Navy Drops Two to Army on Saturday
April 10, 2010
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy baseball team suffered a pair of setbacks, 8-6 and 11-3, against Army on Saturday afternoon in front of a stadium-record crowd of 2,023 fans at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium. The Midshipmen fell to 20-12 overall and 2-4 in league play, while the Black Knights improved to 14-10 and 5-1 in league contests.
"It's always disappointing to lose two games," stated Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "In the first game, we didn't play well enough defensively to win the game. In the second game, they got 15 hits and just played very well. We don't have a choice - we have to bounce back and be ready for tomorrow."
In the opener, Army jumped out to a 2-0 advantage before Navy rattled off four runs in the fourth to take a 4-2 lead. Matthew Curley (Sr./Boston, Mass.) delivered a one-out single before moving to second on a catcher's interference with Alex Azor (So./Miami, Fla.) batting. Michael Speciale (Sr./Pearland, Texas) would load the bases with a hit by pitch before Steven Soares (Sr./Coral Springs, Fla.) laced a game-tying, two-run double down the right-field line. Kendall Bolt (Sr./Stockton, Calif.) stepped to the plate and delivered a go-ahead sacrifice fly to right before Mike Hoosier (Sr./Pomona, N.Y.) ripped a RBI-single to left.
However, Army would take advantage of two Navy errors in the fifth to score five runs and take the lead for good. The Midshipmen committed five errors in the opener that led to four unearned runs.
"The fifth inning was the critical point in game one," said Kostacopoulos. "We score four runs in the fourth and we let them right back into it. We needed a shutdown inning but didn't get that."
The Midshipmen would make things interesting in the final inning. Andrew Hahn (So./Ellicott City, Md.) doubled to left-center and moved to third on a Jonathan Berkowitz (Sr./Parkland, Fla.) single to center. Mike Guadagnini (Jr./Virginia Beach, Va.) followed with a two-run double down the left-field line that made the score 8-6 and put the tying run at the plate. However, Army closer Kevin McKague was able to induce a popout and a groundout to end the game.
Navy starter Sam Long (Jr./Newnan, Ga.) was tagged for the loss, as he allowed five runs - four of which were earned - on four hits over four-plus innings with one walk and three strikeouts.
Hahn was the lone Navy batter to reach twice in game one, as he walked in the fourth and doubled in the seventh. Navy was outhit by Army, 10-6.
In the nightcap, Army took a 4-0 lead in second before the Mids plated three in the fourth to pull within one at 4-3. Azor singled with one out up the middle before Speciale singled to left to put runners on first and second. Following a flyout, Hoosier ripped a two-run double to right-center and would score on a Josh Moore (So./Mills River, N.C.) single up the middle.
Once again, the Black Knights would have an immediate answer, as they plated a run in each of the final-five innings to put the game out of reach.
"The same critical item in the first game presented itself in the second game," stated Kostacopoulos. "We needed a shutdown inning following our three-run fourth and again didn't get it."
Trailing 5-3 in the fifth, the Midshipmen had one more opportunity to tie or take the lead. Curley and Azor delivered back-to-back singles to send the go-ahead run to the plate, but Army starter Steve Cummings got a strikeout looking to end the threat.
Azor went 3-for-4 with a run scored, while Speciale and Moore each contributed a pair of base knocks. The Mids were outhit by the Black Knights in game two, 15-11.
Navy starter Zach Sipe (So./Huffman, Texas) suffered his first loss of the year in having his record dip to 4-1. He allowed seven runs on 11 hits over 5.2 innings with two walks and three strikeouts.
The Midshipmen and the Black Knights will conclude the four-game set with a 12 noon doubleheader tomorrow. The first game of Sunday's twinbill will be aired live on CBS College Sports, with Dave Ryan and Kevin Stocker calling the action from Annapolis. Live video through Navy All-Access and live stats through GameTracker will be provided for both games. Admission is free for all Navy baseball home games.
- Saturday's attendance of 2,023 fans was the largest in Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium history ... today's crowd smashed the previous record of 1,267 fans during the field's dedication against Bucknell on April 28, 2007.
- Despite the setbacks, Navy still owns a 101-93 advantage in the all-time series against Army ... the Midshipmen are 50-40 all-time in meetings with the Black Knights in Annapolis.
- Navy's five errors in the opener matched its season high from Feb. 28 against Air Force in Savannah, Ga.
- Alex Azor recorded his seventh three-plus-hit performance in game two of Saturday's doubleheader.
- With his 2-for-6 performance at the plate on Saturday, outfielder Andrew Hahn is hitting .667 (10-for-15) with five doubles in Patriot League play this spring.
- In other action from around the Patriot League, Holy Cross (2-4 PL) split its doubleheader at Bucknell (3-3 PL) and host Lehigh (4-2 PL) took two from Lafayette (2-4 PL).