April 18, 2013
Navy Hosts Lafayette in Final Home League Series
Navy will host Lafayette in its final home regular-season Patriot League series. The two teams will play a pair of games beginning at noon on Saturday and then another doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Game one of Sunday's twin bill will be televised live by CBS Sports Network.
Navy will pay tribute to its 10-member senior class prior to Saturday's first game.
Navy and Lafayette share one common non-conference opponent in Maryland-Eastern Shore. Lafayette split a four-game series at UMES, March 9-10, while the Mids won both games it played against the Hawks, 9-4 (March 27) and 13-2 (April 16).
Pitching Staff Leading the Patriot League
The Navy pitching staff continues to lead the Patriot League in several key categories. Entering the weekend, Navy is atop the conference in ERA (4.15), opponent batting average (.257) and strikeouts (239).
Junior Kash Manzelli has reached base in 16 of the last 17 games entering this weekend's series. Manzelli has reached safely in 32 of 39 games this season and his on-base percentage of .436 ranks seventh in the league.
The first baseman ranks in the top five in the Patriot League in several offensive categories, including: hits (50, first), batting average (.355, third), RBIs (26, t-fourth) and runs scored (28, t-fifth).
Dupell at The Top of the League in RBIs
As he has been for the last two seasons, Greg Dupell remains one of the league's most reliable run-producing threats. He is currently tied for the league lead in RBIs with 28 and his combined 19 extra-base hits (13 doubles, three triples, three home runs) also leads the conference. As of Monday, his 13 doubles ranked 38th in the nation.
In the Navy Record Book
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 fifth in program history in triples (13), tied for sixth in home runs (15), tied for fifth in doubles (41) and ranks tied for 12th in hits (175).
Veech Heats Up
Senior Craig Veech has made the most of his opportunities lately as he has picked up hits in each of the last four games in which he has appeared. He went 3-for-3, including a double and home run, with three RBIs in the series finale loss to Bucknell (April 7). On Tuesday at Maryland-Eastern Shore, the third baseman went 3-for-5 with a career-high five RBIs, four of which game on a grand slam in the fourth inning. The grand slam was the first by a Mid since Kash Manzelli against Lafayette last season on April 21.
Despite Missing Time, Nelson Still Ranks Among the Best
While he has been out of action since March 23, senior starting pitcher Ben Nelson continues to rank among the conference's best in several categories. In six starts this season, he is 5-1 with a league-best 1.30 ERA while being named Patriot League Pitcher of the Week on three occasions. After his last start on March 23, Nelson then ranked in the top-30 nationally in several categories, including: eighth in strike-out-to-walk ratio (11.25), 12th in complete games (two), 25th in walks allowed per nine innings (0.86) and 26th in the nation in strikeouts (45).
... and With Navy's Best
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, which is four shy of the Navy record.
Don't Count `Em Out
Navy has trailed its opponent at some point in 11 of its 20 wins this season. Navy had five consecutive come-from-behind wins 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 seven of its 11 come-from-behind wins.
Moore Bolsters the Rotation
Sophomore Stephen Moore has stepped up in the absence of Ben Nelson, picking up wins in two of his three conference starts. Against Army on March 31, Moore held the Black Knights to just one run on five hits to earn the complete-game win. Moore limited Holy Cross to just one run on four hits and fanned a career-best six batters to earn another complete-game win.
In conference games only he is holding opponents to a .236 average, which ranks fourth, while his 0.93 ERA ranks second.
Moore has 35 strikeouts and just five walks this season. In six starts totaling 40.2 innings, he is 2-3 with a 2.66 ERA.
Limiting the Free Passes
Navy is the only team in the league with three pitchers - Ben Nelson, Stephen Moore and Luke Gillingham - that have each issued five or fewer walks in 35.0 or more innings pitched.
The pitching staff has issued two or fewer walks in 18 games this season, going 13-5 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 just four if its 52 games in 2012.
Navy is 7-4 in one-run games this season and 19 of the Mids' 39 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.
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 16 appearances, which are second only to Joel Rinehart on the team, Sorenson is 3-0 with a 4.18 ERA. He is holding opponents to a .212 batting average.
Rinehart is Navy's Career-Appearances Leader
With 18 appearances this season, senior reliever and team captain Joel Rinehart now has 73 for his career, which ranks first in Navy history. Joe Koessler (2003-06) previously held the program record of 68.
With 14 career 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.
...And Delivers at the Plate
Joel Rinehart took advantage of his only career at-bat in game one of the Mids' series against Bucknell, delivering a two-out single that helped Navy rally for a 2-1 win. With a runner on second and two outs in the 11th, Rinehart singled up the middle to keep the inning alive and David Wiedeman followed with a walk-off RBI single. Rinehart came into the game in the eighth spot in the lineup in the 10th inning. He became the first Mid to record a hit in his only at-bat of the season since Jeff Murdza in 2007. He also became the first Mid who pitches exclusively during his career to go 1-for-1 in a game since Doug Rau did so in 1973.
Dupell is Navy's Current Iron Man
Greg Dupell is Navy's active leader in consecutive starts with 145 entering play this weekend. The senior started the final 54 games of the 2011 season and was the only Mid to start all 52 contests last season.
Michael Speciale was the last Mid to start at least 145 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.
Patriot League Series Notes
Holy Cross (April 13-14)
After dropping the first two games of the series, Navy bounced back to win both games on Sunday, 5-1 and 7-1 ... Dave Milanes went a combined 7-for-9 in both Navy wins, while game-three starter Stephen Moore earned his second complete-game win ... Luke Gillingham was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week after recording a career-high seven Ks in the series finale.
Bucknell (April 6-7)
Stephen Moore gave up just one run in his second consecutive start ... Navy improved to 2-0 in extra-inning games by taking game one of the series, 2-1, in 11 innings ... Kash Manzelli led Navy at the plate in the series, hitting .467.
Army (March 31-April 1)
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.
Mids Raising Their Average
With double-digit hits in each of their last four games, the Mids have raised their team batting average to .277, which ranks second in the league. The team's .277 average is its highest since it was a .286 after the seventh game of the season. Last year, Navy hit .252.
Stealing When They Can
Led by Brad Borosak's conference-best 14 swipes, Navy's 47 stolen bases eclipses the team's mark from last season (43) and ranks third in the Patriot League. Navy last stole more than 50 bases in a season in 2011 when it had 58.
The Senior Class
With 10 seniors, Navy has its largest senior class since 2010. The group has combined for 615 games played and 427 starts entering the season.
The 10 seniors received their service assignments in late November. Three Mids will be commissioned as Marine Corps 2nd Lieutenants, including: Johnny Schoberl (Marine Corps Ground), Dave Milanes (Marine Corps Ground) and Jake Coffey (Marine Corps Pilot). The balance of the class will be commissioned as Ensigns in the Navy, including: Greg Dupell (Pilot), Craig Veech (Pilot), Dylan Wheeler (Pilot), Ben Nelson (Naval Flight Officer), Chris Campbell (Naval Intelligence), Stephen Geiss (Surface Warfare) and Joel Rinehart (Nuclear Surface Warfare).
Graduates of the Naval Academy serve a minimum of five years in the Navy or Marine Corps, while pilots serve eight years upon earning their wings.
Big Numbers Against Delaware State
Navy's 18 hits in its win over Delaware State on March 20th was its most since producing 19 in a win over UMES on Feb. 22 last season. Navy's five doubles in the game were its most since they had six against Coppin State on March 2, 2011.
Since producing five doubles against DSU, Navy also produced five against Army (April 1, game one) and Holy Cross (April 13, game two).
After playing at Delaware State on Wednesday, Navy will travel to Lehigh to wrap up regular season Patriot League play.