Navy Sweeps Baseball Team in Opening League Series

Ajan Caneda, Senior Writer

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After engineering a five-game winning streak the previous week, the baseball team stumbled through the opening of Patriot League play and suffered a four-game sweep at the hands of Navy in Annapolis, Md. on March 28-29. In the first doubleheader, the Bison fell 4-2 and 7-1. The second day was more tightly contested, but the Orange and Blue were handed a pair of extra-inning losses 2-1 (10 innings) and 6-5 (14 innings).

Bryson Hough ’15 registered his first complete game this season in the opening game of the series. He struck out six batters and kept a good pace throughout the game, but Navy scored two runs apiece in the third and sixth innings.

“I think in the first doubleheader, we just made mistakes on the mound that Navy took advantage of,” Hough said. “We need to get better at keeping the other team down early and giving our offense an opportunity to produce and let us take the lead.” 

The Bison scored the initial run at the top of the third when Aaron Fritz ’18 got to home plate after a hit by pitch by Joe Ogren ’16. They also tacked on one run in the seventh, but the Mids eventually closed out the game to prevent the tying run from scoring.

In the second game, the first three innings set the tone for Navy’s offense as it led 5-1. Three errors by the Orange and Blue stifled the team and allowed the Mids to capitalize. The lone Bison run came off a Greg Wasikowski ’15 single that brought Tommy Pennington ’16 home.

The Bison recovered on the second day and pushed the Mids to extra innings in both games. The first game reached 10 innings and saw high-quality pitching from both teams. Andrew Andreychik ’16 pitched a complete game, striking out 12 batters and allowing only one earned run.

The game went scoreless until the top of the 10th inning when Mark Powell ’17 drove in the potential game-winning RBI. Unfortunately, Navy recovered with back-to-back singles that led to the decisive runs.

“We played well in the second doubleheader but just didn’t get enough breaks to win,” Hough said. “It was obviously very evenly matched and at that point you just need a few things to go your way in order to win.”

After being held to four total runs over the first three games, the Orange and Blue posted five runs in the final game of the series. Navy jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first, but the Bison worked their way back following RBIs from Ogren, Pennington, Anthony Gingerelli ’15, Brett Smith ’17, and Jon Mayer ’16. Gingerelli brought Ogren home at the top of the 11th to take the lead before Navy answered with a run of its own. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the 14th, the Mids completed the sweep after a one-out single drove the winning runner home.

Mike Castellani ’17 and Max Kra ’16 struck out six and three batters in relief, respectively.

“I think once we piece together offense and defense, we’ll definitely be in a good place.  We saw flashes of either good hitting or pitching but we need both of them clicking at the same time in order to win,” Hough said. “We’ve definitely been able to do that in the past and as soon we get back to that, we should be a pretty dangerous team in the Patriot League.”

The Bison (14-11; 0-4 PL) will now face Lehigh in a four-game series in Bethlehem, Pa. on April 4-5 followed by a game at Penn State on April 7.

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