May 6, 2007
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Navy baseball junior outfielder Mitch Harris (Mt. Holly, N.C.) went 3-for-3 with a double and a triple to lead the Midshipmen past Maryland-Eastern Shore, 10-4, in their regular season finale on Sunday afternoon at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium. With the win, the Midshipmen improved to 35-19 on the year, establishing a program record for victories in a season, breaking the previous mark of 34 set by the 1995 ballclub. The Hawks dropped to 9-40 with the loss.
"As a program, you are constantly looking to create benchmarks. Breaking the school record for wins with 35 in a season, that is certainly one to build from," stated Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "With this year's performance so far, you hope that the future teams will look to this mark and create another level success."
After a scoreless first inning, Navy's offense exploded for four runs in the second and six runs in the third, collecting 10 hits in the process.
The Midshipmen produced back-to-back-to-back singles to lead off the second before freshman Steven Soares (Coral Springs, Fla.) delivered a RBI-groundout. The next batter, senior B.J. Bickel (Benson, N.C.) smacked a two-run single to left and would later come home on senior Michael Garcia's (Kailua, Hawai'i) sacrifice fly to right.
One inning later, Harris led off with a triple to right and scored on a groundout during the next at bat. The Midshipmen would do their damage with two outs, scoring five runs. Garcia drove in a run with a bases loaded hit by pitch, followed by freshman Kendall Bolt's (Stockton, Calif.) three-run double down the left field line. Bolt would cross the plate on Harris' second extra-base hit of the inning, a double down the left field line.
Meanwhile, Navy freshman starting pitcher Oliver Drake
(Gardner, Mass.) held the Hawks hitless over the first five innings. Maryland-Eastern Shore would tally its first and only hit off Drake in the sixth, but took advantage of Navy fielding miscues to plate four unearned runs. However, Navy's bullpen of freshman Alec Thomas
(Kernersville, N.C.), senior James Lee
(Asheville, N.C.) and freshman JD Melton
(Myrtle Beach, S.C.) held the visitors scoreless over the final four innings of work.
Drake would pick up the win to improve to 3-3 on the campaign, as he struck out five in five-plus innings of work. Navy's pitching staff did not allow an earned run over the entire weekend against Maryland-Eastern Shore, a total of 23.0 innings.
"Oliver really got back on track for us today after a rough outing last weekend," said Kostacopoulos. "He pitched really well and the offense got it going early on. After a long week of exams, these were three pretty well-played games for us this weekend."
In addition to Harris at the plate, Bickel went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Freshman Michael Speciale also collected two hits and crossed the plate twice on Sunday, as the Midshipmen out-hit the Hawks, 13-5.
Navy will return to action next Saturday, May 12, at Lafayette's Class of 1978 Stadium for the 2007 Patriot League Tournament. The third-seeded Midshipmen will take on second-seeded Army in an elimination game, with the winner to take on top-seed Lafayette in a best-of-three series on Saturday and Sunday.