April 28, 2008
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - In helping the Navy baseball team earn the No. 2 seed for the Patriot League Tournament, infielder Mike Guadagnini (Fr./Virginia Beach, Va.) and right-hander Oliver Drake (So./Gardner, Mass.) have been named the Patriot League Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, it was announced by the league office on Monday afternoon.
With the efforts of both Guadagnini and Drake, Navy took 3-of-4 from Holy Cross this past weekend in Annapolis to earn the right to host the Crusaders in a best-of-three Patriot League Tournament semifinal series on May 10-11.
Guadagnini hit safely in all-seven games last week, boasting an impressive .519 (14-for-27) batting average with three doubles, two RBIs and four walks. In Navy's 9-3 win over Holy Cross on Saturday, he went 5-for-5 with two runs scored. It marked the first five-hit performance by a Navy batter since Ryan McGinn finished 5-for-5 with two home runs at Holy Cross on April 10, 2005. Guadagnini concluded the Saturday doubleheader with an 8-for-10 effort at the plate.
Last week's Patriot League Rookie of the Week, Guadagnini is the second Navy freshman in school history to earn Patriot League Player-of-the-Week kudos. Toph Lake was named the league's player of the week during his freshman campaign on May 8, 1995.
Guadagnini is hitting .341 (44-for-129) on the year with six doubles, four home runs, 17 RBIs and two stolen bases. In Patriot League play, the Navy freshman played in all-20 games and finished with a .333 (22-for-66) batting average with 10 runs scored, three doubles, one home run and nine RBIs.
While Guadagnini produced at the plate, Drake delivered a gutsy performance on the mound in perhaps the most important game of the season for the Midshipmen up to that point.
Battling through sickness that sidelined him from starting the second and third game of the series against Holy Cross, Drake stepped up in the series finale - with a home playoff series riding on the line - and threw a complete-game, nine-inning three-hitter with no walks and 11 strikeouts to lead the Midshipmen to a 2-1 victory. The 11 strikeouts were a career high and he carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning. Only two Holy Cross base runners reached scoring position over the course of the entire game.
In two career starts against the Crusaders, Drake has gone the distance in both outings. He is 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA in 16.0 innings with only six hits allowed, one walk and 15 strikeouts.
Drake, who earned pitcher-of-the-week recognition for the first time in his career, owns a 5-3 record with a 3.94 ERA over 10 starts this season, a span of 61.2 innings. The Navy right-hander has allowed just 57 hits, less than one per inning, with 21 walks and 55 strikeouts.
The Midshipmen (28-21, 11-9 Patriot League) will return to action tomorrow, when they head on the road for the final time during the regular season to take on Delaware State (15-25) at 3 p.m.