April 28, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
The Navy baseball team dropped both games of a doubleheader with Lehigh on Saturday at Max Bishop Stadium, falling 4-1 in game one and then 3-2 in game two. The pair of losses drops Navy to 7-11 in the Patriot League, but the Mids can still clinch a spot in the conference tournament with one win tomorrow. Lehigh, Bucknell and Lafayette are all 6-12 in the conference and tied for fourth place.
Lehigh scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning of game one and got a complete-game, four-hit performance from starting pitcher Cory Kent. In game two, the Mountain Hawks scored twice in the second inning and never trailed to hang on for a 3-2 win.
Overall, Navy is now 20-26 on the season, while Lehigh is 18-29-1.
Trailing 1-0 in the top of the sixth inning of game one, Lehigh scored four runs off four hits to take a 4-1 lead. After Navy starting pitcher Preston Gainey issued a leadoff walk, Lehigh's Tyler Brong hit a double to left field off reliever Stephen Moore to give the Mountain Hawks a pair of runners in scoring position with no outs. Two batters later, Connor Faust tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center field. Brandon Sady then gave Lehigh the lead with an RBI single to left field. A two-out double to right-center field by Lance Kirschenbaum plated two more runs, giving Lehigh a 4-1 advantage.
Kent didn't give up a hit until the fourth inning and foiled Navy's best chance to get back in the game when he got an inning-ending strikeout in the sixth, stranding two Mids on base. A 6-4-3 double play ended the game as Kent picked up the victory to improve to 4-3 on the year.
Gainey was the beneficiary of a solid Navy defense early on as he got out of both the first and third frames with inning-ending double plays. He navigated out of a bases-loaded jam in the second and faced just one over the minimum in both the fourth and fifth innings.
Moore took the loss for Navy as he allowed two runs off two hits in working two-thirds of the sixth inning; he is now 0-4 on the year.
Navy grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning of game one when a two-out error by Lehigh center fielder Brandon Wilt allowed Greg Dupell to score. Dave Milanes sent a ball toward right-center field that bounced out of the Wilt's glove, allowing Dupell to score from first base on the play.
With game two scoreless in the second inning, a leadoff walk followed by a double from Casey Turner put the Mountain Hawks in position to take the lead. Faust cashed in with a two-RBI double to left field for 2-0 Lehigh lead.
Navy manufactured a run in the bottom of the third inning to cut the deficit in half. David Wiedeman led off the frame with a single and after stealing second base and working his way over to third on a ground out, Andrew Hahn scored him with an RBI groundout to second base.
Still trailing, 2-1, an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play in the top of the sixth looked like it would spur the Mids' offense in the bottom of the frame as Kash Manzelli led off with a double and Josh Moore followed with a single to give Navy runners at the corners and no outs. But reliever Tom O'Malley was able to induce consecutive fly balls to shallow left field and then fanned Wiedeman to end the inning.
Lehigh added a solo run in the top of the eighth inning as a squeeze bunt by Sady scored pinch-runner John Elson from third base.
Navy responded to again pull within one run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Josh Moore, who went 3-for-4 in game two, reached base on a one-out single and was able to advance to third on a wild pitch and ground out. Moore then scored from third on a wild pitch from O'Malley to make the score 3-2.
Kent, Lehigh's game-one winner, came on to pitch the ninth for the Mountain Hawks and retired the side to earn his fifth save of the season.
Navy starting pitcher Johnny Schoberl gave the Mids a strong outing as he tossed his first-career complete game, scattering 11 hits, four strikeouts and one walk. In taking the complete-game loss, Schoberl is now 5-4 on the year.
Lehigh starting pitcher Dan Ciccone tossed five complete innings before O'Malley took over in the sixth. Ciccone allowed one run off six hits, walked four batters and struck out three in earning his first win of the season.
The two teams will meet in a doubleheader again tomorrow at Max Bishop Stadium, beginning at noon.