March 14, 2006
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Navy freshman right-hander Matt White (Yorba Linda, Calif.) held Mount St. Mary's to one run over 7.1 innings on the hill to lead the Midshipmen to a 5-1 victory over the Mountaineers in baseball action on Tuesday afternoon at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium. Navy has won four-straight ball games and improved to 14-5-1 with Tuesday's victory, while Mount St. Mary's fell to 6-5 on the year.
"We played exactly how we need to in order to win games," stated Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "Matt (White) got in a groove after the second inning and Renaldo (Hollins) and Ryan (McGinn) made two great plays defensively in the outfield."
White picked up his first-career win with the longest outing of his young career. The freshman scattered eight hits, walked two and struck out three. White induced four double plays and 10 groundouts in his 109-pitch effort on Tuesday.
"Matt (White) made the pitches he had to make today," Kostacopoulos commented. "We really supported him defensively with the four double plays. He only walked two batters and it was just an all-around good performance."
Mount St. Mary's took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Navy knotted the contest at one in the bottom half of the inning. Freshman Joshua Martinez (Denver, Colo.) delivered a sacrifice fly that scored sophomore Renaldo Hollins (Virginia Beach, Va.) from third with one out.
With nobody on and two outs in the top of the second, Mount St. Mary's took advantage of a fielding error with back-to-back singles to load the bases. However, White produced a popout to get out of the inning unscathed. After the inning, White settled down and held the visitors to only one hit over the next five innings.
Navy took the lead for good in the bottom half of the fourth inning. Sophomore Mitch Harris
(Mt. Holly, N.C.) led off the inning with a ground-rule double to center. After a lineout and a groundout, junior Dominic Lopez
(Quincy, Mich.) sent a single up the middle to drive in Harris and give the hosts a 2-1 lead.
The Midshipmen tacked on three insurance runs in the next inning. Senior Jonathan Johnston (Hamilton Township, N.J.) led off the fifth with a double, followed by sophomore Thomas Hamilton's (Houston, Texas) base on balls. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners up a base, Martinez laced a single into right-center to plate both runners. Harris singled to left, but the ball got by the left fielder, which allowed Martinez to score from first to augment Navy's advantage to 5-1.
Hollins tallied a career-best four hits and three stolen bases to lead the Midshipmen offense. The sophomore's single in the first extended his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest by a Midshipman since Craig Candeto's 20-game stretch during the 2003 season.
"Renaldo (Hollins) been very good out of the leadoff spot this year for us," said Kostacopoulos. "He gets on base and steals bases to keep us out of double plays. Renaldo just does the little things that makes a big difference in games."
Harris joined Hollins in the multi-hit department on Tuesday, registering three hits in his four at bats. Martinez drove in a career-high three runs with his 1-for-3 effort at the plate.
Junior Daniel Kovalcik (Westwood, Mass.) earned his first-career save, as he came in relief of White with runners on first and second with one out in the eighth. Kovalcik retired the next-two batters to get out of the eighth and generated three groundball outs in the ninth.
Craig Hansen was tagged with the loss, as he allowed two runs on five hits with three walks and a strikeout over four innings. Matt Eiden and Justus Yocum each had two hits to account for Mount St. Mary's nine base knocks on the day.
Navy remains home to host Monmouth in a three-game set this weekend. The Midshipmen and Hawks meet for a noon doubleheader on Saturday before a single game noon first-pitch on Sunday. Live stats for each of the three games will be available via GameTracker on www.navysports.com.