March 16, 2013
BABSON PARK, Fla. -
The Navy baseball team got a career-high 13-strikeout performance from Ben Nelson and used a five-run seventh inning to defeat Yale, 6-5, on Saturday morning in Babson Park, Fla. With the win, Navy is now 7-11 overall. Yale is 1-7 on the season.
"Again, Ben was very good. That was as good as he has looked all season," said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "He was really the catalyst to our win today. The game really revolved around him and the two big hits we got in the seventh inning."
Trailing 2-1 in the top of the seventh, Navy sent all nine hitters to the plate and scored five runs to take a 6-2 lead. Three of the first four Mids reached base, and with one out David Wiedeman hit a shot to right field that dropped inside the foul line to bring in the first two runs. Three batters later, with two outs and the bases loaded, Greg Dupell belted an offering from Yale starting pitcher Rob Cerfolio into right field that scored all three runners, putting Navy ahead, 6-2.
"We've struggled to get the big hit the last couple of games and Dave certainly broke the ice today with a big hit and Dupe was able to follow up with one as well," said Kostacopoulos. "When you score five runs in an inning, it's a big pick-me-up."
Yale mounted a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, but freshman reliever Sam Sorenson was able to get the final three outs for his second save of the year. A double and then RBI single by Joe Lubanski made it a 6-3 game. Two batters later and still with no outs, Green Campbell hit a ball toward shortstop David Wiedeman that took an awkward hop and changed directions, allowing the ball to jump past him and a pair of runs to score and make it a 6-5 game.
A sacrifice bunt and groundout moved the tying run, Campbell, over to third base, but Sorenson got Eric Hsieh to ground out to Chris Campbell
at third base and end the game.
Robert Currie got the first hit of the game in the top of the fourth inning when he led off with a single. He worked his way to third via a stolen base and single by Dave Milanes and then scored on a two-out RBI single to left field by Brandon Beans.
The Bulldogs came back to take the lead though in the bottom of the fourth frame, capitalizing on a pair of Navy errors. Hsieh and David Toups both reached on errors and later a two-out single to right field by Josh Scharff plated both runners for a 2-1 Bulldog lead.
Nelson retired the first nine hitters of the game before the errors led to pair of Yale runs in the fourth. He allowed just four hits and struck out six more batters before exiting the game in the ninth. He improved to 4-1 on the season with the win.
"Ben's performance came at a great time," said Kostacopoulos. "We didn't help him defensively in the fourth inning and he overcame it and was able to put a few more zeros on the board."
Like Nelson, Cerfolio also started strong as he retired nine of the first 10 hitters he faced. He went seven-complete innings, struck out seven batters and walked one as he fell to 0-2 on the year.
Navy will be back in action on Wednesday when it starts a six-game home stand by taking on Delaware State at 3 p.m.