April 19, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Navy baseball team (20-22, 6-8 PL) earned its first his doubleheader sweep in Patriot League this season with a pair of victories over Lehigh (18-17, 7-6 PL) on Saturday. The Mids earned a dramatic 3-2 come-from-behind victory in nine innings in Game One and used a quick start in Game Two to take a 7-2 win.
Senior Kash Manzelli (Dunwoody, Ga.) led the Mids on offense with a .700 on-base percentage and five RBIs. Robert Currie (So., Atlanta, Ga.) posted a team-high four hits over the doubleheader with an RBI in each contest.
On the mound, Navy got a pair of strong starts out of Anthony Parenti (Jr., Elizabeth, N.J.) and Stephen Moore (Jr., Roswell, Ga.) as Parenti hurled eight innings of two-run ball in Game One, while Moore threw a complete game and allowed two runs.
“Those were two great wins,” said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. “Going back to Game One, it was such a character check for us. We didn’t necessarily play our best, but Tony Parenti carried us and Tyler Ridgeway got out of a huge jam. We came back after giving up a run in the top of the ninth with the walk-off win. It was great character win for us.”
“In the second game, we jumped on them early and Stephen Moore did a nice job, gutting out a complete game that we really needed today. It was a real positive day and I was happy with how hard the team played.”
Lehigh started Game One off with a fast start as the Mountain Hawks got to Parenti and Navy with one run on two hits.
Navy looked to fight back from this 1-0 deficit as it got runners on base in each of its first three at bats. In all three of the innings, the Mountain Hawks’ starter Colin Gotzon and his defense skirted around the danger and stranded the Mids.
The back-and-forth bending, but not breaking continued for both teams into the sixth inning as Lehigh had runners reach safely in each frame, while Navy had runners on in five of the first six.
The host Midshipmen finally put together multiple positive at bats in the bottom of the sixth when Manzelli led off with a walk. After senior David Norman (Fayetteville, Ga.) moved Manzelli into scoring position with a single to left field, Drew Hayes (So., Collegeville, Pa.) laid down a successful sacrifice bunt. The final play to manufacture the game-tying run was a sacrifice fly by Brandon Beans (Sr., Hartsville, S.C.).
With the score 1-1, Parenti came back to the mound and carried over the team’s momentum with a quick three-up, three-down inning versus the Mountain Hawks in the seventh. The Mids’ offense put the pressure on in the bottom half of the inning as Adrian Chinnery (Fr., Wilmington, Del.) singled and Currie stole a base, but Gotzon earned the third out for Lehigh with a strike out.
After a scoreless eighth inning, the Mountain Hawks sent six players to the plate in the ninth and pushed across its first run since the first. Ridgeway came out in relief of Parenti and pitched the Mids out of further danger, holding the score at 2-1.
Lehigh’s closer Nick Cassell came on in the bottom of the ninth and looked to close out the 2-1 game, but Navy had other ideas. Beans and Brad Borosak (Jr., Jupiter, Fla.) led off the inning with back-to-back singles. After Leland Saile (Fr., Land O’Lakes, Fla.) grounded into a fielder’s choice, Chinnery drew a walk to load the bases. Cassell’s wildness continued into the next at bat as Currie fought back from an 0-2 count to earn a walk and force in Borosak. After Travis Blue (Fr., Orange, Calif.) struck out for out number two, Manzelli stepped to plate and roped a single through the middle of the infield for the dramatic walk-off victory.
For the game, Navy outhit Lehigh, 9-6. All nine of the Mids in the starting lineup recorded one base hit.
Parenti received a no-decision with a final line of 8.0 innings and five strikeouts with two runs (one earned) allowed on six hits and two walks. Ridgeway earned the win with a scoreless inning of relief work and one strikeout.
In the second game, Moore made his presence known early as he set the Mountain Hawks down in order over the first three innings. During this streak of perfection, the junior recorded a pair of strikeouts.
Navy’s offense found success versus Lehigh starter Mike Burke beginning in the third inning and carrying through the fourth. In the third, Blue drove in Saile for the game’s first run. The next batter, Manzelli, sent a double deep into the left field corner to drive in Currie and Blue. In the fourth, Currie and Blue drove in single runs to give the Midshipmen a 5-0 lead.
The Mountain Hawks notched its only two runs of the second game in the fifth inning off of Moore as they recorded three hits, including two doubles.
Up 5-2, Navy tacked on two final runs in the eighth as Manzelli came through with his third and fourth RBIs of the contest and plated Chinnery and Currie.
Moore completed his start for Navy strong in the ninth inning as he struck out two Lehigh batters, including Mike Garzillo for out number 27.
In the Mids’ 7-2 win, they outhit the Mountain Hawks, 12-10. The top three hitters in Navy’s order recorded seven hits with Currie leading the way with three; Blue had two hits, while Manzelli was 2-for-2 with three walks.
“Kash was the big guy for us all day,” said Kostacopoulos. “He came through with the clutch hit in the first game and had four RBIs in Game Two; he was our guy all day. That’s nice to see your leader and captain coming out down the stretch and putting the team a little bit on his back and going to work.”
On the mound, Moore threw his first career nine-inning complete game with 123 pitches. The junior struck out seven Lehigh batters and allowed two runs on 10 hits and one walk.
“Tomorrow’s a new day, you have to enjoy this for a little, but come back ready to play tomorrow,” said Kostacopoulos.
Navy and Lehigh will complete its four-game series on Sunday with a doubleheader beginning at 12-noon.