Baseball Falls to Army in the Patriot League Tournament
May 11, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy baseball team's 2013 season came to a close on Saturday afternoon at Max Bishop Stadium as Army defeated the Mids, 4-2 and 7-3, in the Patriot League Tournament best-of-three semifinal series. Third-seeded Army (27-21) advances to play top-seeded Holy Cross in the Patriot League Tournament final next weekend.
Army used a three-run fourth inning to take a 3-1 advantage in game one and starting pitcher Chris Rowley held the Mids to just five hits. With game two tied at three in the bottom of the eighth, Army scored four runs, all with two outs, to grab the lead for good.
The Midshipmen finish the 2013 campaign with an overall record of 28-23.
"The end of the season came earlier than we certainly would have liked," said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "The guys put so much time into playing and the commitment it takes to be a student-athlete at Navy is really something special. When it all comes to an end, it's tough."
Both teams had a combined 16 hits in the two games, but the Mids struggled to come up with the big hit when they needed, stranding a total of 18 runners on base in the doubleheader.
"We played rock solid defensively, but we just didn't get the hits when we needed in order to win," said Kostacopoulos.
Senior catcher Dave Milanes, who collected a pair of hits in both games, gave Navy a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning of game one with a sacrifice fly. Robert Currie led off with a double, got over to third on a ground out and then scored on Milanes' fly ball to right field.
Navy starter Stephen Moore allowed just one hit through three innings, but in the top of the fourth, the Black Knights got to him, scoring three runs off three hits. A passed ball, sacrifice fly by Patrick Mescher and RBI fielder's choice by Andrew Johnson accounted for the Black Knights' runs as they grabbed a 3-1 lead.
Navy responded in the bottom of the frame with three consecutive singles to load the bases. An RBI fielder's choice by Brandon Beans pulled Navy to within a run, 3-2. With runners on the corners, Rowley got Chris Campbell to bounce into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play, ending the Mids hopes for big inning.
Army added a solo run in the top of the sixth on another fielder's choice to bump its lead to 4-2.
After yielding the run in the bottom of the fourth, Rowley allowed just one hit the rest of the way - a single by Milanes in the ninth. He finished with five strikeouts and one walk in earning the complete-game win.
Moore (4-3) went 5.2 innings, allowing four runs off seven hits in taking the loss. Sam Sorenson was strong in relief as he gave up just one hit over the final 3.1 innings.
Navy game-two starter Anthony Parenti retired the first six hitters of the game, but a leadoff single by Johnson in the bottom of the third started a three-hit inning for the Black Knights as they scored three runs to take a 3-1 lead. Grant Van Ordern (single) and Jon Crucitti (triple) drove in the first two runs and a sacrifice fly by Alex Jensen accounted for the third run.
An RBI double by Craig Veech pulled Navy within a run, 3-2, in the top of the next inning. With Campbell on first, Veech sent a ball toward right field that hung in the air and then dropped in halfway down the foul line.
Still trailing by one in the top of the seventh, Milanes tied the game with his second RBI of the day. With Currie on second, Milanes drove an offering from Alex Robinett into left field, easily scoring Currie to make it a 3-3 game.
After the three-run third inning for Army, Parenti locked in and retired 14 of 15 consecutive batters. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Harold Earls singled to left field for the first Army hit since the third inning. Jensen followed with a single and then Mescher cleared the bases with a two-RBI single, snapping the 3-3 tie and ending Parenti's day on the mound.
Mark McCants' RBI single up the middle and Jacob Page's RBI double off reliever Joel Rinehart made it five consecutive Army hits as the Black Knights took a 7-3 lead.
Reliever Gunnar Carroll gave up a single to Milanes in the ninth, but that was it as he preserved the 7-3 Army win.
Parenti went 7.2 innings, allowing six runs off six hits, in the loss. He struck out four and walked just one.
"Anthony pitched very well and kept us in the game in those middle innings," said Kostacopoulos.
Julian Larimer, who got the final out of the seventh and then an inning-ending double play in the eighth, earned the win.