March 20, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
The Navy baseball team came out on top of a back-and-forth game with Delaware State on Wednesday afternoon at Max Bishop Stadium. Trailing 10-8 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Navy rallied for four runs and went on to win, 12-10. Senior Dave Milanes went 5-for-5 with seven RBIs as the Mids registered a season-high 18 hits in the victory and are now 8-11 on the season.
"Our top-five hitters in the lineup had 16 hits, so that means you're bunching hits together," said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "That's what we need - we need to get some confidence, offensively. It just makes for a better atmosphere when you swing the bat well and that was good to see today."
Down 10-8 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Navy had a pair of runners on base for Brandon Beans who doubled off the wall in left field and plated Ryan Moody to pull Navy to within a run, 10-9. An infield single by Milanes loaded the bases and Kash Manzelli followed with a bloop single to shallow right field that scored Robert Currie and Beans. A mishandle of the ball in the outfield allowed an alert Milanes to score as well on the play, giving Navy a 12-10 lead.
Sam Sorenson pitched the final two innings, including a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up his third save of the season. Sorenson got help in the ninth from a spectacular diving catch in center field by Currie for the first out.
"Sam did a great job today," said Kostacopoulos.
Navy's four-run seventh inning was the second step of its comeback on the afternoon. Trailing 9-5 after DSU scored seven in the top of the fourth, the Mids responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the frame to pull within one. It was Milanes that helped Navy get back into the game as his bases-loaded double to deep right-center field scored all three runners, making the score, 9-8.
"That was huge. We kept it a ballgame and they weren't able to get in a rhythm," said Kostacopoulos. "We were able to respond every time they scored today and that's a good sign. It was a very good offensive day."
Milanes gave Navy a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when he belted his first three-RBI double of the game.
A throwing error by Navy starting pitcher Johnny Schoberl on an attempted sacrifice bunt in the top of the third inning helped the Hornets get on the board as they scored a pair of runs. The Mids responded though in the bottom half of the inning with back-to-back solo home runs by Milanes and Manzelli. Milanes' shot bounced off the foul pole in right field, while Manzelli's easily cleared the right field wall for his second home run of the season.
The Navy lead didn't last though as the Hornets sent 12 batters to the plate in the top of the fourth for their big, seven-run inning. Mike Alexander, Eddie Sorondo, Hassan Evans, D.J. Miller (two), J.P. Frey and Cameron Cecil all had RBIs in the inning.
DSU's final run of the game came in the top of the seventh on an RBI single by Evans.
Joel Rinehart (2-1) picked up the win for Navy as he come in relief in the fourth inning and threw 3 2/3rds innings. He allowed one unearned run off five hits and struck out two.
DSU's George Michaels took the loss as he allowed all four runs in the bottom of the seventh. The Hornets are now 12-7 on the season.
Beans (4-for-6), Currie (3-for-5) and Manzelli (3-for-5) all finished with multiple hits for the Midshipmen.
Navy will host Princeton this weekend in a four-game series beginning on Friday at 3 p.m. at Max Bishop Stadium.