Offensive Outburst Leads Baseball to 17-5 Win
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Navy baseball team got back to its winning ways on Wednesday afternoon as the club got a consistent offensive attack as well as strong showing from its bullpen in defeating Maryland Eastern Shore by a score of 17-5. After a slow start put the Mids (4-7) down 4-1 through two innings, the team went to its relief arms and got seven innings of one-run pitching, while its offense broke out with 15 combined runs over the fifth, sixth and seventh innings against the Hawks (0-10) at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get a great start from our pitching and that caused us to have to start battling right from the get-go down 4-1 early,” remarked head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. “To our credit we kept our poised and kept a good approach; we didn’t chase a lot of bad balls and we didn’t get ourselves out. We were able to put some timely hits together and score some runs when we needed it.”
A balanced offensive showing on Wednesday was led by CF Logan Knowles (Jr., Port Orchard, Wash.) and 2B Zach Biggers (Fr., Walhalla, S.C.). As the leadoff hitter, Knowles went 3-for-3 with five runs scored and three stolen bases, while Biggers did his damage from the nine-spot in the batting order as the freshman went 2-for-4 with a double, home run and three runs scored. The two extra-base hits were the first collegiate hits for Biggers. In total, five different Mids had two RBI on Wednesday.
“Logan was outstanding today. He scored five runs had three steals and three hits,” exclaimed Kostacopoulos. “He just kept the line moving and making things happen. Logan was the key today, he never let up and constantly kept the pressure on them.
“Zach had the big hit for us today with his fifth inning home run. It gave us momentum and energized us to keep it going.”
On the mound, Navy’s first arm out of the bullpen, Sean Kamhoot (Jr., Gainesville, Fla.) settled UMES’ offense down and hurled 4.0 innings of four-hit, shutout baseball. He was followed up out of the bullpen by the freshmen duo of Austin Rader (Round Hill, Va.) and Thomas Wilson (Burbank, Calif.), who combined to close out the final three innings with one unearned run crossing for the Hawks.
“Sean was really good today,” said Kostacopoulos. “We were in a vulnerable spot down 4-1. Later in his outing they had second and third with one out and he gets us out of it. If those two runs score the complexion of the game is completely different. He did a solid job for us.
“As a whole, our pitching was much better. It was good to get two freshmen in Austin and Thomas in the game at the end to get some work.”
The visiting squad from Maryland Eastern Shore jumped out to an early 4-1 lead over Navy as team touched up starting pitcher Colin Brady (Jr., Seneca, S.C.). The Hawks plated one run in the top of the first and three in the top of the second to bring about the end of Brady’s stint on the mound.
Navy’s lone run over the opening two innings was a bases loaded walk to Leland Saile (Sr., Land O’ Lakes, Fla.) that scored Knowles in the bottom of the first.
The Mids made it 4-2 in the third as Saile and Knowles connected for another run-scoring situation. After stealing second base, Knowles came in as Saile shot a line drive to right field. The RBI was Saile’s team-leading 16th of the young season.
Entering the game in the top of the third, Kamhoot, a converted outfielder, managed to navigate his way through the Hawks’ lineup with solid results. After allowing a hit in his first inning of duty, Kamhoot found himself with two men in scoring position with one out in the top of the fourth. The righty sat down Jordan Martin with a strike-three swinging and forced a fly out to right field versus Ryan Rotondo to stave off the threat. He’d later put down UMES in order in the fifth.
With the score 4-2 in favor of the visitors, Biggers quickly swung the momentum into the Mids’ dugout as he led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a home run to straight away center field. The hit was the first of the freshman’s career as he was 0-for-10 prior to that at bat as a collegiate. The wheels kept spinning for the Mids as three of the next four batters reached base. A wild pitch scored Knowles to tie the game at 4-4 before a sacrifice fly by Adrian Chinnery (Sr., Wilmington, Del.) put Navy in front. The Mids rounded out their explosive frame with another long ball as Christian Hodge (So., Winder, Ga.) sent a two-run home run out over the left-center field wall.
Up 7-4, Navy started putting some distance between itself and UMES with four runs in the sixth inning on three hits, a hit-by-pitch, a walk and two fielding errors. Biggers was the spark plug once again as the second baseman was hit by a pitch to start a run of six start Mids reaching base. Travis Blue (Jr., Orange, Calif.) and Chinnery came through with RBIs in the innings as Navy would go up 11-4.
After UMES scored its final run on a throwing error during a steal attempt in the top of the seventh, Navy rounded out the game’s scoring with six runs in the bottom half of the stanza. Ben Lowe (Jr., Memphis, Tenn.) led off the rally with a double to right field. The next batter, Biggers, nearly collected his second home run of the game as he launched a ball to the foot of the center field wall. A single to right by Knowles plated Biggers before Stephen Born (Jr., Strafford, Pa.) came through with two RBIs on a double to the right-center field gap. A wild pitch allowed Born to score before Michael Coritz (Fr., Clifton, Va.) drove in Navy’s final run with a fielder’s choice to second base.
Rader and Wilson wrapped up the game for the Mids on the mound with scoreless eighth and ninth innings. Each freshman pitcher notched one strikeout respectively over those frames. Wilson’s appearance was the first of his collegiate career.
In Navy’s 17-5 win, the hosts outhit UMES, 13-12. Knowles (3), Blue (2), Saile (2) and Biggers (2) all had multiple hits.
For his 4.0 innings of scoreless four-hit relief during the middle of the game, Kamhoot earned his first career win to improve to 1-2 this season. Kamhoot struck out four UMES batters during his outing.
Navy will be back in action this weekend with three home games versus Central Connecticut State and Marist. The Mids and Blue Devils will play Friday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. with a Saturday matchup at 2 p.m. versus the Red Foxes sandwiched in-between.