ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
The Navy baseball team rallied for another come-from-behind win on Sunday at Max Bishop Stadium as the Mids defeated Princeton, 5-4, in 11 innings. In taking three of four games from the Tigers this weekend, Navy is now 5-1 in its last six games and 11-12 on the year.
Trailing, 4-2, in the bottom of the seventh inning, Dave Milanes hit a two-out, two-RBI double to right field to tie the game. Both teams produced scoring chances as the game went on, but Navy finally closed it out in the bottom of the 11th. With runners on first and second base, a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt by Robert Currie allowed the winning run to score.
A pair of Navy errors in the top of the second inning led to three unearned runs as the Tigers took a 3-0 lead. But the Navy pitching staff didn't let Princeton build on its lead and RBI singles by Brad Borosak in the fourth and sixth innings helped Navy pull within a run before Milanes' game-tying hit in the seventh.
"We had to overcome our own mistakes and beat a solid team, which is tough to do," said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "Luke Gillingham did a nice job, as did Joel Rinehart and Sam Sorenson. Princeton had a lot of opportunities and we were able to end a lot of their rallies. Our pitchers really did a solid job today."
With Princeton (2-16) leading 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Borosak drove in his first run of the day. Borosak sent a sharply hit ball toward third baseman Alex Flink, who knocked down the ball, but didn't have time to make play, allowing Brandon Beans to score from third base.
After the hard-luck second inning, Gillingham settled and faced just one over the minimum in each of the next three innings. Rinehart pitched a scoreless top of the sixth and the Navy offense took advantage by cutting the deficit to one in the bottom of the frame. Greg Dupell reached on a one out single and worked his way over to second on a stolen base then took third on a groundout. Borosak then sent a ball through left side of the infield to plate Dupell for his second RBI of the day, making the score 3-2.
An RBI groundout by Mike Ford reestablished Princeton's two-run advantage in the top of the seventh, but back-to-back, two-out singles by Currie and Beans put Navy in position to tie the game in the bottom of the inning. Milanes then poked a double down the line in right field, bringing in both runners.
"That was obviously a big hit by Dave. We were struggling a little bit at that point and that hit put us right back in the game," said Kostacopoulos.
A leadoff double helped Princeton load the bases with one out in the top of the ninth, giving the Tigers a chance break the 4-4 tie. After issuing an intentional walk to Ford to load the bases, Sorenson got exactly what he needed - a ground ball to set up a 4-6-3 double play that ended the threat.
Navy put runners on base in both the ninth and 10th innings, but came away empty. A single and walk in the top of the 11th gave Princeton a shot to pull ahead, but Sorenson induced a ground ball for the final out.
Navy's victorious bottom of the 11th started with a leadoff, hard-hit single through the middle by pinch-hitter Dave Norman. David Wiedeman then reached on a bunt to give Navy runners at first and second with no outs. Currie attempted to move both runners over with a sacrifice bunt, but Princeton pitcher Cameron Mingo's throw to first base sailed wide, allowing a pinch-running Dylan Wheeler to come home for the game-winning run.
"Dave and Robert both executed well there in the 11th," said Kostacopoulos.
Sorenson, who allowed two hits in pitching the final three innings, picked up his second win of the season.
Mingo took over for starter Kevin Link in the eighth inning and took the loss to fall to 0-2.
In his second-career start, Gillingham went five-complete innings, yielding three unearned runs off six hits. He struck out six and didn't issue a walk.
Navy will close its six-game home stand this Wednesday when it hosts Maryland-Eastern Shore at 3 p.m. at Max Bishop Stadium.