April 28, 2013
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -
The Navy baseball team swept all four games from Lehigh in its final regular season series. Navy defeated Lehigh, 4-2 and 12-5, on Sunday afternoon in Bethlehem, Pa., to improve to 28-20 overall. At 13-7 in the conference, Navy will be the No. 2 seed in the Patriot League Tournament and host third-seeded Army in the best-of-three semifinal series, scheduled to begin May 11.
"I think it all came from the mound this weekend. Each guy did a nice job with how they controlled the game. (Lehigh) never had any big innings or a lot of threats," said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "We also played very well defensively, not giving them opportunities to have big innings. It was really a pitching and defense type weekend."
In the opener, Anthony Parenti struck out seven in a complete-game effort to earn his third win of the season. The Navy offense continued its timely hitting as well, scoring three of four runs with two outs.
"Tony had really good stuff again today. He's starting to get command of all three of his pitches and come into his own," said Kostacopoulos.
In game two, Greg Dupell tied a career high with four hits, including a pair of doubles, and also drove in two runs. Leading 6-5 in the top of the ninth, Navy added six runs to put the game away.
Navy grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning of game one on an RBI groundout by Chris Campbell and infield single by Connor Deneen that also brought in a run.
Lehigh (18-29, 5-15) bounced back in the bottom of the third to tie the game. Justin Pacchioli followed a leadoff single by Mackey Price with a ground-rule double to give the Mountain Hawks runners at second and third. Casey Turner then tied it with a two-RBI single to right-center field.
The tie didn't last long as Navy quickly reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth as Campbell picked up his second RBI of the game. Campbell followed a two-out double by David Wiedeman
with a single into left field, making it 3-2.
Pitching with the lead, Parenti cruised as he faced the minimum the rest of the way. The sophomore gave up a single in the fifth, but got an inning-ending double play. With a runner on first and one out in the bottom of the seventh, Parenti struck out Brandon Wilt and catcher Dave Milanes threw out John Elson trying to steal second to end the game.
Navy added an insurance run in the top of the seventh with a two-out RBI single by Kash Manzelli.
Lehigh's Mike Burke took the loss, yielding three runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings.
Navy scored first for the fourth straight game in the finale, putting up three runs in the top of the first. With runners on the corners and two outs, Dupell drove in the first run with a single. Craig Veech then launched a double to center field, bringing in two more runs for a 3-0 lead.
The Mids added a run in the top of the second without getting a hit. Lehigh starting pitcher Kevin Long plunked the leadoff batter, Campbell, who was able to work his way over to third base on a groundout and wild pitch. Robert Currie brought him in with a sac fly to center field.
Navy starter Johnny Schoberl worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning and didn't get into trouble again until the bottom of the fifth. Turner drove in the Mountain Hawks' first run of the game with a double and Schoberl then issued two more walks around a fly out to load the bases. Designated hitter Connor Faust drove a ball to deep left field, but Dupell tracked it to the warning track and pulled it in for the final out.
The Midshipmen responded in the top of the sixth by also loading the bases and Campbell delivered. The third baseman drove a single to left field that brought in a pair of runs for a 6-1 Navy lead.
Lehigh pushed across solo runs off reliever Sam Sorenson in the sixth and seventh innings with RBI doubles by Anthony Rinaldi and Joe Abeln, respectively. The Mountain Hawks add two more runs in the bottom of the eighth to make it a one-run game, 6-5.
Navy ended Lehigh's hopes of a comeback though in the top of the ninth as the Mids sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six runs off three hits.
"Give Lehigh credit, they kept battling at the plate and coming after us," said Kostacopoulos "We were fortunate to catch a couple breaks in the top of the ninth."
Four Lehigh pitchers combined to issue three walks and hit two Navy batters in the inning. Dupell (double), Wiedeman (sacrifice fly), Currie (walk) and Hayes (hit by pitch) brought in the first four runs. Milanes' two-RBI single through the middle made it 12-5.
Joel Rinehart got the last out of the seventh and pitched the final 2.1 innings to earn his second save of the weekend. The save was the 16th of his career, tying J.D. Melton for the most in program history.
Schoberl tossed five-complete innings and improved to 4-5 with the win. Long went five innings, allowing five runs off four hits.
Navy will close its regular season schedule on Wednesday when it hosts George Washington at 4 p.m.