Baseball Takes Two From Army to Clinch the Star
March 31, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Navy baseball team swept a doubleheader from Army on Sunday afternoon, winning game one, 7-1, and then game two, 4-2, at an overcast and windy Doubleday Field in West Point, N.Y. The two teams will complete the four-game set with a doubleheader tomorrow at noon, but Sunday's two wins ensures the Star for Navy as even in a series split, the Star goes to the winner of game one.
Kash Manzelli went a combined 5-for-8 with four RBIs in the two games, while starting pitchers Stephen Moore and Anthony Parenti both earned victories. Moore limited the Black Knights (7-13, 0-2) to just five hits in his first-career complete-game effort; he also struck out four and didn't issue a walk. In game two, Parenti scattered four hits over six-complete innings, struck out five and yielded one earned run.
"Stephen Moore just did a great job for us today. For him to step up and do what he did was just a phenomenal effort. He let us get our feet on the ground in that first game and pitched great," said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "Anthony picked up right where Stephen left off, as far as the momentum of going out and attacking hitters and he kept at it. He gave us a huge quality start."
With game one scoreless in the top of the second inning, Navy (14-12, 2-0) had runners on first and second base with one out when Connor Deneen delivered the first run of the day. His base hit tailed and dropped into left-center field, scoring Brandon Beans. The next batter, David Wiedeman sent a single through the left side to plate Manzelli and give Navy a 2-0 lead.
Patrick Mescher's RBI single in the bottom of the fourth cut the Navy lead to 2-1, but after a 1-2-3 bottom of the fifth by Moore, the Mids' offense responded in the top of the sixth. A leadoff walk and sacrifice bunt moved Greg Dupell into scoring position for Manzelli, who took advantage with an RBI double. Manzelli's shot headed for left field off the bat, but the strong wind took it even further left and the ball bounced just inside the foul line and rolled toward the bullpen.
Deneen followed two batters later with his second RBI of the game, sending a single into right-center field to give Navy a 4-1 lead. Deneen finished game one 2-for-4 in his first start as designated hitter.
Another 1-2-3 inning for Moore in the bottom of the sixth set the Mids up to extend their lead in the top of the seventh. Consecutive walks to start the inning gave Dupell an RBI chance and he made good with a hard-hit single through the middle that plated Brad Borosak. Manzelli later brought in his second run of the game on a sacrifice fly and wild pitch by reliever Jack Verrill allowed another to score, giving Navy a 7-1 advantage.
"We did a good job of stretching the lead," said Kostacopoulos. "We talk about the importance of that and we were able to do it today in game one."
Moore gave up a single and hit a batter in the bottom of the seventh, but rebounded with a strikeout and then got a groundout to third base to end the game.
"A complete-game win in this series is something special," said Kostacopoulos.
Army's game-one starter Chris Rowley held Navy to just one hit in his appearance against the Mids last season, but surrendered eight on Sunday and was charged with all seven runs; he left after facing four batters in the top of the seventh and took the loss.
After the Black Knights took a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth inning in game two, Navy took advantage of two Army errors in the top of the fifth to score four runs a grab a 4-1 lead. With a pair of runners on base via a walk and error by third baseman Harold Earls, Dupell belted an RBI single through the middle for the first run. Another error by Earls allowed Beans to reach and load the bases for Manzelli, who crushed a line-drive single to right field, plating two more runs.
"Kash was huge today," said Kostacopoulos. "He had a couple big hits in the first game and then a huge one in game two. He was a big part of our day today."
The Mids made it 4-1 on perfectly executed sacrifice squeeze by Chris Campbell as he pushed the bunt towards first base, allowing Beans to score from third.
Parenti faced the minimum in the sixth before giving way to Joel Rinehart, who took over at the start of the seventh. After issuing a leadoff walk, Rinehart retired nine consecutive to keep it a 4-2 game and earn his second save of the year.
"Once Joel gets a rhythm going, he's very tough. Tonight it took him a hitter or two to get into his rhythm, but once he got there, he was rock solid," said Kostacopoulos.
Navy had several chances to extend its lead in game two. The Mids loaded the bases in the eighth and ninth innings, but came away empty on both occasions and left a total of 16 runners on base in the game.
Army game-two starter Brock Davidson went five innings, yielding four runs (one earned) off five hits and took the loss to fall to 1-3.
Parenti's win bumped him to 2-2 on the year and Navy has now won eight of its last nine games.
- Sunday's doubleheader sweep of Army was the first for Navy since defeating the Black Knights 2-0 and 5-1 on March 29, 2003.
- Joel Rinehart moved into a tie for first place on Navy's all-time appearances list with 68 ... His save in game two gave him two for the season and 14 for his career, just two shy of tying the program's all-time record.