Navy Wins on the Road at Georgetown, 6-2
BETHESDA, Md. – The Navy baseball team rode strong efforts by its pitching staff, defense and top of its batting order to come out on top of Georgetown by a score of 6-2 on Wednesday. The Mid (16-9) used six pitchers, as well two late-inning double plays to keep a potent Hoyas’ (14-11) offense in-check in the contest at Shirley Povich Field, while the 2-3-4 portion of Navy’s lineup went a combined 10-for-14 with five runs scored and four RBIs.
“This was a really crisp, well-played game all around,” remarked head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. “The key today was getting contributions from six different pitchers. Normally when you go for a staff day you’ll run into one or two ineffective outings, but all six of our pitchers today contributed. Add in the fact, that our defense played really well and were able to turn a couple of double plays and make some really good plays to rob potential extra-base hits and that’s how we held Georgetown to two runs.
“Offensively, the heart of our production came from Travis Blue, Stephen Born and Leland Saile. Every time they got up today, they put together quality at bats and most of the time really good results. Travis got us going with a few momentum-shifting hits, his homer in the first and go-ahead RBI in the sixth. 10 hits by those three was impressive.”
On a predetermined staff day, Thomas Wilson (Fr., Burbank, Calif.) led a group of six pitchers who took the ball on Wednesday at Povich Field as he started and threw two scoreless innings with two strikeouts. By the time the 27th out was recorded, Rece Goodman (So., Irvine, Calif.), Trey Seabrooke (Fr., Jacksonville, Fla.), Brian Wikoff (Sr., Shrewsbury, N.J.), Sean Kamhoot (Jr., Gainesville, Fla.) and Jett Meenach (Sr., Flower Mound, Texas) had all pitched at least one inning and threw no more than 36 pitches. Wikoff struck out a team-high three batters in his 2.0 innings on the mound over the sixth and seventh innings, while Seabrooke garnered the victory as he was still in the game when Navy went ahead in the top of the sixth.
At the plate, Travis Blue (Sr., Orange, Calif.), Stephen Born (Jr., Strafford, Pa.) and Leland Saile (Sr., Land O’Lakes, Fla.) did the majority of the heavy lifting for Navy as they collected 10 hits, including a double by Born and solo home runs by Blue and Saile. The Mids’ first baseman, Saile went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs, while Blue was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs, as well. Born didn’t registered an RBI, but was on base three times over his five at bats.
The action on Wednesday started fast for Navy as on the sixth pitch of the game, the team went up 1-0 courtesy of a solo home run by Blue in the top of the first inning. Singles by Born and Saile set the Mids up to possibly expand their lead, but Georgetown’s starting pitcher Nick Leonard retired two straight to end the threat.
After a three-up, three-down inning by Wilson in the bottom of the first, the freshman hurler ran into a bit of trouble in the second as the host Hoyas loaded the bases with two outs before the right-hander struck out Beau Hall looking to end the frame.
Georgetown tallied its only two runs of the game in the bottom of the third as the Hoyas used a two-out single by Zach Racusin and a home run by Jake Kuzbel to make it a 2-1 contest.
Those would be Georgetown’s final runs as Navy’s next four arms out of the bullpen recorded 6.0 innings of scoreless six-hit relief.
Down 2-1, the Mids knotted the game in the top of the fifth as the trio of Blue, Born and Saile came through with three straight hits. After Blue beat out an infield single, Born doubled down the left field line to make it two on with one out. On the first pitch of his at bat, Saile singled to the shortstop to plate Blue and make it 2-2.
Navy took the lead in the top of the sixth with a two-out rally. Zach Biggers (Fr., Walhalla, S.C.) started the go-ahead drive with an infield single. After a walk to Logan Knowles (Jr., Port Orchard, Wash.), Blue recorded his second RBI of the game with a single through the left side to usher Biggers home.
Up 3-2, Brian Wikoff, fresh out of the bullpen, mowed down the Hoyas in the bottom of the sixth as he struck out the side.
The Mids scored for their third straight inning in the top of the seventh as Saile led off the frame with a solo blast over the left field wall. That home run was the second of his five-game career versus Georgetown and eighth RBI over that span. In his career of mid-week action against the Hoyas, Saile has gone 12-for-19 (.631 BA) with three doubles in addition to those previously mentioned home run and RBI totals. Over the past three games alone, he’s 10-for-13 for a .769 batting average.
Holding a two-run advantage, Navy’s defense stepped up and really started flashing the leather in late-inning pressure situations as the Mids’ middle infield of Matthew Wilcox (So., Los Gatos, Calif.) at second base and Blue at shortstop quickly turned a leadoff walk in the bottom of the seventh into two outs with a 4-6-3 double play. Navy had a repeat performance in the eighth as newly-inserted second baseman Michael Coritz (Fr., Clifton, Va.) started a 4-6-3 double play to thwart a leadoff single by the Hoyas.
The Mids added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth as Born, Saile and Evan Lowery (Fr., Williamsburg, Va.) all reached to load the bases with no outs. An RBI ground out by Jacob Williamson (Fr., Sims, N.C.) and a squeeze bunt by Adrian Chinnery (Sr., Wilmington, Del.) made it 6-2. The game would go final by that margin as Meenach put down Georgetown in order in the bottom of the stanza.
For the game, Navy outhit Georgetown, 12-10.
Seabrooke earned victory to improve to 2-0 on the season. With his 2.0 scoreless innings on Wednesday, the Jacksonville native has now hurled 10.2 innings without allowing a run to start his collegiate career.
Navy will now set its sights on the first weekend of Patriot League play with a road series versus Holy Cross. The series is currently scheduled for doubleheaders on both Saturday and Sunday with respective first pitches set for 2:05 on Saturday and 1:05 on Sunday.