April 23, 2009
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - Navy's eight-through-two hitters combined to go 8-for-16 at the plate with six runs scored, as the Midshipmen held off a Maryland Eastern Shore rally to defeat their hosts, 10-7, on Thursday afternoon at Hawks Stadium. The Mids improved to 17-23-1 on the year, while the Hawks fell to 11-32 overall.
Eight-hitter Josh Moore (Fr./Mills River, N.C.) went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a double and two RBIs. Nine-hitter Nick Driscoll (So./Riverview, Fla.) finished 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored, while leadoff man Mike Guadagnini (So./Virginia Beach, Va.) went 2-for-5 with a run and a RBI and two-hitter Matthew Curley (Jr./Boston, Mass.) knocked in three courtesy of a 2-for-4 performance with a walk and run scored.
"Those four hitters were pretty much our offense today," stated Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "Josh (Moore) has played some pretty solid baseball. It's good to see a freshman come in and do his job."
Navy jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings. Steven Soares (Jr./Coral Springs, Fla.) singled before Mike Hoosier (Jr./Pomona, N.Y.) doubled down the left-field line to put runners in scoring position with one out. Moore followed with a two-run double to right and after a Driscoll walk, both came around to score on back-to-back RBI-singles by Guadagnini and Curley.
After Maryland Eastern Shore plated a run in the second, Navy countered with a six-run fourth inning in which it sent 10 batters to the plate. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Curley smacked a two-run single to left. Michael Speciale (Jr./Pearland, Texas) came up with a two-run double to right and would cross home plate on a Soares single through the right side. Jonathan Berkowitz (Jr./Parkland, Fla.), who walked after Speciale's double and advanced to third on the Soares base knock, scored on throwing error on a pickoff move to first to make the score 10-1.
Like they did on Tuesday in Annapolis, the Hawks began to cut into Navy's lead. The hosts plated a run in both the fourth and fifth innings, before putting a four spot on the scoreboard to pull within three, 10-7. The Midshipmen called upon reliever Luke Roberts
(So./Midland, N.C.) with a runner on second with two outs in the seventh, and he induced a groundout to first to prevent further damage.
Roberts worked into a precarious spot in the eighth, as Maryland Eastern Shore had runners on the corners with one out and the tying run at the plate. The Hawks attempted a delayed double steal, but the lead runner froze halfway between third and home and was thrown out on the play. After another brought the tying run to the plate, Roberts was able to get the next batter to popout to the shortstop, Guadagnini, in shallow left field.
"The caught stealing was a big play for us in that inning," said Kostacopoulos. "The inning went from threatening with one out to manageable with two outs. It was big to get out of that inning without allowing a run."
Roberts was able to get the final-three outs in order during the ninth to earn his first-career save.
"Luke got us the out we needed in the seventh, battled through the eighth and worked a six-pitch ninth," Kostacopoulos said. "He gave you exactly what you want out of a reliever - someone that does not give the opposition a chance to come back at you. He's done that all year for us."
Starter Alec Thomas (Jr./Kernersville, N.C.) picked up his first win of the year, as he allowed three runs - two earned - with eight hits over five innings with one walk and four strikeouts.
"Alec did a solid job on the mound for us today," stated Kostacopoulos. "He was able to leave the game with a seven-run lead and had pretty good command of both his fastball and offspeed pitches."
The Midshipmen will return to action this weekend when they close out the Patriot League regular season against Holy Cross at Fitton Field. The two teams will play a 3 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday before wrapping up the series with a 1 p.m. twinbill on Sunday.
- Navy is now 15-2 all-time against Maryland Eastern Shore ... the Midshipmen have won 11-straight games against the Hawks, dating back to the 2006 season.
- The Midshipmen scored 10-plus runs for the second-straight game ... the Mids also recorded the feat in a March 8 doubleheader against Central Connecticut State and Iona ... Navy has scored 10-plus runs in a game nine times this spring - four of which have come in the last-eight contests.
- Over the last-eight games, Navy is hitting .358 (101-for-282) with an average of 8.38 runs per game.
- Navy's offense has maintained swinging a hot bat with the game-time temperature above 60 degrees ... in those 11 contests this spring, the Mids are hitting .358 (143-for-400) with 103 runs scored ... the first-pitch temperature was 61 degrees in Princess Anne, Md., on Thursday.
- Leadoff hitter Mike Guadagnini has recorded 19 multi-hit efforts over his last-27 games ... within that span, he's batting .446 (50-for-112) with 31 runs scored, 10 doubles, four triples, three home runs and 18 RBIs.
- Josh Moore started at third base for the second-straight game on Thursday ... he's gone 4-for-9 at the plate with double, four RBIs and two runs scored in those contests.
- Luke Roberts earned his first-career save on Thursday ... he did not allow a run in 2.1 innings of work ... he boasts a team-low 0.79 ERA over 22.2 innings this spring with only three walks and 17 strikeouts.
- Alec Thomas claimed his first win of the year in his first start of the season ... it was his first win since he fired 5.1 innings against George Mason in Annapolis on April 19, 2007 ... Thomas became the 10th different Navy pitcher to pick up a victory this spring for the Midshipmen.
- Sam Long made his first relief appearance of the year on Thursday ... he worked a 1-2-3 sixth inning with a strikeout ... he threw 14 pitches, eight of which were strikes.