penn defensively. The speedy freshman reached base with two outs on a perfectly placed bunt single down the first place line. He would come around to score during the next at bat as Manzelli lofted a fly ball towards Penn's LF Brandon Engelhardt, who dropped the ball and then errantly threw the ball away allowing Blue to scamper in from third base and give the Mids a quick 1-0 lead.
Coming off of an appearance last Saturday where he surrendered his first two runs of the season Parenti was dialed in early as he retired nine of Penn's first 10 batters, including three via strikeouts. The Quakers finally manufactured a run in the top of the fourth when their leadoff hitter Austin Bossart reached on an error and eventually came around to score on a Marshall Harden RBI ground out.
Navy didn't wait long to respond to this tie situation as the Mids immediately came back in the bottom of the fourth with a pair of base hits. Deneen came through with the biggest hit as the sophomore right fielder shot a single up the middle to score Brandon Beans (Hartsville, S.C.), who had reached previously on a fielder's choice.
With the score 2-1, the next four innings flew by as Parenti and Penn's starting pitcher Connor Cuff controlled their opposition. Neither the Mids nor Quakers would see a runner make it safely to second base over the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
After working around a walk in the top of the eighth inning, Parenti would give way to sophomore closer Sam Sorenson (Etters, Pa.) in the ninth. Austin Bossart, Sorenson's first batter, reached on an infield single as the fleet-footed catcher beat out a grounder hit deep in the hole to Blue at shortstop. Sorenson and Navy would get out of this pressure situation one batter later in a play that Kostacopoulos would deem the "play of the game."
"I think the play of the game was the strike `em out, throw `em out in the top of the ninth inning. That's a great play by our catcher because the ball is down, the batter is swinging through and he still makes a perfect throw on the bag to get the runner."
Rick Brebner was Sorenson's strikeout victim, while Bossart was cut down by an excellent all-around play from behind the plate by junior catcher Jack Keller (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.).
After a single by Jeff McGarry up the middle, a weak ground ball out to second base for a routine 4-3 put out would clinch the 2-1 victory for the Mids.
For the game, each team had five hits. Parenti (4-0) was winning pitcher, while Cuff (0-1) was the hard-luck loser in a complete game effort. Sorenson picked up his second save of 2014 with the scoreless ninth. The game was played in a crisp 1:52.
Navy will continue its home weekend round-robin action on Saturday afternoon with a 2:00 PM first pitch versus Monmouth.