March 27, 2007
EMMITSBURG, Md. - Five different Navy players slugged a home run as the Midshipmen defeated Mount St. Mary's, 16-3, on Tuesday afternoon at Straw Family Stadium. With the win, Navy improved to 18-9 on the year heading into Patriot League action this weekend. Mount St. Mary's fell to 8-12 with the loss.
The five home runs are the second most in school history, only one shy of the program record set at Lafayette on March 28, 1998. Navy entered Tuesday's contest with four home runs during its first-26 games on the year.
The 16 runs scored were the most since Navy's 2005 win at Savannah State, 17-8, on Feb. 19, 2005. The Midshipmen also pounded out a season-high 18 hits, the most since their win at Bucknell on April 30, 2006.
"With 18 hits today, you are certainly getting production from a lot of different people," stated Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "Going up and down the batting order, every batter swung the bat well."
Navy took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when freshman Mike Hoosier (Pomona, N.Y.) delivered a two-out, RBI-single through the left side to score freshman Michael Speciale (Pearland, Texas). The Midshipmen took advantage of an early-inning error to plate four runs in the second. Junior Renaldo Hollins (Virginia Beach, Va.) ripped a RBI-double to right-center, then after a walk, Speciale laced a two-run double to right to make the score 5-0.
The Midshipmen pushed the lead to 7-0 in the third when freshman Jonathan Berkowitz (Parkland, Fla.) belted a two-run shot over the right field fence. The round-tripper was the first in Berkowitz's career. Navy extended its advantage to 10-0 in the fifth with a two-run single off the bat of junior Bill Maugeri (Edgewater, Md.) and a sacrifice fly from Hoosier.
After Mount St. Mary's posted two runs in the bottom half of the fifth, Navy grabbed those runs right back in the top of the sixth. Freshmen Drew Lydon
(White Plains, Md.) and Kendall Bolt
(Stockton, Calif.) belted back-to-back home runs to give the Mids a 12-2 lead. The back-to-back long balls are the first for the Midshipmen in more than six years and the first multi-home run inning since April 10, 2005, at Holy Cross.
Having been two years since it had hit two home runs in the same inning prior to the sixth on Tuesday, Navy wasted little time performing the feat, belting two round-trippers again in the ninth inning. Following a leadoff walk, junior Thomas Hamilton (Houston, Texas) socked a two-run shot over the right-field fence. Two batters later, sophomore Jack Ferrick (Stafford, Va.) smacked a two-run home run to right to push the lead to 16-3.
Eleven different Midshipmen collected a hit and six Navy hitters recorded a multi-hit effort on the day. Lydon led the team with three hits, while Speciale, Maugeri, Hoosier, Hamilton and Bolt each tallied two base knocks. In addition to the five home runs, Navy also smacked three two-baggers during Tuesday's contest.
Navy freshman starting pitcher Yale Eckert (La Selva Beach, Calif.) earned his first-collegiate victory, as he struck out two and walked only one in three innings of three-hit, shutout baseball.
"In a park that was tough to pitch in, Yale did a great job," said Kostacopoulos. "He really worked his fastball and located his changeup and held a team that scored 18 on us two weeks ago to no runs in three-plus innings."
Senior reliever Daniel Kovalcik (Westwood, Mass.) picked up the save, as he struck out two batters and allowed only two hits and one run in three innings to close out the contest.
The Midshipmen will return to action this weekend when they head up to Worcester, Mass., to open their Patriot League slate against Holy Cross. The Mids and the Crusaders are scheduled to play a 12 noon doubleheader on both Saturday and Sunday at Fitton Field.
Kostacopoulos added, "A large component to hitting is mental. Once you start feeling better mentally at the plate, it definitely could help going into Patriot League play this weekend."
The Midshipmen were picked to finish in a tie for second in the Patriot League preseason poll with Lafayette this year.