April 1, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
The Navy baseball team dropped the final two games of its Patriot League-opening series with Army on Sunday at Max Bishop Stadium as the Black Knights took game one, 9-5, in extra innings and followed up with a 7-2 win in game two.
"We got beat in every phase of the game this weekend," said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "We left too many guys on base and weren't able to get anything going. Army made big pitches when they needed and we just weren't able to do the same. It was kind of that similar theme for all four games."
It took nine innings to decide game one as the Mids rallied to tie the score at five in the bottom of the seventh to send the game to extra frames. After Army broke a 4-4 tie with an RBI single by Kevin McKague in the top of the sixth inning, the Mids trailed entering the seventh. McKague, who moved from first base to the mound in the bottom of the seventh looking for a save, plunked the leadoff hitter Chris Campbell. Two batters later, Andrew Hahn belted a double to left-center field that took a high hop and bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double and brought in the tying run.
The Mids were unable to push across the winning run in the seventh inning, but got another chance in the eighth when Greg Dupell drew a one-out walk and worked his way over to third on a stolen base and passed ball. However, McKague was able to get Nikolai Simonsen swinging at strike three and then got David Norman to ground out and keep the game tied.
In the top of the ninth, the Black Knights got consecutive singles to start the inning and then scored what turned out to be the winning run on sacrifice fly by Alex Jensen. Army added three more runs off a two-out, two-RBI triple by Zach Price and an RBI single by Daniel Cortes to take 9-5 lead.
Manny Frenandez recorded a strikeout and got a double play in the bottom of the ninth to end game one.
Joel Rinehart replaced starter Preston Gainey in the fifth inning and got out of a two-on, no-out jam to keep the game tied. After allowing a run in the sixth, he gave up just a hit in both of the next two innings before the Black Knights' go-ahead ninth frame. Rinehart pitched a season-high four and two-thirds innings and took the loss to fall to 4-3.
McKague earned the win in game one for Army (19-7, 4-0).
Dupell and Simonsen gave Navy a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a pair of RBI hits. After Army tied the game in the top of the second, David Wiedeman regained the lead for the Mids with an RBI double to left field.
The seesaw affair continued in the top of the third inning as McKague tied the game at three when he scored on a wild pitch, and then Army took a 4-3 lead on a two-out RBI single by Harold Earls.
After leaving the bases loaded and coming away empty in the third, Navy knotted the game at four in the bottom of the fourth with a two-out RBI single by Dave Milanes to short right field.
In game two, a leadoff single followed by a Navy error led to the first runs in the top of the second inning. With runners on second and third base and no outs, Harold Earls and Jensen hit back-to-back RBI singles to give Army a 2-0 lead. Later, with Earls on third and Jensen on second, Andrew Johnson lined out to right field for the second out. In an attempt to keep the Black Knights from adding another run, Hahn, the right fielder, hurled the ball toward the infield, but the throw got away from him, allowing the two runners to score and increasing the Army lead to 4-0.
Navy sliced the deficit to 4-2 in the bottom of the second when Azor, who went 3-for-5 in game two, singled in Chris Cannon. A groundout RBI by Milanes brought in the second run.
But the Mids struggled to generate any more offense the rest of the game and left a total of 13 runners on base, including 11 through five innings. Army was able to methodically extended its lead with solo runs in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings en route to the 7-2 final score.
Andrew Flaherty, who took over for starter Alex Robinett in the fifth, threw the final five innings and held the Mids to just two hits. Flaherty improved to 2-0 with the win.
Navy got a good outing from game-two starting pitcher Stephen Moore as the freshman went seven-complete innings, allowing six runs, just three of which were earned, off eight hits. He recorded five strikeouts and didn't issue a walk in taking the loss.
The Mids (11-16, 0-4) will look to bounce back from the tough weekend when they host Coppin State on Wednesday at Max Bishop Stadium.
"We're going to have to get back to work at practice on Tuesday and be ready to go," said Kostacopoulos.