March 31, 2014
LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Navy baseball team (13-15, 0-4 PL) fell twice on Monday afternoon at Bucknell (12-11-1, 4-0 PL) in a pair of close Patriot League contests at the Bison’s DePew Field. A lone first inning run by Bucknell in Game One would hold up for the victory, while a three-run sixth inning in Game Two would be the deciding factor in the series sweep for the Bison.
Junior RHP Stephen Moore (Roswell, Ga.) gave Navy an excellent chance to win in the day’s first game as he threw a complete game three-hitter. A hit to the leadoff batter, who would eventually come around to score was Moore’s only blemish on the scoreboard during his outing.
Offensively, freshman Leland Saile (Land O’Lakes, Fla.) came through with Navy’s biggest hit on the day as he registered the Mids’ first run in Game Two on a fifth inning triple.
“It’s going to be hard to win when you get five hits on the day,” said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. “Unfortunately, we wasted a tremendous pitching performance by Stephen Moore in Game One by losing 1-0. The storyline for the day is when you have five hits on the day and hit .132 on the weekend; you’re going to have a hard time coming away with victories.”
In Monday’s 1 p.m. opening game, the host Bison jumped on Moore and the Midshipmen early with a first inning run. Bucknell’s leadoff hitter Brett Smith started the game with a single to right field before stealing second base. After a fly out advanced Smith to third, Joe Ogren hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field to score Smith and give the Bison a 1-0 advantage over Navy.
Matched up against the reigning Patriot League Pitcher of the Week, Andrew Andreychik, the Mids struggled throughout to find a rhythm and consequential success. The Bison’s righty faced the minimum over five innings as Travis Blue
(Fr., Orange, Calif.) earned Navy’s first hit in the top of the second inning with a single through the right side. During the next at bat, the freshman shortstop was caught stealing to end the inning.
After allowing the run in the first inning, Moore locked in and set the Bison down in order in each of the second, third and sixth innings. In the fourth and fifth, the junior conceded single base hits. In his complete game effort, he struck out three and didn’t issue a walk.
In the end, Andreychik was just too much for Navy as Patrick Brady (Fr., Charlotte, N.C.) joined Blue as the only Mids to reach first as he stroked a two-out sixth inning single over the first base bag.
The seven inning pitcher’s duel ended with Bucknell and Andreychik victorious, 1-0. For the game, Bucknell outhit Navy, 3-2.
“Stephen did a fabulous job for us,” said Kostacopoulos. “He gave up three hits, didn’t walk anyone and comes out a tough luck loser. You really hate to see a performance like that come away with a loss.”
After playing Game One in a scorching 1:17, the Mids and Bison got right back on the field 30 minutes later for Game Two. Similar to the first contest, Bucknell hung a crooked number on the scoreboard in the first inning as the hosts plated two runs on two hits off of Navy starting pitcher Michael McCormick (Fr., Speedway, Ind.).
The Mids looked to respond to the 2-0 deficit in the top of the second as Brandon Beans (Sr., Hartsville, S.C.) laced a one-out double down the left field line. Bucknell’s starter Xavier Hammond quickly short-circuited that threat with two consecutive outs to get out of the inning.
George Coughlin (Fr., Arvada, Colo.) came on in relief of McCormick in the third inning and held the game at a 2-0 margin with three consecutive scoreless frames.
With the score stabilized, Navy finally broke through versus Hammond in the top of the fifth and knotted the game at 2-2. Ryan Turner (So., Boone, N.C.) led off the rally as he reached on an error by the third baseman. After advancing to second on a passed ball, Saile plated Turner on a triple into the right field corner. The newly-energized Saile then scored to tie the game during the next at bat as Hammond uncorked a wild pitch to the backstop.
The game didn’t stay tied at two for long as Bucknell sent six straight batters to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Jon Mayer’s at bat was the climax of the offensive run for the Bison as he hit a double down the left field line to score three.
With the score 5-2, Hammond shut down Navy over the final three innings as he faced just one over the minimum to close out his complete game effort.
For the game, Bucknell outhit Navy, 8-3.
McCormick received a no-decision for his two innings of action, while Coughlin was saddled with the loss as he went 3.2 innings with two strikeouts and two runs allowed on three hits and three walks.
Kevin McKelvey (Fr., West Covina, Calif.) and Brad Borosak (Jr., Jupiter, Fla.) hurled 2.1 hitless innings in relief for the Mids against the Bison. The duo retired all seven batters that they faced, including three via strikeouts.
Navy will step aside from Patriot League play on Wednesday with a mid-week home game against Coppin State. First pitch between the Mids and Eagles is set for 3 p.m. at Max Bishop Stadium.