April 26, 2014
Final Stats |
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The fans who made their way to Max Bishop Stadium on Saturday were treated to 16 innings of hard-fought and high pressure baseball as Navy (23-24, 9-9 PL) and Army (29-13, 12-5 PL) split the opening doubleheader of their four-game series. Looking to secure a postseason berth and take a step towards earning a star, the Midshipmen came out in Game One and dominated the Black Knights on national television with a 4-0 victory. In Game Two, Army's pitching kept Navy away from the clutch hit and held on for a 2-1 win to earn the split.
Pitching was the story of the day in both contests as Anthony Parenti (Jr., Elizabeth, N.J.) shut down the Black Knights in a complete game scoreless outing before giving way to Stephen Moore (Jr., Roswell, Ga.) in the second game. In his fifth shutout of the season (third solo), Parenti silenced Army's bats and allowed only two hits and no runners to reach third base. He finished with seven strikeouts in seven innings. Meanwhile, Moore's final line was 8.1 innings with four strikeouts and two runs allowed on seven hits and no walks.
Offensively, Robert Currie (So., Atlanta, Ga.) extended his streak of reaching base to 20 straight with base hits in both games of Saturday's doubleheader. He led the Mids with three hits on the day, including two in the second contest. Brandon Beans (Sr., Hartsville, S.C.) recorded two of Navy's five RBIs on the day with a ground-rule double in Game One.
"These were two typical Patriot League games," said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "The two teams fought hard throughout. In Game One, Tony Parenti was lights out and didn't allow a runner to reach third base, he really set the tone. We did a good job of scrapping for our first run and capped the game off well with three late runs."
"In the second game, Stephen Moore pitched tremendously and you've got to give credit to their pitchers, Alex Robinett and Brian Hapeman, they were both really competitive and got out of high pressure spots. We had opportunities to score and we just didn't get the big hit and that's a credit to them."
In front of a national audience on CBS Sports Network, the Midshipmen came out and dictated the style of play in Game One as Parenti minimized Army's offensive success, while Navy had success in station-to-station baseball.
Over the first three innings, Parenti had four strikeouts, including three in the top of the third. With their pitcher in control, the Mids finally got on the scoreboard with three straight at bats of `small ball.' After Leland Saile (Fr., Land O' Lakes, Fla.) reached on an infield single, a passed ball by Army's catcher put him into scoring position before Adrian Chinnery (Fr., Wilmington, Del.) bunted his teammate to third base. Currie completed the scoring drive with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Up 1-0, Parenti and the Mids made short work of the Black Knights over the final four innings as they never had more than one runner reach base in a frame. The junior lefty struck out three Army batters to hold the lead during this span.
Navy added three insurance runs in the sixth inning with Kash Manzelli (Sr., Dunwoody, Ga.) driving in Currie with an RBI double to the right-center field gap and Beans plating two on a soaring double to center field that one-hopped the fence.
With the score 4-0, the Mids closed out the win in front of a boisterous crowd and secured the important tie-breaker should the series end tied.
For the game, Navy outhit Army 6-2. Manzelli recorded a game-high two hits with a 2-for-3 showing at the plate. With a final line of 7.0 scoreless innings and seven strikeouts, Parenti improved to 8-2 overall on the season. Nick Dignacco took the loss for Army with a complete game effort.
In Game Two, Navy jumped out to an early 1-0 lead as Currie led off with a double to the left-center field gap. The next batter, Travis Blue (Fr., Orange, Calif.), drove in Currie with a single up the middle. After a walk to David Norman (Sr., Fayetteville, Ga.) gave the Mids two-on with one out, a single by Drew Hayes (So., Collegeville, Pa.) loaded the bases. Army's starter, Alex Robinett, bent, but didn't break in this situation as he forced a hard-hit line drive double play to end threat.
This series of action would be one of Navy's best chances to score as Robinett allowed the Mids to have runners reach in five of the first six innings, but none make it to third after the first frame.
Moore came out and retired each of the first seven Army batters that he faced. A double by the eighth batter, Alex Jensen, helped the Black Knights score its first run of the game as Ben Smith singled him in the third inning.
With the score 1-1, Army scored for the second consecutive inning as the Black Knights used a double by Mark McCants and an RBI single by Kris Lindner to go up 2-1 in the fourth.
This would close out the scoring, as the duo of Robinett and reliever Brian Hapeman kept the Midshipmen bats under control as Navy challenged with hits, but were unable to push across a run.
For the game, Navy outhit Army 9-7. The trio of Currie, Blue and Brad Borosak (Jr., Jupiter, Fla.) all recorded two hits.
Robinett earned the win as he allowed one run in 5.2 innings, while Hapeman was credited with the save in 3.1 innings of scoreless innings. Moore was the hard-luck loser as he threw his eighth `quality start' in 11 starts this spring.
"We just got to go out and play tomorrow," said Kostacopoulos. "It's Army-Navy, it'll be high pressure again, so we will have to perform well."
The two teams will be back in action on Sunday with the completion of the four-game series. Game One of Sunday's doubleheader will begin at 12-noon. With the overall star series between the two athletic departments tied at 11, the victor of the baseball series will determine the winner for the 2013-14 school year.