Baseball Heads to Florida for Six Games
March 8, 2013
With spring break beginning on Friday, Navy will head to Florida for six games in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. It marks the third consecutive year the Mids will make the trek to Florida to play in the tournament. Navy will play six games over a seven-day span, starting with LIU-Brooklyn on Sunday.
LIU Brooklyn: First meeting
2012: 22-33, 13-17 in the NEC (7th)
North Dakota State: First meeting
2012: 40-20, 14-20 in the Summit (3rd)
Valparaiso: First meeting
2012: 35-25, 22-8 in the Horizon (1st)
Indiana: Navy trails the all-time series, 1-2
Last meeting: 2005, Navy won, 6-5 (12 innings)
2012: 32-28, 16-8 in the Big Ten (2nd)
Miami (Ohio): First meeting
2012: 30-29, 12-15 in the MAC East (3rd)
Yale: Navy leads the all-time series, 45-30
Last meeting: 2011, teams split a four-games series in Annapolis
2012: 13-31-1, 5-15 in the Ivy League (8th)
The Pitching Staff in the NCAA Rankings
When national statistics were released for the first time on March 4, the Navy pitching staff appeared in the top 40 of two different categories. The Navy staff ranks 27th in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings with an average of 8.9 and its strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.88 is 39th best in the country. The Mids enter play at the RussMatt Invitational with 98 strikeouts and 34 walks.
Individually, Anthony Parenti's strikeouts per nine innings average of 12.27 is the 25th-highest total in the country and Ben Nelson's strikeout-to-walk ratio of 10.5 is 23rd best in the nation. With just one walk in 12.0 innings this season, freshman Luke Gillingham ranks 27th in the nation in walks allowed per nine innings.
Navy in the Sunshine State
The Mids are 5-3 over the last two seasons in Florida, including a 2-2 mark last year. The Navy roster features seven players from the state and several have performed well in their homecomings over the past two seasons. Tampa native Greg Dupell has at least one hit in seven of the eight games he has played in his home state, posting a .333 batting average and 12 RBIs. Ben Nelson, who hails from Winter Springs, is 1-0 in two starts his home state.
Nelson Starts Strong
Senior starting pitcher Ben Nelson won his first two starts of the season, earning Patriot League Pitcher of the Week accolades both times. In three outings this season totaling 22.2 innings, he leads the team with a 1.59 ERA and has 21 Ks and just two walks. His 21 strikeouts are the most by a Navy starting pitcher through the first three starts of the season since Sam Long had a combined 23 Ks in 2010.
In the Mids' 3-1 win over Air Force on Feb. 22, Nelson tossed a nine-inning complete game, racking up eight strikeouts while not issuing a walk. It was the 11th complete game of his career and first nine-inning complete game since April 2010.
... and Continuing to Move Up The Career Charts
Nelson's 21 Ks this season have moved him into seventh place on Navy's all-time strikeout list with a total of 205. He also ranks ninth on the Patriot League's all-time K list. The native of Winter Haven, Fla., has 38-career starts - tied for sixth best in school history. He needs seven more starts this season to tie the Navy career record, currently held by Mark McCoy.
Doubles for Dupe
With seven hits in the four-game series against Central Connecticut, senior Greg Dupell raised his average by .085 and enters the weekend as Navy's RBI leader with eight. His seven doubles lead the Patriot League and rank fifth in the nation.
The two-time, second-team All-Patriot League selection is Navy's leading-active run producer with 88-career RBIs. Over the last two years Dupell has played both first and third base, but the Mids lost three outfielders after last season and the versatile senior made the switch to left field.
Dupell's 12-career home runs are tied for ninth on the program's all-time list. Last season he ranked in the top five in the conference in several categories, including: RBIs (44, second), runs (38, fifth), home runs (5, fifth), triples (6, first), doubles (14, third) and total bases (100, third).
Nine of the Mids' 12 games this season have been decided by one or two runs. Last season 21 of Navy's 52 games were decided by one or two runs, while in 2011 the Mids went 14-10 in such games.
No Free Passes
The Navy pitching staff hasn't allowed a walk in three of 12 games this season and has yielded a total of just 34. By comparison, Navy did not issue a walk in four if its 52 games last season.
Huggins Steps Up In First-Career Starts
Sophomore Jonathan Huggins started all four games in center field against Air Force (Feb. 22-24) and certainly made the most of the opportunity. Huggins had a hit in each of the four games and went 6-for-14 (.429) in the series. He also stole a base and scored two runs. The Boynton Beach, Fla., native came into the season with one hit (a solo home run) in 11-career at bats and no starts.
Dupell is Navy's Current Iron Man
Greg Dupell is Navy's active leader in consecutive starts with 118 entering play this week. The senior started the final 54 games of the 2011 season and was the only Mid to start all 52 last season.
Freshmen Making an Early Impact
Navy has had seven freshmen see action so far this season. The Mids had a pair of rookies in Robert Currie (center field) and Drew Hayes (second base) in the Opening Day lineup for the first time since 2008 when Nick Driscoll and Jonathan Wright both started. Currie, who has a hit in all four games in which he has appeared this season, is hitting .357.
On the mound, the lefty Luke Gillingham has made four appearances, including one start against Air Force. Gillingham is 1-1 and in 12.0 innings of work this season he has eight Ks and one walk. Fellow freshman Sam Sorenson has appeared in five games and earned his first-career save in Navy's 3-2 victory over Air Force. He picked up his first win by pitching the final 1.1 innings in a 3-2 victory over CCSU on March 2.
Looking Forward to the Sun
Like many teams across the nation, the Mids have endured some tough weather early this season. Half of Navy's games have been played in sub-42 degree weather, including their last three games against Central Connecticut in which the temperature was in the mid 30s. The Mids' March 6 game at George Mason was cancelled due to a winter storm in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Solid in the Field in 2012
Navy's .971 fielding percentage last season was the second best in school history with only the 1987 team's .973 mark ranking higher. The Midshipmen committed 56 errors in 2012, compared to their opponent's total of 81.
Wiedeman Earns Second Conference Honor After Opening Weekend
Sophomore shortstop David Wiedeman was named Patriot League Player of the Week for the second time in his career after going 4-for-10 on opening weekend against Norfolk State. His three hits in the series finale were a career high, while the three RBIs tied a single-game best.
He is currently hitting .306 and has reached base safely in 11 of 12 games this season. Wiedeman also started out hot in 2012 as he hit. 346 and had nine RBIs through the first eight games.
Rinehart on Navy's All-Time Saves List
Senior reliever and team captain Joel Rinehart picked up the first of 2013 in the season-opening win over Norfolk State. He now has 13 saves for his career - three shy of tying J.D. Melton for the top spot on Navy's all-time saves list. His 61-career appearances rank second in program history.
For the second consecutive season, Rinehart was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List. The award is given annually to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.
Nominations for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award were made by baseball sports information/media relations contacts. The initial list of 75 will be updated with a mid-season release the week of April 16, including the national saves leaders.
Mids on TV
CBS Sports Network will televise game one of the Lafayette-Navy doubleheader on Sunday, April 21 in Annapolis. It marks the second consecutive season the Mids will appear on the network and third time since 2010.