April 1, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
A day after clinching the Star with a doubleheader sweep, the Navy baseball team split a twin bill with Army on Monday afternoon to take three of four games from the Black Knights in the conference-opening series. The Mids won game one on Monday, 15-4, but fell in game two, 14-7.
"When you win a series in the Patriot League, it's big," said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "You have to break even or win them, and if you do that, you're going to have success. It was our goal to come up here and win the series and we were able to do that."
Navy's 15 runs in game one were a season high and its 17 hits were one short of its season best. Seven Mids had multiple hits, including Greg Dupell (3-for-5) and Connor Deneen (2-for-2), who both had three RBIs.
"We were able to jump on them early in game one and we really swung the bat well. Everyone in the lineup contributed," said Kostacopoulos.
Navy (15-13, 3-1) took a 3-0 lead in game two, but the Black Knights (8-14, 1-3) used a five-run second inning to push the game in their favor and staved off the sweep with a 14-7 win.
Navy scored in every inning but the seventh in game one and took advantage of Army miscues in the top of the first inning to score three runs - all without a hit. With runners on the corners via a walk and hit by pitch, Brandon Beans reached on a throwing error, brining in Brad Borosak from third. Another walk loaded the bases and then a catcher's interference call with Chris Campbell at the plate forced in Navy's second run. Designated hitter Connor Deneen followed with a walk, bringing in the third run.
RBI singles by Greg Dupell
and Kash Manzelli
, bracketed an RBI double by Beans into the gap in left field, boosting Navy's lead to 6-0 in the top of the second inning.
Borosak added an RBI double in the third and then four straight hits to start the fourth led to four runs for Navy in the inning. Campbell had the fourth hit of the inning, a single to left field that plated the first run. A walk to Deneen and single by David Wiedeman kept the bases loaded and the runners moving station to station for two more runs. Currie then got plunked with pitch, forcing in another run, making it 11-0.
Deneen drove in his third run of the game with a single in the fifth and Wiedeman's fielder's choice RBI added another. A two-run homer to right-center field by Dupell produced Navy's final runs of the game in the sixth.
Army broke the shutout with a solo run in the fourth and then added three in the fifth.
Pitching with plenty of run support, Johnny Schoberl never let the Black Knight offense get going. He was the beneficiary of inning-ending double plays in the first and second innings and tossed his first complete game since April 28 last season vs. Lehigh as he yielded six hits and just two of the runs he surrendered were earned as he improved to 2-3.
"Johnny gave us a really solid performance," said Kostacopoulos.
Army's Alex Robinett lasted just three innings, as he was responsible for seven runs (four earned) off seven hits and took the loss to fall to 2-3.
A two-RBI double to right-center field in the top of the second inning of game two by Jack Keller helped Navy pick up where it left off in game one. Robert Currie added an RBI single to give the Mids a 3-0 advantage.
The game turned though in the bottom of the second as three Navy errors helped the Black Knights score five unearned runs to claim a 5-3 lead. Army sent 11 hitters to the plate and Jon Crucitti, Grant Van Orden and Alex Jensen all had RBI singles.
An RBI double by Wiedeman helped Navy close the gap to one run in the top of the fourth, but Army responded with two runs in bottom of the frame.
A leadoff home run by Jacob Page in the bottom of the fifth gave Army an 8-4 lead. Navy sliced into the lead by scoring on an error in the sixth inning and a wild pitch in the top of the eighth to pull within two runs, but Army squashed Navy's comeback hopes with six runs in the bottom of the eighth.
The Mids added a solo run in the top of the ninth, making the final score, 14-7.
Navy's game-two starting pitcher Luke Gillingham went four-complete innings and just two of the seven runs he yielded were earned. He took the loss and is now 1-2.
Army's Gunnar Carroll gave up six runs (five earned) off nine hits in eight-complete innings and improved to 2-3 on the year.
Navy will be back in action on Wednesday when it makes the short trip to Towson to face the Tigers at 3 p.m.