May 9, 2013
Navy Hosts Army in Patriot League Semifinal Series
The second-seeded Midshipmen (28-21) will host third-seeded Army (25-21) in a best-of-three Patriot League Tournament semifinal series this weekend. The two teams will meet in a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at noon. If a third game is needed to decide the series, the teams will play at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
The winner will advance to play either Bucknell or top-seeded Holy Cross in the Patriot League Tournament final.
Admission and Parking
Admission to all Navy baseball games is free. Due to the limited number of parking spaces available at Bishop Stadium, fans are encouraged to park at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and take the shuttle to the baseball facility. The shuttle will run from 11 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and should the teams play again on Sunday, it will run from noon - 5 p.m. The cost of parking will be $10 on Saturday and $5 Sunday.
Navy in the Patriot League Tournament
The Midshipmen are making their conference-best 15th appearance in the Patriot League Tournament. Navy has an all-time tournament record of 20-20, including a 12-9 mark at home.
Navy has a 4-4 record against Army in the Patriot League Tournament. The teams last met in the 2011 best-of-three final series where Navy defeated the Black Knights, 2-1.
Navy has six Patriot League titles, the last of which came in 2011 when the Mids were the No. 1 seed.
Mids 11-2 in Their Last 13 Games
After dropping the first two games of their series at Holy Cross, the Midshipmen have won 11 of their last 13 contests. Navy has five starters hitting .321 or high over the last 13 games, and as a team, the Mids are hitting .298 over the span - .023 higher than their current season average. On the mound, the pitching staff has an ERA of 2.47 over the last 13 games - 1.32 below its league-leading 3.79 ERA.
Stepping Up Defensively
Perhaps the most impressive aspect over the past 13 games has been the Mids' defense. Navy has a .986 fielding percentage over its last 13 games, having committed more than one error just once over the span. The Mids have played error-free baseball in seven of the last 13 games, including three of the last four.
Five Mids Voted to the All-Patriot League Teams
Navy had five players earn All-Patriot League honors, including starting pitcher Stephen Moore, catcher Dave Milanes and outfielder Greg Dupell, who were all voted to the first team, and reliever Joel Rinehart and first baseman Kash Manzelli, who were named to the second team.
Dupell is Navy's first three-time All-Patriot League selection since Shane Groover (1998, `99, `00) and Mark Zematis (1998, `99, `00). He is the conference's first player since 2008 to be named All-Patriot League at three different positions during his career (2011 - 1B, 2012 - 3B). Dupell is the Patriot League leader in RBIs with 38, marking the third consecutive year he has driven in at least 35 runs. His 18 doubles this season rank in a tie for first in the conference and rank 19th nationally.
Milanes is now a two-time All-Patriot League first-team selection (2011 - DH). The senior has appeared in all 49 games this season and is currently hitting .303 with 30 RBIs. He was named Patriot League Player of the Week twice this season.
Moore went 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA in conference play this season. He finished the regular season in the top four in the conference in both ERA (2.91, third) and opposing batting average (.243, fourth).
Manzelli led the conference in Patriot League games with a .416 batting average - .028 higher than the next closest player. He leads the team in both batting average (.339) and on-base percentage (.414).
Rinehart is 3-1 with four saves and a 2.83 ERA.
Additionally, pitcher Johnny Schoberl was named to the Academic All-Patriot League Team. He carries a 3.25 GPA and is an oceanography major.
Three Mids enter this weekend's series having reached base safely in at least 12 consecutive games. Both Dave Milanes and Robert Currie have gotten on base in a season-high 15 consecutive games, while Dupell has reached in 12 consecutive. Milanes is hitting .350 over the last 15 games, raising his season average by .023. Currie has 10 RBIs over the last 15 games and enters this weekend with a .286 batting average - his highest average since March 23. Dupell is hitting .416 over the last 12 games.
Navy's 14 road victories are its most since the 1995 squad posted a 16-11 mark away from Annapolis.
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 (3.79), opponent batting average (.254) and strikeouts (340).
It marks the third straight year that the Navy pitching staff has recorded at least 340 Ks. The Mids posted 343 last seaon, which is the fifth most in program history, while in 2011 Navy pitchers combined for a school record 423 punch outs.
Junior Kash Manzelli has reached base in 24 of the last 26 games, including via hits in 23 of those contests. He has 18 multi-hit games this season. The native of Dunwoody, Ga., leads the team in both batting average (.339) and on-base percentage (.414). The first baseman He enters the weekend tied with Milanes for sixth in the conference with 30 RBIs.
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 currently leads the league in RBIs with 38 and his combined 25 extra-base hits (18 doubles, four triples, three home runs) also leads the conference. As of Thursday, his 18 doubles ranked 19th in the nation.
In the Navy Record Book
With consistent production throughout his career, Greg Dupell has established himself as one of Navy's top all-time offensive threats. He ranks second in doubles (46), tied for fourth in triples (14), tied for sixth in home runs (15), eighth in hits (192) and tied for ninth in RBIs (118) on the Navy career charts.
Navy has played five extra-inning games this season and its four wins in extra frames are a program record. For the first time in 119 years, the Mids played three consecutive extra-inning games in their series against Lafayette. In a pair of games April 20, both of which went 10 innings, Navy defeated Lafayette, 4-3, before falling in game two, 7-6. The next day, the Mids defeated the Leopards, 1-0, in nine innings in game one of the doubleheader.
Army and Navy in the Regular Season
Army and Navy opened Patriot League play March 31-April 1 at West Point where the Mids took three of four games from the Black Knights.
Game One: Navy 7, Army 1
Stephen Moore held Army to just five hits in his first-career complete game. He also struck out four and didn't issue a walk. Leading 2-1, Navy tacked on two runs in the sixth and then three more in the seventh.
Game Two: Navy 4, Army 2
Anthony Parenti scattered four hits over 6.0 innings and yielded just one earned run. Trailing 1-0 in the top of the fifth, Navy scored four runs, keyed by a two-RBI single from Kash Manzelli. Joel Rinehart tossed three-scoreless innings to earn the save.
Game Three: Navy 15, Army 4
Greg Dupell and Connor Deneen both had three RBIs as the Mids scored in every inning but the seventh. The Mids put up 17 hits in the game and Johnny Schoberl earned the complete-game win on the mound.
Game Four: Army 14, Navy 7
Leading 8-6, Army put the game away with six runs in the eighth inning. Grant Van Orden and Alex Jensen both had three hits for the Black Knights.
Army and Navy shared five common non-conference opponents this season. Both programs met Indiana, Miami (Ohio) and North Dakota State at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational where Navy went 0-3 against the trio and Army 1-2 as it defeated the RedHawks. Also while in Florida, the Mids defeated Yale and Army took on the Bulldogs in a series and won all three games. Delaware State is the fifth common opponent, whom Navy defeated, 12-10, and Army fell to, 6-5 in 10 innings.
Taking Advantage of Two-Out Opportunities
In its four-game sweep of Lehigh in the final regular season series, the Navy offense produced some timely hits as it scored 17 of its 27 total runs with two outs. In its 5-3 and 6-1 wins on April 27, Navy scored 10 of its 11 runs with two outs. The following day in 4-2 and 12-5 wins, Navy scored seven more runs in two-out situations.
Gillingham Impresses in Rookie Season
Freshman Luke Gillingham has become one of the Mids' most solid pitchers this season, entering the weekend with 3.23 ERA and 4-3 record. Gillingham has picked up wins in each of his last three starts, all of which he has gone at least 7.0 innings. He yielded just one run against Holy Cross (April 14), two against Lafayette (April 21) and then struck out a career-high 12 in his last win at Lehigh.
The Coronado, Calif., native is the first Navy freshman to record at least 45 strikeouts in over 53.0 innings since Zach Sipe had 53 Ks in 57.1 innings in 2009. Gillingham's 45 Ks and nine walks match teammate Stephen Moore, tying the duo for 41st in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Senior starting pitcher Ben Nelson has been out of action since March 23. In six starts this season, he is 5-1 with a 1.30 ERA and was 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 strikeouts (45).
Ranks With Navy's Best
Ben 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 14 of its 28 wins this season. Three of the Mids' last four wins were come-from-behind victories (Lafayette - game one, April 20; Lafayette - game two, April 21; Delaware State, April 24). 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 nine of its 14 come-from-behind wins.
Moore Bolsters the Rotation
Sophomore Stephen Moore has stepped up in the absence of Ben Nelson, going 3-0 in his five 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. Against Lafayette, he struck out six and tossed seven-complete innings for the second straight week.
In conference games only, he is holding opponents to a .235 average and has a 2.01 ERA. Moore finished the regular season in the top four in the conference in both ERA (2.91, third) and opposing batting average (.243, fourth). With a total of 45 strikeouts and just nine walks, his strikeout-to-walk ratio ranks 41st in the nation.
Veech Provides Power
Senior Craig Veech has made the most of his opportunities lately. In three starts between April 7-16, he posted a total of seven hits, including two home runs, and nine RBIs. He had a career day at Maryland-Eastern Shore on April 16, going 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.
Limiting the Free Passes
Navy is the only team in the league with two pitchers - Stephen Moore and Luke Gillingham - that have each issued nine or fewer walks in 50.0 or more innings pitched.
The pitching staff has issued two or fewer walks in 21 games this season, going 16-5 in those contests. The Mids haven't walked an opposing batter in six games this season. By comparison, Navy did not issue a walk in just four of its 52 games in 2012.
Navy is 9-5 in one-run games this season and 24 of the Mids' 49 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.
Rinehart One of Navy's Best
With a team-high 22 appearances this season, senior reliever and team captain Joel Rinehart now has 77 for his career, which ranks first in Navy history. Joe Koessler (2003-06) previously held the program record of 68.
Rinehart is 3-1 with a team-leading four saves and a 2.83 ERA. He began the season by picking up a save in the first game of the year and went on to earn three more, all of which came in league play. He secured a doubleheader sweep at Army on March 31 by tossing three scoreless innings in Navy's 4-2 game-two win. In the final regular season series at Lehigh, he picked up two more saves and now has 16 in his career.
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 155 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 155 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.