Baseball Hosts Princeton in Final Non-Conference Set
Stephen Moore will start Friday's game.
March 21, 2013
Navy Hosts Princeton in Final Non-League Series
The Midshipmen will host Princeton this weekend in their final non-conference series of the season. It marks the sixth consecutive season the two teams will meet in a series in Annapolis; the teams are an even 10-10 against each other over the last five years. The teams will play single games on Friday and Sunday and a doubleheader (seven and nine inning games, respectively) on Saturday.
About the Tigers
While Princeton enters this weekend's series at 1-13, its record can be a bit deceiving as eight of the Tigers' 14 games have been decided by one or two runs ... As a team, Princeton is hitting .203 ... Danny Hoy leads the Tigers with a .316 batting average, while Mike Ford's 10 RBIs are tops on the team ... Opponents are hitting .300 off the Princeton pitching staff, which has an ERA of 6.58 ... However, three of its starting pitchers in Ford (1.42), Zak Hermans (2.35) and Kevin Link (3.94) all have sub-4.00 ERAs ... The team has a fielding percentage of .946.
The Pitching Staff in the NCAA Rankings
When NCAA statistics were released on Monday, the Navy pitching staff ranked 41st in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings with an average of 8.1. Navy's strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.83 is currently 26th-best in the country. The Mids enter this weekend's series with 138 total strikeouts.
Nelson Continues His Stellar Start; Ranks Among the Nation's Best
Senior starting pitcher Ben Nelson has been exceptional through the first month of the season. In five starts, he is 4-1 with a league-low 1.30 ERA and has been named Patriot League Pitcher of the Week on three occasions - most recently on Monday. With 39 Ks and just three walks in five starts this season, Nelson ranks fifth in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio. Nelson's 39 Ks rank 23rd in the country and his walks per nine innings average of 0.78 ranks 26th.
In his last start vs. Yale on March 16, Nelson struck out a career-high 13 batters in eight-complete innings. Just seven of the 27 hits he has surrendered have been extra-base hits in 34 2/3rds innings he has thrown this season.
... and Continuing to Move Up The Career Charts
Nelson's 39 Ks this season have bumped him into seventh place on Navy's all-time strikeout list with a total of 223. He also ranks eighth on the Patriot League's all-time K list. The native of Winter Haven, Fla., has 40-career starts - tied for third best in school history. He needs three more starts this season to tie the Navy career record, currently held by Mark McCoy.
Milanes Posts Seven RBIs and Joins the 5-for-5 Club
Senior Dave Milanes became the second Mid this season to go 5-for-5 at the plate when he did so in Wednesday's win over Delaware State. Milanes had two, three-RBI doubles, a solo home run and a pair of singles as he drove in seven runs - the most by a Mid since John Cocca also had seven RBIs against Holy Cross on April 21, 2001.
Milanes joined Kash Manzelli as the other Mid that has gone 5-for-5 this season. Manzelli's five-hit game came on March 10 in Navy's 12-0 win over LIU-Brooklyn. It's the first time Navy has had two players post five-hit games in the same year since Alex Azor and Jeff Bland (twice) in 2011.
Doubles for Dupe
Since NCAA statistics were first released three weeks ago, senior Greg Dupell has been among the nation's leaders in doubles. Currently, Dupell ranks seventh in the country with 10 doubles this season, which is just three behind the national leader. His doubles per game average of 0.56 also ranks seventh.
Dupell has registered a total of 14 doubles in each of the last two seasons. The Navy record for doubles in a season is 21, set by Steve Mauro in 1994.
The two-time, second-team All-Patriot League selection is Navy's leading-active run producer with 93-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.
Eleven of the Mids' 19 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 has issued two or fewer walks in nine of its 19 games this season, going 6-3 in those contests. The Mids haven't walked an opposing batter in four games this season. By comparison, Navy did not issue a walk in four if its 52 games in 2012.
Freshman reliever Sam Sorenson has been a solid presence in the bullpen this season with a team-leading three saves. In nine appearances, which are second only to Joel Rinehart on the team, Sorenson is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA. He is holding opponents to a team-low .171 batting average.
Dupell is Navy's Current Iron Man
Greg Dupell is Navy's active leader in consecutive starts with 125 entering play this weekend. The senior started the final 54 games of the 2011 season and was the only Mid to start all 52 last season.
Manzelli Leads Navy at the Plate
Kash Manzelli has led Navy at the plate nearly all season and enters this weekend with a team-high .353 batting average. Manzelli has a hit in eight of the last 10 games, going 15-for-33 (.455) over the span. He has reached safely in 15 of 19 games this season.
Currie Back in the Outfield
Freshman Robert Currie has returned to the Navy lineup after missing eight consecutive games earlier this season with an injury. Currie started out the season with a hit in each of his first four games before getting injured. Since returning on March 10, he has appeared in six of the last seven games and produced a season-high three hits against Delaware State on Wednesday. He enters this weekend with a .306 batting average.
Get on the Board First
Navy has scored first in each of its last three victories and is 5-1 this season when it is the first team to get on the scoreboard.
Rinehart Nearing the Navy Career-Appearances Record
Senior reliever and team captain Joel Rinehart has a team-leading 10 appearances already this season, giving him a total of 65 in his career. He needs just three more to tie Joe Koessler (2003-06) for the program record.
With 13 saves, Rinehart is three shy of tying J.D. Melton for the top spot on Navy's all-time saves list.
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.
Baseball on Navy All-Access
Live streaming audio will be available for 17 regular-season games through Navy All-Access at NavySports.com. Additionally, live streaming video via Navy All-Access will be provided for several games this season. Games will be added to the Navy All-Access schedule throughout the season. For the most up-to-date information on Navy's live streaming schedule, check NavySports.com.
Navy will close out its home stand against Maryland-Eastern Shore on Wednesday at Max Bishop Stadium before heading to Army to open conference play March 31-April 1.