Mids Roll in 18-0 Shutout at Delaware State
DOVER, Del. – In their first road game in three-plus weeks, the Navy baseball team got off the bus on Wednesday at Delaware State ready for action. The Mids (13-7) overwhelmed the Hornets (6-10) right from the start and never looked back as their offense clicked to the tune of 18 runs and 27 hits, while its pitching staff was equally as impressive with just four hits allowed and no runs. On its way to an 18-0 win at Delaware State’s Soldier Field, Navy led by 10 runs after three innings and 18 after six.
“Today was all about a complete team effort,” remarked head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. “We had everything going in all three facets of our game. At bat, we kept finding holes to rack up hits and drive in runs. We made a lot of good contact and hit balls hard. Zach Biggers and Travis Blue had big games, but as a whole our lineup produced one through nine and even off the bench.
“On the mound, all five pitchers went out there and did a good job. They attacked and threw strikes. In a day where the wind was blowing out, they did a great job of keeping the ball down and away from solid contact and potential danger.”
Individually, Travis Blue (Sr., Orange, Calif.), Zach Biggers (Fr., Walhalla, S.C.) and Stephen Born (Jr., Strafford, Pa.) led Navy’s offense with 10 combined hits. Blue went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBIs before leaving in the sixth inning, while his double play mate up the middle, Biggers went 4-for-6 with two runs, a double and one RBI. Born recorded a team-high three RBIs on his 2-for-4 day at the plate.
On the mound, Trey Seabrooke (Fr., Jacksonville, Fla.) made his first collegiate start and hurled four innings of two-hit, four-strikeout baseball. A pitch count on a predetermined staff day was the only thing that kept the young right-hander from going deeper into the contest. Austin Rader (Fr., Round Hill, Va.) was the first Mid out of the bullpen and the freshman backed up his classmate with a crisp two innings of one-hit, one-strikeout relief over just 16 pitches. Colin Brady (Jr., Seneca, S.C.), Brian Wikoff (Sr., Shrewsbury, N.J.) and Jackson Zoch (So., San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) all hurled scoreless innings over the final three frames. Brady and Wikoff recorded two strikeouts in each of their respective innings, while Zoch notched one in the bottom of the ninth.
The action on Wednesday saw the Mids jump out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first on a Leland Saile (Sr., Land O’Lakes, Fla.) RBI single, Delaware State throwing error and a Christian Hodge (So., Winder, Ga.) RBI single.
After recording four hits in the first inning, Navy came back in the second with five hits and another three-spot on the scoreboard. A methodical station-to-station approach allowed Born, Saile and Jacob Williamson (Fr., Sims, N.C.) to tally RBIs.
With the score 6-0 in favor of the Mids, Seabrooke’s second inning of work saw him once again post a pair of strikeouts and a grounder to Blue at shortstop.
Navy made it 10-0 in the top of the third with four runs on six hits as eight men stepped to the plate. The first five batters in the frame all recorded singles as Evan Lowery (Fr., Williamsburg, Va.) led off with one to right field before Biggers went to left-center and Logan Knowles (Jr., Port Orchard, Wash.) drove his pitch up the middle. Blue and Born rounded off the rally with singles to left field and again up the middle. Following a walk to Saile, Adrian Chinnery (Sr., Wilmington, Del.) made it seven batters in a row to reach safely with a single to center field. In the four-run frame, Knowles, Blue, Born and Chinnery all were credited with RBIs.
The offense slowed down a gear in the fourth as the Mids scored once on a bases loaded walk to Born.
Leading 11-0, Navy increased its lead to 14 in the fifth with four more singles, two wild pitches and a hit-by-pitch. Lowery, Biggers and Blue drove in the runs for the Mids during the fifth.
After an efficient 41-pitch, four-inning outing by Seabrooke, Rader took the baton for Navy’s pitching staff out of the bullpen beginning in the fifth and retired the side in order on five pitches.
Navy hung its last crooked numbers on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth as 10 Midshipmen went to bat and posted four runs on four hits, two walks and two wild pitches. Backup catcher Alex Smith (Fr., Stafford, Va.) came through with the inning’s significant base knock as he plated two runs on a double to left field. Matthew Wilcox (So., Los Gatos, Calif.) also came off the bench in the sixth and registered a successful result as he singled to center to score Lowery.
The final three-and-half innings would go by quietly as both teams were held scoreless with Navy collecting singles in seventh inning by Smith and in the ninth by Liam Lowery (So., Williamsburg, Va.). Delaware State had two hits, as well on offense.
In the 18-0 victory, Navy outhit Delaware State, 27-4. In total, 12 different Midshipmen recorded hits with nine tallying two or more. Four Mids: Blue (4), Biggers (4), Chinnery (3) and Williamson (3) all had three or more hits.
Off the bench over three at bats, Smith had two hits, the first two of his collegiate career. Prior to Wednesday, the freshman catcher was 0-for-8 in sporadic action.
Navy’s 27 team hits are tied for second-most all-time by a Midshipmen team in one game. Today’s output equals the mark posted by Navy at Lafayette on March 28, 1998. The all-time record is 28 set on April 20, 1938 versus McDaniel College.
Seabrooke earned the victory to go to 1-0 in his young career.
As a staff, Navy struck out 10 Delaware State batters and walked just two.
The win is Navy's 10th in a row dating back to Wednesday, March 8 versus UMES. The team has improved from 3-7 to 13-7 over the past two weeks.
The Midshipmen will be back in action on Friday for the first game of a four-game home series versus Princeton. The final weekend tune-up before Patriot League play will see the Mids and Tigers play a single game on Friday at 3 p.m., a doubleheader on Saturday at 12 p.m. and another single contest on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. All of the action will be hosted at Navy’s Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium.