Baseball Hosts Bucknell in Patriot League Home Opener
April 5, 2013
Navy Hosts Bucknell in Patriot League Play
The Midshipmen will take on Bucknell in their first of two conference home sets this season. The Mids and Bison will meet in doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday, beginning at noon both days. Navy enters the series at 3-1 in Patriot League play, while Bucknell is 1-3.
Navy will host "Meet the Mids" between Saturday's doubleheader as the team will be signing autographs. The first 50 fans in attendance at Sunday's twin bill will get a free Navy baseball keychain and have the chance to play baseball bingo for prizes.
Navy and Bucknell share five common opponents, which both teams met while taking part in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. Both Navy the Bucknell fell to Indiana and Valparaiso and defeated LIU-Brooklyn. However, Navy defeated Yale and lost to North Dakota State, while Bucknell did the opposite.
Mids Stay Hot After Taking Three at Army
Navy extended its hot streak this past weekend by taking three of four games at Army, boosting its record to 6-1 in its last seven games and 10-2 over its last 12.
At the plate, Navy is hitting .297 over its last 12 games, which is .029 above its current season average, while its on-base percentage of .403 is .044 better than the team's current mark.
On the mound, Navy's numbers over the last 12 games have been similar to its season averages. The pitching staff is holding opponents to a .249 average in the last 12 games, just .006 below its already low opponent average of .255.
The Pitching Staff in the NCAA Rankings
When NCAA statistics were released Monday morning, prior to Navy's final two games at Army, the pitching staff ranked 41st in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings with an average of 8.0. The pitching staff is also currently 54th in walks allowed per nine innings with an average of 3.04.
Leading the Patriot League
The Navy pitching staff enters the weekend leading the Patriot League in ERA (4.02), opponent batting average (.255) and strikeouts (207).
Dupell One of The League's Best at the Plate
As he has been for the last two seasons, Greg Dupell remains one of the team's most consistent offensive threats. He currently leads the Patriot League in both hits (36) and RBIs (24) and his combined 16 extra-base hits (11 doubles, two triples, three home runs) also lead the conference. His .316 batting average ranks 10th in the league. The native of Tampa, Fla., enters play this weekend with a team-high eight-game hitting streak, which is the longest by any Mid this season. Dupell is hitting .429 with 10 RBIs over the last eight games.
Dupell in the Navy Record Book
With a strong start to the 2013 season, Greg Dupell has worked his way into the top-15 in several of Navy's offensive career record categories. The two-time, second-team All-Patriot League selection enters play this weekend tied for fifth in triples (12), tied for sixth in home runs (15), tied for seventh in doubles (39) and ranks 14th in hits (167).
Milanes Stays on Pace
Dave Milanes has been a big part of the Mids 10-2 mark over the last 12 games. The senior has reached base safely in each of the last 12 games, which is a team-season high, and is hitting .375 over that time frame. He is tied for second on the team with 17 RBIs, 12 of which have come in the last 12 games.
Nelson Continues His Stellar Start; Ranks Among the Nation's Best
Senior starting pitcher Ben Nelson has been exceptional through the first half of the season. In six starts, he is 5-1 with a league-best 1.30 ERA while being named Patriot League Pitcher of the Week on three occasions. With 45 Ks and just four walks in six starts this season, Nelson ranks eighth in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio. Nelson's 45 Ks rank 26th in the country and his walks per nine innings average of 0.86 ranks 25th.
Just eight of the 31 hits he has surrendered have been extra-base hits in the 41 2/3rds innings he has thrown this season.
... and Continuing to Move Up The Career Charts
Nelson's 45 Ks this season have bumped him into a tie for fifth place on Navy's all-time strikeout list with a total of 229. He also ranks in a tie for sixth on the Patriot League's all-time K list. The native of Winter Springs, Fla., has 41-career starts and needs four more starts this season to tie the Navy career record, currently held by Mark McCoy.
Don't Count `Em Out
Navy has trailed its opponent at some point in 10 of its 16 wins this season. Most recently, seven of the Mids' last 10 victories, including five consecutive, have been in come-from-behind fashion. From March 16-24, the Mids defeated Yale, 6-5 (trailing 2-1 in the seventh), Delaware State, 12-10 (trailing 9-5 in the fourth), Princeton, 8-2 (trailing 2-0 in the second), 2-1 (trailing 1-0 in the sixth) and 9-4, (trailing 3-0 in the fourth).
Navy has trailed in the fourth inning or later in six of its 10 come-from-behind wins.
Navy is 6-2 in one-run games this season and 15 of the Mids' 29 games 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.
Always On Base
Kash Manzelli led Navy with a .750 average (9-for-12) last weekend's series with Army. The junior had multiple hits in all four games, drew three walks and was hit by pitches on three occasions, giving him an on-base percentage of .789 in the series.
He currently leads the team with a .347 batting average, which ranks fifth in the conference. His .437 on-base percentage is sixth best in the league and his 23 runs scored is tied for second.
Army Series Notes
Navy batters were hit a total of 16 times in its four-game series with Army; Chris Campbell led all Mids as he was plunked five times ... Navy's .319 team batting average over the four games was its highest in a Patriot League series since hitting .322 against Lafayette last season ... The three wins marked the first time Navy took three of four at West Point since 2003.
No Free Passes
The Navy pitching staff has issued two or fewer walks in 13 games this season, going 10-3 in those contests. The Mids haven't walked an opposing batter in five 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 as he is tied for the league lead in saves with three. In 12 appearances, which are second only to Joel Rinehart on the team, Sorenson is 3-0 with a 3.86 ERA. He is holding opponents to a .203 batting average.
Most recently, he picked up his third win of the year on Wednesday vs. Towson as he tossed 3.1 hitless innings in relief.
Rinehart is Navy's Career-Appearances Leader
With a team-leading 14 appearances this season, senior reliever and team captain Joel Rinehart now has 69 for his career, which ranks first in Navy history. Joe Koessler (2003-06) previously held the program record.
With 14 saves, Rinehart is two 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.
Dupell is Navy's Current Iron Man
Greg Dupell is Navy's active leader in consecutive starts with 135 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.
Michael Speciale was the last Mid to start at least 135 consecutive games as he started 167 consecutive between 2007-10. Speciale started the final 11 games of his freshman season and then every game in each of the next three seasons.
Deenen Named Rookie of the Week
For the second consecutive week, a Navy freshman was recognized as the Patriot League Rookie of the Week as Connor Deneen garnered the award on April 2. Deneen had two hits in all three games in which he appeared vs. Army. He started at DH in two games and drove in a total of five runs in the series.
Milanes Posts Seven RBIs, Joins the 5-for-5 Club
Dave Milanes became the second Mid this season to go 5-for-5 at the plate when he did so in the March 20th 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. The seven RBIs ties the record for the third most in a game in program history.
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.
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.
Navy will travel to Coppin State on Wednesday and then head to Massachusetts to face Holy Cross next weekend, April 13-14.