March 15, 2011
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -
Navy and Chicago State combined for 31 runs and 32 hits on Tuesday at Chain of Lakes Park Stadium in Winter Haven, Fla., and it was the Midshipmen that came out on top, 17-14. Navy took advantage of 10 Chicago State errors as it improved to 8-7-1 on the season.
Alex Azor, Greg Dupell and Dave Milanes - Navy's 3-4-5 hitters - combined for eight hits and nine RBIs in the win.
"We had a couple of guys in the middle of the order that came up big and bunched some hits together," said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "That was where we got most of our production and it was really the difference today."
With a 3-for-5 performance at the plate today, Azor is now 10-for-15 in his last three games.
"He's driving the ball and it's good to see," said Kostacopoulos. "You can see that he's getting to a different level of confidence and handling his at-bats well."
Navy scored a total of 12 runs in the second and fourth innings to take a 12-5 lead. After Chicago State trimmed the Navy lead to 12-8, the Midshipmen pushed across five more runs to up their lead to 17-8.
Chicago State made the game closer in the bottom of the eighth and ninth innings as it scored six more runs to make the final score 17-14.
With Chicago State leading, 2-0, after the first inning, Navy took advantage of two CSU errors to score seven runs in the top of the second. A hit by pitch, double play ground out and two errors gave Navy its first four runs. Greg Dupell then belted his second home run of the season - a three-run shot over the right field wall - to give Navy a 7-2 lead.
The Cougars made the score 7-5 after scoring three runs off three hits and one error in the bottom of the second.
Chicago State's fielding woes continued in the top of the fourth inning when a total of five errors and three hits led to five more runs for the Midshipmen.
Azor, Milanes and Josh Moore all drove in runs in the inning, while CSU third baseman Gavin Trevino's error on a ball hit by Dylan Wheeler platted two more runs, with two outs, as the Midshipmen pushed their lead to 12-5.
Chicago State sliced into the Navy advantage with a solo run in the fifth inning and then two more runs in the sixth.
With the score 12-8 in the top of the seventh, Azor drove in his second run of the day with a sacrifice fly to right field. Two batters later, Milanes brought in another run with a single up the middle.
A bases-loaded walk to Jeff Bland brought in the third run of the inning to up Navy's lead to 15-8.
In the top of eighth inning, Navy tacked on two more runs as Greg Dupell hit an RBI single to right field and Milanes drove in his third run of the day with sacrifice fly to center field.
After scoring twice in the bottom of the eighth, Chicago State added four more runs in the ninth, making the final score 17-14.
Navy starter Ben Nelson allowed six runs (five earned) off seven hits to earn his first win of the season.
Joel Rinehart earned the save with three complete innings of work.
CSU starter Dylan Sterrett allowed 12 runs, but just three earned, off seven hits in 3.2 innings and took the loss.
The Midshipmen will play the final game of their spring trip tomorrow at 10 a.m. when the take on Jacksonville State.
"We've got to play a tough team tomorrow in Jacksonville State," said Kostacopoulos. "We have to regroup and be ready to play."
Greg Dupell recorded a career-high four RBIs as he went 2-for-7...His home run in the second inning was his second in the last four games.
Dave Milanes tied a career best with three RBIs...Milanes also recorded three RBIs against Air Force on Feb. 27.
Alex Azor increased his team-leading hitting streak to seven games...Azor now has 10 multi-hit games this season.