Baseball Drops Two against Patriot League Opponent Navy
March 30, 2008
EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette baseball team suffered two setbacks in Sunday's doubleheader against Navy. The Leopards dropped a 13-5 decision in the opening game before suffering a 6-5 heartbreaking loss in 13 innings in the series finale.
Navy (17-9, 3-1) jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first after Michael Speciale led off the game with a double to right center and came around to score on a Jonathan Wright single up the middle. Starting pitcher Jeremy Atkins settled down after that, getting three groundball outs to end the inning.
In Lafayette's half of the second, Nick Tucker drew a two-out walk and Dan Bierce's single down the right field line sent him to third. Ryan Roberts followed with an RBI single to left field to tie the game at one.
The Mids responded in the third with six runs on five hits. Speciale led off with a single against Atkins and came around to score on a double by Wright for a 2-1 Navy lead. Mitch Harris hit a single up the middle to plate Wright, making the score 3-1. Lafayette (11-9, 1-3) went to its bullpen, bringing in Brad Woodfield. The righty reliever recorded two outs before surrendering a two-run home run to Nick Driscoll for a 7-1 Navy lead.
In the fourth, Jeff Butler hit a lead off single and with one out, Tucker hit a single to right field. A wild pitch put runners on second and third for Bierce, who knocked in both runners with a single through the right side, cutting Navy's lead to 7-3.
A fifth-inning solo home run by Steven Soares off Woodfield upped Navy's edge to five (8-3). In Lafayette's half of the inning, Luick had a one-out double and Joe Ezekiel's single put runners on the corners for Butler. Butler ground out to the shortstop, allowing Luick to score Lafayette's fourth run of the game. Tom Ambrosole then hit a rocket single to third base, sending Ezekiel home to make the score 8-5.
Mike LeClerc-Spier entered the game for Lafayette in the top of the sixth and surrendered four runs without recording an out. Righty Ryan Hanna relieved LeClerc-Spier and got the three outs to end the inning. Following a Lafayette error in the seventh, Hanna surrendered a two-out homerun to Speciale, Navy's final run of the game, for a 13-5 Midshipmen lead. Freshman Ben Hertz came out of the bullpen for his second appearance of the season and recorded the inning's final out.
In the second game, Navy picked up where it left off, scoring two runs on two hits in the top of the first inning off freshman starter Corey Shea. The Leopards caught a break when Jeff Bland failed to touch first on what would have been an RBI double, keeping the score 2-0 after one.
Ambrosole knocked a double off the left field wall to open Lafayette's half of the second. Butler was hit by a pitch and Tucker earned a walk to load the bases for Hayes, who belted a bases-clearing double to right center to tie the game. A throwing error by Navy's third baseman allowed the inning's fourth run to score for the 4-2 Lafayette lead. Luick's two-out single loaded the bases again and forced Navy to go to its bullpen and bring in lefty Kevin Heasley, who recorded the final out of the inning, preventing any further damage.
In the top of the fourth, Navy tacked on a run off a Wright RBI double to make it a one run game (4-3).
Mitch Harris's leadoff home run in the fifth inning off Shea tied the game at four as Joe Kinney called on Tyler Chromey to relieve Shea. Chromey got out of the inning without allowing a run and would go on to pitch 2.1 innings of scoreless ball.
The game remained knotted at four through six innings. Brian Mostek entered the game with one out and one runner on base in the top of the seventh. A great diving catch by Butler marked the inning's second out and Harris was caught stealing, preventing Navy from taking the lead.
Navy's Renaldo Hollins led off the top of the ninth with a walk and advanced to third on a single by Jonathan Wright. Jason Morytko entered the game for Lafayette and surrendered an RBI single to Hamilton to give Navy the 5-4 lead.
Lafayette would not give in, however, as Froio led off the bottom of the ninth with a single to left field and Bierce sacrificed him to second. With two outs Matt Hall pinch hit for Ambrosole and hit a RBI triple to left center, tying the game at five. A.J. Miller pinch hit with the potential game-winning run on third but struck out looking, forcing extra innings.
The game remained tied until Navy broke the scoring drought with a run in the top of the 13th off Morytko. Ryan Hanna came in from the bullpen to relieve Morytko. Jeff Murzda's pinch hit single scored Hollins from first to give Navy the 6-5 lead and the eventual win.
The Leopards continue their homestand on Tuesday against Delaware in the second round of the Liberty Bell Classic. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m.
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