Baseball Sweeps Series Against Lafayette
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy baseball team completed a four-game series sweep of Lafayette on Sunday as the Mids (23-12, 6-2 PL) earned a pair of victories over the Leopards (3-31, 1-7 PL) at home at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium. Behind in both games, Navy overcame a brief 1-0 Lafayette lead in game one to roll down the stretch for an eventual 7-1 decision before plating six runs in the bottom of the seventh in game two to flip a 6-3 deficit into a 9-6 lead.
"Kyle Condry pitched very well in game one and gave us a second straight really good start," remarked head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "He scattered six hits and allowed our offense to build up a pretty decent lead. Game one was really about the way he pitched and competed. After a little bit of a rocky start, he took command and did a great job."
"The second game revolved around two big innings as they had one big one in the fifth and we had one big one in the seventh. We bunched together a few big hits to score some runs, but we had to fight. As a whole this weekend, we had to test ourselves and fight. It was evident that we had to battle to get the results that we did."
In the doubleheader, Adrian Chinnery (Sr., Wilmington, Del.), Stephen Born (Jr., Strafford, Pa.) and Zach Biggers (Fr., Walhalla, S.C.) led Navy's charge as Chinnery collected three doubles and drove in two runs, while Born recorded four hits and a team-high five RBIs. Biggers tied for the team lead with three runs scored as the second baseman was 3-for-6 at the plate.
"Chinnery was strong today and all weekend," said Kostacopoulos. "Our whole lineup was producing one through nine and that's really helpful that you can turn the lineup over and have guys on base for the top of the order; it doesn't always have to be the top two or three guys in your lineup getting on base and getting driven in by the middle of the order."
On the mound, Kyle Condry (Sr., Highland Village, Texas) threw a complete game in the first contest before the bullpen trio of Jackson Zoch (So., San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), Sean Kamhoot (Jr., Gainesville, Fla.) and Jett Meenach (Sr., Flower Mound, Texas) provided the Mids with 5.0 innings of clutch relief in game two.
"I thought our relievers in game two did a really good job," said Kostacopoulos. "Jackson was slightly snake bit with some unlucky contact in the sixth, but he was good out of the bullpen and came into a tight spot and limited Lafayette. Sean did a really good job in middle relief and held the line until we were able to break through in the seventh. It was also great to see Jett come out and pitch in his third game of the series with some really nice results today and all weekend."
Navy 7 - Lafayette 1
Game one on Sunday followed a familiar story arch as game one on Saturday as the Lafayette jumped on Navy's starting pitcher for an early first-inning run. A double by Quentin Bubb and a single by Dan Leckie helped the visiting Leopards go up 1-0 versus the Mids and starter Kyle Condry.
And just as Saturday's story went, Navy's starting pitcher would settle down after a shaky first inning and close down Lafayette for the remainder of the game. On Sunday, Condry shut out the Leopards over the next six innings and allowed just one opposing baserunner to ever reach third base over the that span. He helped himself with at least one strikeout in every inning on Sunday as he finished with eight over the complete seven-inning game.
With Lafayette's offense neutralized, Navy solved the Leopards' starting pitcher David Giusti in the bottom of the third inning and sent seven batters to the plate. Chinnery and Christian Hodge (So., Winder, Ga.) led the rally as Chinnery began with a double to left field before Hodge singled him in to make it 1-1. With two outs, Born came through and gave the Mids their first lead of the game with an infield single to drive in Hodge.
Up 2-1, Navy slowly inched away from Lafayette on the scoreboard with a five runs over the final three innings. In the bottom of the fourth, a leadoff hit-by-pitch to Biggers almost immediately turned into a run as Chinnery once again tagged the Giusti for a double as he barreled up a ball into right-center field.
In the fifth, Evan Lowery (Fr., Williamsburg, Va.) drove in Logan Knowles (Jr., Port Orchard, Wash.) with a double to left-center field to make it 4-1 before the freshman DH came into score via back-to-back wild pitches.
With the score 5-1, a Hodge RBI single and Born RBI double in the bottom of the sixth put the finishing touches on a 7-1 victory.
For the game, Navy outhit Lafayette 9-6. Chinnery went 3-for-3 with two doubles to lead the way. Both Born and Hodge collected two hits and two RBIs.
Condry improved to 3-1 on the year as he threw his third consecutive complete game. Over his 111 pitches, the senior right-hander allowed six hits and two walks, while striking out eight. He dropped his ERA to a season-low 3.63.
Navy 9 - Lafayette 6
Game two saw both offenses make for difficult treading for the starting pitchers as Lafayette chased Navy starter Andrew Sauer (So., Johns Creek, Ga.) in the top of the fifth after 4.0+ innings and 83 pitches and Navy sent Lafayette's Kenny Campbell to the bench in the bottom of the fifth after 4.1 innings and 71 pitches.
Navy was first on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second as Leland Saile (Sr., Land O'Lakes, Fla.) belted a mammoth home run over the left field wall that cleared the fence bordering the upper softball field.
Up 1-0, the Mids quickly made it 2-0 in the next frame as Biggers reached via a one-out single and slowly worked his way around the bases until Born singled him in on a flair to center field.
After Sauer started strongly versus the Leopards over the first three innings with two strikeouts and two hits allowed, Lafayette got to him beginning in the fourth inning with one run on a hit-by-pitch, wild pitch, walk and a single.
With the score now at 2-1 in favor of Navy, Lafayette hung a four-spot on the scoreboard and took a 5-2 lead in the top of the fifth as the Leopards sent eight men to the plate.
The Mids cut a run off its' three-run deficit in the bottom of the fifth as Travis Blue (Sr., Orange, Calif.) roped a double down the left field line to score Knowles from first base.
The 5-3 score didn't last for long as Lafayette responded right back in the top of the sixth with a single run. A potential second run was cut off by a quick thinking Blue at shortstop as the Leopards' Steven Cohen broke from second on a ground ball to the left side and Blue hit a waiting Jacob Williamson (Fr., Sims, N.C.) at third base, who slapped the tag on Cohen and eliminated a key runner from scoring position.
Down three at a 6-3 margin going into the bottom of the seventh, Navy batted around versus a pair of Lafayette relievers and plated six runs to go up three runs at 9-6. Back-to-back singles to open the frame by Hodge and Biggers got the offense rolling before Born started the driving in of runs with an infield single to score Hodge. A single to center field by Saile was the next run-scoring play as he drove in both Biggers and Blue to tie the game at 6-6. The next batter, Lowery kept the wheels spinning as he laced a triple down the right field line to plate two. The final run of the inning and eventually the game was driven in with two outs by Chinnery, who connected for his third double of the day.
After a hard-fought sixth inning by Kamhoot, the junior reliever got progressively stronger over his outing and now with a three-run lead, he hung his second straight zero on the scoreboard in the top of the eighth.
Navy challenged to expand its lead to four in the bottom of the eighth, but to no avail as Biggers was stranded at third base.
In the ninth inning, Meenach made his third appearance of the four-game series and locked down the 9-6 victory with a one-two-three outing with strikeouts of the Leopards' three-, four- and five-hole batters.
In the win, Navy outhit Lafayette, 12-9. Biggers had a game-high three hits, while Born and Saile each recorded two hits.
Taking a no-decision, Sauer finished with a line of 4.0+ innings, four hits, two walks and four runs allowed, while striking out three.
Kamhoot earned his second win of the season as he tossed 3.0 innings with four hits and one run allowed along with one strike out.
Meenach notched his fifth save of 2017 with a spotless ninth inning.
For the series, Navy outhit Lafayette .345 to .255 and outscored the Leopards 30-14 in a four-game sweep. Of the Mids' 41 total hits, 17 went for extra bases with 14 doubles, three triples and one home run.
Pitching-wise versus the Leopards, the Mids trotted out nine pitchers and six came away with 2.0 or more innings and one earned run or less allowed. As a staff, Navy posted a 3.38 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 29:11 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The Mids will be back in action on Tuesday at home with the first of back-to-back midweek contests. Navy will host Towson on Tuesday at 3 p.m. before heading out on the road to Maryland Eastern Shore on Wednesday for a 3 p.m. tilt in Princess Anne.
Patriot League Standings (Week 2 of 5)
Holy Cross 5-3