March 31, 2009
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy baseball team closed out its 10-game homestand with a 7-3 loss to Maryland on Tuesday afternoon at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium. The Midshipmen fell to 9-15-1 on the year, while the Terrapins upped their mark to 12-15.
After two scoreless innings, Maryland took a 3-0 lead in the third on a three-run double from Mike Moss. The Terrapins extended the lead to 5-0 in the fifth, as Moss doubled home another run and scored on a Dan Benick triple to right-center.
The Midshipmen plated their first run of the game in the bottom half of the fifth. Mike Guadagnini (So./Virginia Beach, Va.) led off with a triple and came home to score on a Kendall Bolt (Jr./Stockton, Calif.) groundout to second. However, Maryland answered back with a run in the sixth and eighth innings, both times scoring with two-out singles.
Navy's offense continued to work at the plate, resulting in two runs in the ninth. Guadagnini led off the frame with a single to left before advancing to second on a walk to pinch-hitter Andrew Hahn (Fr./Ellicott City, Md.). Bolt stepped up and brought home both runners with a double down the left-field line to make the score, 7-3.
Guadagnini finished the afternoon 2-for-5 with a triple and two runs scored, while Michael Speciale (Jr./Pearland, Texas) went 2-for-5 with a stolen base. Bolt reached base twice on the day - a hit and a hit by pitch - and drove in all three runs for the Mids. The Midshipmen were out-hit by the Terrapins, 15-8, but drew four walks and were hit by a pitch three times.
"I thought we fought hard to get runners on base, but Maryland's pitchers did a good job getting the first out of the inning," stated Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "We worked and got runners in scoring position, but much of the time with two outs. We threatened a lot with two outs, but weren't able to get the big two-out hit.
"Mike (Guadagnini) is a perfect example of a guy who is working hard every pitch. He's not giving away any at bats and, as a result, he's getting a few hits just by doing that."
Navy southpaw Jeff Murdza (Jr./Hamilton, N.J.) made his first-career start and was tagged for the loss, as he allowed three runs on four hits over three frames with four walks and three strikeouts. Relievers Alec Thomas (Jr./Kernersville, N.C.), Chris Murray (Jr./Navarre, Fla.) and Luke Roberts (So./Midland, N.C.) combined to strike out seven batters and walk none over the final-six innings of the ballgame.
"I think for guys that haven't thrown many innings this year, I would say it's a fair assessment that they held their own today," said Kostacopoulos. "Luke (Roberts) continues to do a good job. We have a lot of confidence in him right now."
The Midshipmen will begin a 10-game road swing this weekend when they head to Bethlehem, Pa., for a four-game series against Patriot League foe Lehigh (6-21-1, 0-2). The two teams will play doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 12 noon on both days.
- Navy is now 50-36-2 against Maryland in the all-time series ... the Terrapins have won each of the last-eight contests ... Tuesday's meeting was the first between the two teams in Annapolis since the 2003 season.
- Navy faced Maryland's Friday night starter against No. 22 Florida State last weekend - LHP Matt Fullerton ... the Maryland southpaw fanned four in 3.2 innings of work to earn the win ... two other Terrapins pitchers fired at least 2.0 innings of work against the Seminoles last weekend - RHP Kyle Blackwell (2.0 IP) and LHP Adam Kolarek (3.1 IP).
- Navy's pitching staff combined to strike out 10 Maryland batters on Tuesday ... it was the fifth time this year that Midshipmen have fanned 10-plus batters in a game ... for the year, the Mids are averaging 7.79 strikeouts per nine innings - good for the sixth-best mark in program history.
- Reliever Luke Roberts has not allowed an earned run over his 11 career appearances - a span of 14.2 innings ... he struck out the side in his only inning of work on Tuesday ... the three punchouts tied his career high in 1.1 innings of work against Cornell on Feb. 28 earlier this year.
- Leadoff hitter Mike Guadagnini continued to swing a hot bat for the Mids ... he recorded his ninth multi-hit game over the last-11 contests ... within that span, he's batting .500 (22-for-44) with 11 runs scored, three doubles, three triples, a home run and three RBIs.
- Michael Speciale fifth multi-hit effort over the same span on Tuesday ... he's hitting .386 (17-for-44) with five doubles, a home run, eight RBIs, five stolen bases and 10 runs scored within this stretch.
- Kendall Bolt recorded his team-best eighth multi-RBI game of the year on Tuesday, driving in all three of Navy's runs ... over the last-seven games, the Navy junior has knocked in 12 runs.
- Navy's defense played error-free baseball on Tuesday afternoon ... it marked the second-straight game and the seventh time this season that Midshipmen did not commit an error.