Navy Splits Saturday Twinbill Against Bucknell
April 28, 2007
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Navy junior right-handed pitcher Mark McCoy (Parkland, Fla.) fired his second-consecutive nine-inning, complete-game effort in game two as the Midshipmen split their Saturday doubleheader against Bucknell in front of 1,267 fans at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium in Annapolis. The Mids dropped the opener, 7-0, before coming back to take the nightcap, 7-1.
Navy moved to 31-18 on the year and 11-7 in Patriot League action, while Bucknell went to 15-23 overall and 7-11 in league play.
After using 133 pitches to go the distance against Army last Saturday, McCoy went the full-nine innings with a 116-pitch effort in game two, 72 of which were strikes. The Navy right-hander scattered six hits and one run with two walks and four strikeouts to improve his record to 7-4 on the year.
"Mark McCoy is a big-game performer," stated Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "For back-to-back weeks when we have needed that crucial win, he has gotten it done convincingly. He did a great job of pitching to contact, getting a lot of ground balls and some double plays."
"After the first inning, I knew that I could work on the corners," said McCoy. "I was able to get ahead in the counts and made them try to hit my pitches. When I got the 5-0 lead, I just filled up the zone. I really had a great defense behind me today, taking away hits and turning double plays. The offense also made my job a lot easier. I didn't have to be as fine with every pitch."
The Midshipmen staked McCoy with all the run support he would need in the first inning, plating a pair of runs. Senior Michael Garcia (Kailua, Hawai'i) led off the stanza with a single and came home to score on junior Thomas Hamilton's (Houston, Texas) ninth double of the year. Hamilton would come home to score on a freshman Jonathan Berkowitz (Parkland, Fla.) single to right-center.
Navy extended the lead to 5-0 in the second, all of which started with two outs and nobody on. Garcia got things started with a single and junior Renaldo Hollins (Virginia Beach, Va.) walked before Hamilton roped a single to left to score Garcia. Then the next batter, junior Mitch Harris (Mt. Holly, N.C.) flared a two-run single to center to bring home Hollins and Hamilton.
Bucknell's Jason Buursma homered in the fifth, but that would be all that the Bison could get off of McCoy, as he settled in and held the guests off the board for the final-four innings. The Mids added two insurance runs in the sixth, as Hollins delivered a two-run single into the gap in right-center.
The top third of Navy's order, Garcia, Hollins and Hamilton, combined to go 6-for-11 with five runs scored and four RBIs. Navy freshman Steven Soares (Coral Springs, Fla.) also contributed two hits as the Midshipmen pounded out 11 base knocks in the nightcap.
"The top part of the order really did its job in the second game," stated Kostacopoulos. "Michael (Garcia) and Thomas (Hamilton) both swung the bat really well and Renaldo (Hollins) gave us a big single in the sixth."
During the opening game on Saturday, Bucknell right-hander Jason Buursma, its closer during the year, made his first-career start and held the Mids to no runs on five hits in a complete-game effort.
The Bison jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second with a RBI-single and made it 3-0 in the fifth with a two-out, two-run double to left. Bucknell tacked on four additional runs on four hits in the sixth inning to pull away.
Harris was tagged for the loss, as he gave up eight hits and seven runs, six of which were earned with five walks and eight strikeouts in 5.2 innings on the hill. His record dropped to 7-4 on the campaign.
Prior to the start of Saturday's action, there was a 15-minute field dedication ceremony for the Terwilliger Brothers. The crowd of 1,267 fans at Saturday's twinbill was the most at Navy's home field since attendance records started being kept in 1980.
The Midshipmen and the Bison will close out their Patriot League regular season slates tomorrow afternoon with a noon doubleheader in Annapolis. The Midshipmen need at least one victory on Sunday to clinch a spot in the 2007 Patriot League Tournament, which will be hosted by Lafayette on May 12-13.