March 23, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
Princeton starting pitcher Kevin Link scattered seven hits over eight complete innings as the Tigers defeated Navy, 10-1, on Friday afternoon at Max Bishop Stadium in the first of a four-game series between the teams. Link received plenty of support from the Princeton offense that scored four runs in the both the second and fifth innings as they improved to 5-8 on the season.
"Princeton played very well today - give them credit," said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "They swung the bat from the start and were able to dictate the game from there. They did a nice job on their offensive approach."
The Midshipmen (9-11) grounded into four double plays on Friday, including one with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning. It looked like Navy might jump on the Tigers early as a walk, single and hit batter loaded the bases for Greg Dupell, who drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly to left field. But after giving up another single to pack the bases again, Link was able to get Kash Manzelli to ground into a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play.
The bottom of the first proved to Navy's best scoring opportunity of the game as Link held Navy to just five hits the rest of the way.
With Navy unable to push across any more runs in the first inning, four of the first five Princeton hitters reached base in the top of the second, including Steve Harrington who tied the game with an RBI single. Alec Keller, who went 4-for-5 on the day, later followed with a two-RBI single up the middle and Matt Bowman made it 4-1 with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Harrington hit a solo homer to right field in the fourth inning and with Link keeping the Navy bats quiet, the Tigers were able to add to their lead in the top of the fifth with four more runs. After a pair of singles, John Mishu followed with a an RBI double and Sam Mulroy then ended Navy starter Ben Nelson's day with a two-RBI single. Harrington's third RBI of the game later made it 9-1.
For Nelson, it was his shortest outing of the season as he yielded nine runs off 10 hits to fall to 1-1 on the year.
Charlie LaMar, Dallas Redden and Matt Kilby combined to pitch the final five innings, allowing four hits.
Keller drove in the final run of the day with an RBI single in the top of the eighth.
Navy and Princeton will meet again on Saturday in a doubleheader beginning at noon.