Navy Splits League-Opening Twinbill Against Lehigh
April 3, 2010
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy baseball team pounded out 15 hits in Saturday's second game to split its doubleheader against Lehigh to open Patriot League Play at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium. The Midshipmen (18-9, 1-1 PL) won the nightcap, 9-7, prior to which the Mountain Hawks (7-15, 1-1 PL) claimed the opener, 4-2.
In game two, eight of Navy's starters recorded a base hit and all-nine reached base safely. Andrew Hahn (So./Ellicott City, Md.) went 3-for-3 with a double and a RBI, while Michael Speciale (Sr./Pearland, Texas) finished 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored. Mike Guadagnini (Jr./Virginia Beach, Va.) went 2-for-3 with a triple, three runs scored, two RBIs and a hit by pitch. Alex Azor (So./Miami, Fla.) and Jeff Bland (Jr./Basking Ridge, N.J.) each had a pair of base knocks.
"Andrew (Hahn) had a great day today," stated Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "He really gave us some confidence with his double in the second off the fence. He was a great spark off the bench for us.
"Mike (Guadagnini) built some at bats and picked up a couple of hits. That's something that we're going to need out of him in moving forward. He's also a very good defensive first baseman. He saved us a couple of runs today."
The offense provided the Mids a lead in the third that they would not relinquish, as six-straight singles helped bring home four runs and take a 4-2 lead. The Midshipmen tacked on two in the fifth, highlighted by a Guadagnini RBI-triple to left-center, and an unearned run in the sixth and two more runs in the seventh in extending their lead to 9-3.
The Mountain Hawks made things interesting in the ninth, as they scored four runs and had the go-ahead run at the plate. However, Navy reliever Drew Carlson (Sr./Boca Raton, Fla.) got Sean Killeen to strike out to end the game and earn his team-best third save of the season.
Navy starter Zach Sipe (So./Huffman, Texas) battled his way through 6.2 innings to improve his record to 4-0 on the year. He scattered five hits and three runs with four walks and five strikeouts over his 111-pitch afternoon.
In the opener, Navy starter Sam Long (Jr./Newnan, Ga.) fought through six innings, but was tagged for the loss in dropping to 3-2 this spring. He allowed four runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
"Both of our starters today toughed it out," said Kostacopoulos. "Their stuff wasn't real good and weren't able to locate at all. However, each bowed their neck and gave us the innings that we needed to get through a four-game series."
Lehigh jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second before Navy answered in the bottom half of the frame. Guadagnini and Matthew Curley (Sr./Boston, Mass.) led off with back-to-back singles before Azor delivered a RBI-single through the left side, which would be Navy's last of the contest. Curley would tie the game at two with a RBI-groundout by Jonathan Berkowitz (Sr./Parkland, Fla.).
The Mountain Hawks plated the two deciding runs in the fourth inning and starter Andrew Berger went the distance to earn the win. Berger allowed three hits and two runs with two walks and seven strikeouts.
The Midshipmen will close out the four-game league series with Lehigh tomorrow with a 12 noon doubleheader. Admission is free for all Navy baseball home games. Both of tomorrow's games will be video streamed live on Navy All-Access and have live stats available via GameTracker on www.NavySports.com(.)
- Navy's 18 wins in 2010 are just two shy from its 20-win total from all of last season.
- The Midshipmen have come from behind to win 10 of their 18 games this spring ... the Mids came back from a 2-0 deficit early in game two on Saturday.
- Navy is 49-15 (.766) all-time in Patriot League opening weekends.
- The Mids are now 57-32 (.640) all-time against Lehigh ... in meetings played in Annapolis, Navy sports a 28-9 (.757) all-time advantage.
- Navy's senior class has totaled 105 wins during its tenure, which is only one shy of matching the Class of 1983 for second place in program history ... the Class of 2008 holds the program record for wins with 111.
- Navy's 15 hits in the nightcap were the most since it tallied 19 base knocks against Central Connecticut State on March 6 in Annapolis.
- Zach Sipe produced his team-best fifth quality start (6.0+ IP, 3- ER) of the year on Saturday ... it was Navy's 14th quality start this spring ... over the last-15 games, the Midshipmen have totaled nine quality starts.
- With Drew Carlson's save in game two, the Midshipmen increased their save total to eight this spring, which is tied for fourth most in school history with the 1983, 1991 and 2002 squads.
- The Midshipmen were hit by a pitch three times on Saturday, pushing their season total to 35 ... that total is tied for 10th most in school history with 2004 and 2005 Mids.
- Navy's defense made only one error in each game on Saturday ... over the last-19 games, the Midshipmen have made zero or only one defensive miscue in 14 of those ballgames.