March 31, 2010
COLLEGE PARK, Md.
- The Navy baseball team sent the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but a strikeout ended the late comeback attempt as the Midshipmen fell to Maryland, 5-1, on Wednesday night at Shipley Field. The Mids dropped to 17-8 on the year, while Terrapins improved to 11-15.
Trailing 5-0 going into the ninth, Michael Speciale (Sr./Pearland, Texas) singled home Jonathan Wright (Jr./Arden, N.C.) with one out to put the Mids on the board. After a two-out infield single by pinch-hitter Josh Moore (So./Mills River, N.C.) loaded the bases, Maryland reliever John Dischert was able to get a strikeout to end the game.
"The ninth inning wasn't the problem, it was the previous-eight innings where we didn't generate anything offensively," stated Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "When you don't have a runner reach third base until the ninth inning, you're not going to have any opportunities."
Maryland plated a run in the first, two in the third and one in the fourth to take a 4-0 lead. Meanwhile, Navy could not muster a base hit off Maryland starter Eric Potter during his five innings of work. The Midshipmen got their first hit in the sixth inning off reliever Blair Delean, as Dylan Wheeler (Fr./Novato, Calif.) legged out an infield single to third.
Six different pitchers took the mound for the Midshipmen, as they worked their bullpen after logging just seven innings over the previous-three games. Navy's pitching staff combined to limit the Terrapins to six hits with only three walks on the night.
"It was truly a staff day. We came into the game with that idea," said Kostacopoulos. "To throw six guys and only give up six hits, they did job their job. The pitching staff as a whole has been doing their job really well over the last couple of weeks."
Starter Johnny Schoberl (Fr./Milford, N.J.) was tagged for the loss, as he allowed one run on one hit over one inning with two walks and a strikeout. Relievers Drew Carlson (Sr./Boca Raton, Fla.), Ben Nelson (Fr./Winter Springs, Fla.) and Jeff Murdza (Sr./Hamilton, N.J.) combined to keep the Terrapins off the scoreboard between the fifth and seventh innings.
Speciale was the lone Navy hitter to record a multi-hit performance on Wednesday night, as he went 2-for-4 with a RBI. Leadoff hitter Matthew Curley (Sr./Boston, Mass.) and Craig Veech (Fr./Longwood, Fla.) each drew a pair of walks.
The Midshipmen will open up Patriot League play this Saturday with a home doubleheader against Lehigh, starting at 12 noon, with the first 150 fans in attendance receiving a free Navy pom pom. Both games will be video streamed live through the Navy All-Access subscription service and live stats will be available via GameTracker on www.NavySports.com(.)
- Navy's 17 wins before the start of Patriot League play ranks as the third-highest total in program history ... the Mids won 19 before league action in 2006 and 18 in the pre-league slate in 2007.
- Over the final-five innings of the game, Navy's bullpen allowed no walks on three hits with three strikeouts.
- With Josh Moore's pinch-hit, infield single in the ninth, Navy is hitting .477 (21-for-44) in a pinch-hitting role this spring.
- Michael Speciale's two hits on Wednesday night pushed his career total to 204, which moved him into fourth place on the program's all-time list.
- Despite the setback, Navy still owns a 50-37-2 record against Maryland in the all-time series that dates back to 1899