April 1, 2007
Game One Box Score (Navy 8, Holy Cross 1)
Game Two Box Score (Navy 11, Holy Cross 7)
WORCESTER, Mass. - Navy junior outfielder Mitch Harris (Mt. Holly, N.C.) went 4-for-8 with two doubles, a home run and five RBIs during Sunday's doubleheader to lead the Midshipmen to a four-game series sweep of Holy Cross at Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass. Navy won the opener, 8-1, before claiming an 11-7 win in the nightcap to improve to 22-9 on the year. Holy Cross' record dropped to 2-13 on the year following Sunday's action.
Navy has opened the Patriot League portion of the season with a 4-0 mark for the second-consecutive season, as the Mids commenced the 2006 league slate with a four-game sweep of the Crusaders in Annapolis. Navy's 4-0 record during the weekend pushed its all-time record to 42-12 (.778) in league-opening weekend action.
"Whenever you go 4-0 in a league weekend, it's a good weekend," said Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. "Mitch was absolutely huge for us. Driving in 12 runs and picking up a win on the mound says it all."
Harris concluded his weekend with a .444 (8-for-18) batting average, a 1.056 slugging percentage, two doubles, three home runs, 10 RBIs and eight runs scored. In addition to his services at the plate, He also won the first game of the series with an eight-strikeout performance over 6.1 innings on the hill.
Pitching near his hometown of Gardner, Mass., Navy freshman starter Oliver Drake (Gardner, Mass.) posted his best performance of the year to earn his first-career victory during the opener. He yielded only three hits and one run with one walk and four strikeouts in a complete game, 116-pitch effort.
"Oliver's performance was really critical because each team's pitching heading into the third game was a little thin," said Kostacopoulos. "He came out and was in control throughout the entire game."
The Midshipmen jumped out to a 1-0 lead during the first inning of the opener when Harris belted his third home run in as many games. The two-out, solo shot was the seventh of the year, tying him for third on the program's single-season home run list. Four of his nine career round-trippers have come off of Holy Cross pitching.
Navy pushed the lead to 5-0 with a four-run fifth inning. Senior team captain Michael Garcia (Kailua, Hawai'i) singled in a run, followed by a two-run double off the bat of junior Thomas Hamilton (Houston, Texas) and freshman Mike Hoosier (Pomona, N.Y.) smacked a RBI-single. The Mids extended their margin to 8-0 in the seventh with back-to-back-to-back RBI-singles from Hoosier, freshman Drew Lydon (White Plains, Md.) and sophomore Joshua Martinez (Denver, Colo.)
In the nightcap, Holy Cross plated three runs in the bottom of the first to take its first lead of the four-game series. However, the Midshipmen would let the hosts lead stand one half of an inning, as they scored seven runs in the second and three in the third. Harris delivered a two-run single, while freshman Michael Speciale (Pearland, Texas), freshman Matthew Curley (Boston, Mass.), junior Renaldo Hollins (Virginia Beach, Va.), Garcia and Hoosier each drove in a run in the second inning. For the second time in three games, Navy sent 12 batters to the plate in the second inning.
Harris made the lead 9-3 for the Mids with a two-out, two-run double down the left field line in the third. He would come around to score on Hamilton's single through the left side of the infield.
Meanwhile, Navy freshman starting pitcher Yale Eckert (La Selva Beach, Calif.) settled in and held the Crusaders off the board during his final-five innings of work. Eckert scattered eight hits and three runs over six innings with only one walk and three strikeouts. With the victory, his record improved to 2-1 on the year.
Hoosier went 3-for-4 in the opening game with a pair of RBI singles, followed by Martinez's 3-for-5 effort in the batter's box in game two. Martinez also came off the bench with a RBI-single during the front end of Sunday's doubleheader.
The Midshipmen (22-9, 4-0 Patriot League) will return to action next weekend when they will host Lafayette (12-10, 4-0 Patriot League) in a battle of the league's two undefeated teams at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium. The two teams are slated for 12 noon doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday in Annapolis. Live stats for all four games will be available via GameTracker on Navy's website, www.navysports.com (.)