Navy Defeats Delaware State in Rain-Shortened Game, 3-0
Ben Nelson recorded his first-career complete-game shutout
May 12, 2010
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Navy baseball rookie right-hander Ben Nelson (Fr./Winter Springs, Fla.) recorded a shutout as the Midshipmen defeated Delaware State, 3-0, in a rain-shortened, six-inning affair on Wednesday afternoon at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium.
The Midshipmen concluded the year with a 30-21 record, marking their seventh 30-win season in program history and their fourth under fifth-year head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. The Hornets fell to 12-31 on the campaign.
"I'm proud of the players for staying focused and being able to win three games in a row after being eliminated from the league tournament," said Kostacopoulos. "They played the game the way it should be played. That is an important quality here at the Academy - they keep moving forward regardless of what happens."
Nelson, a Second-Team All-Patriot League starting pitcher, scattered five hits over the six innings with only one walk and three strikeouts to record his first-career complete game shutout to improve his record to 5-3 on the year. He faced only one batter over the minimum over his final-four stanzas and finished the day with only 77 pitches, 50 of which were strikes.
"Ben had a really solid performance," said Kostacopoulos. "He was able to get out of a jam in the first and a minor jam in the second. He got outs quickly when we needed to because of the impending weather. Once again, he got the job done for us."
Navy gave all the run support Nelson would need in the first inning. Mike Guadagnini (Jr./Virginia Beach, Va.) led off with a walk, stole second and third before scoring on an infield single by Michael Speciale (Sr./Pearland, Texas).
Two innings later, Nick Driscoll (Jr./Riverview, Fla.) led off with a double down the right-field line and would come around to score on an Alex Azor (So./Miami, Fla.) single to center. In the fourth, Speciale led off with an infield single, advanced to second on a Mike Hoosier (Sr./Pomona, N.Y.) single to right after a 20-minute rain delay, moved to third on a Kendall Bolt (Sr./Stockton, Calif.) walk and scored on a Jonathan Berkowitz (Sr./Parkland, Fla.) sacrifice fly to right.
Speciale went 2-for-2 with a RBI and a run scored, while Azor went 1-for-2 with a walk, stolen base and a RBI.
- Navy recorded its fourth 30-win season under head coach Paul Kostacopoulos on Wednesday ... prior to his arrival, the Midshipmen had just three 30-win campaigns during the program's first-110 years ... under Kostacopoulos, Navy has won 149 games - the most among any five-year stretch in school history.
- Navy's senior class finished their four-year careers in Annapolis with 117 wins, which are the most among any class in program history ... the previous record was 111 wins by the Class of 2008.
- The Midshipmen finished their 2010 season with a 20-12 record at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium ... the 20 wins were just two shy of the program record of 22 victories in Annapolis by the 2007 squad.
- Navy defeated Delaware State in all-three meetings this season ... the Mids topped the Hornets, 13-3, to open the year on Feb. 19 in Durham, N.C., before a 4-3 win last week in Dover, Del. ... the Midshipmen are now 12-2-1 all-time against Delaware State.
- Ben Nelson recorded his first-career complete-game shutout on Wednesday ... it marked the fourth time that Navy shut out its opponent this spring and the third time that it was accomplished with a complete-game effort.
- Ben Nelson posted his seventh quality start (6.0+ IP, 3- ER) in as many career starts for the Mids on Wednesday ... his seven quality starts were tops on the team ... as a pitching staff, the Midshipmen tallied 23 quality starts.
- Michael Speciale completed his career on Wednesday as the program's all-time career record holder in at bats (741), runs (153), hits (241) and total bases (374) ... his 72 base knocks this spring represent the fourth-highest single-season total in program history ... he is the only player in school history to record a pair of 70-hit seasons during their career.
- Wednesday's game was delayed 20 minutes in the bottom of the fourth-inning due to rain before the game was called in the bottom of the sixth due to rain and lightning.