Leopards Hop Into First Place With Sunday Sweep of Navy; 3-2, 5-0
April 8, 2007
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Two weeks into the conference season, Lafayette took over sole possession of first place in the Patriot League standings with a pair of wins at Navy on Sunday afternoon. The Leopards won 3-2 in extra innings in game one and followed that with a 5-0 shutout from the hand of Matt Kamine for the Sunday sweep.
Lafayette, which holds a 15-10 overall record, remains perfect in the early weeks of conference play with a 6-0 record. Navy moves to 22-11 overall and 4-2 in Patriot League play.
In the opener, the Leopards and Midshipmen were locked in a pitchers' duel. The Leopards led for the majority of the contest, drawing first blood in the third inning. James Conrad got things going with a one-out triple. Navy ace starter Mitch Harris struck out the next batter, but Conrad later scored on Harris' wild pitch to give Lafayette the 1-0 lead. Lafayette handed starter Ted Gjeldum another run to work with in the top of the sixth. Playing in his home state of Maryland, senior Kevin Leasure hit his team-leading fourth home run of the season on a 2-0 offering from Harris.
Gjeldum took the 2-0 lead into the bottom of the inning. A pair of one-out singles and a throwing error put a run across for the Mids. The next batter, Thomas Hamilton, singled home Navy's second run of the inning which tied the game 2-2. Lafayette head coach Joe Kinney made the move to junior righthander Brad Woodfield to relieve Gjeldum. Woodfield earned the final two outs of the inning and kept the 2-2 tie intact.
Neither team scored in the seventh, but Lafayette broke through in the top of the eighth. Conrad's lead-off double set the table, but Harris retired the next two Leopard batters without advancing Conrad. After an intentional walk to Leasure, Conrad took things into his own hands, stealing third base. The catcher's throw to third sailed into leftfield and allowed Conrad to score the go-ahead run. The senior lead-off hitter scored four runs on the afternoon.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Mids managed to put two runners on base, including the tying run at third, but Woodfield struck out Drew Lydon to end the game. Woodfield (2-1) collected the mound win, throwing the final 2.2 innings while allowing just one hit to the 11 batters he faced. Harris (6-3) pitched all eight innings for Navy, surrendering three runs on four hits with nine strikeouts and four walks.
In the nightcap, Kamine tossed his second shutout of the season, striking out 10 in a 5-0 win.
The Leopards scored two runs in the third inning. Lafayette loaded the bases and Mike Raible (RBI-groundout) and Leasure (single) each knocked in a run to give Lafayette the early lead.
The scoreboard featured only zeroes in the run column until the seventh inning when Lafayette put the game away with three runs. Raible (fielder's choice), Leasure (single) and Nick Benvenuto (sac fly) all plated baserunners to extend Lafayette's lead to 5-0. Leasure drove in three runs on the afternoon.
Navy threatened in the bottom of the eighth, placing a runner at third with two outs, but Kamine got a ground ball to end the inning. He retired Navy in order in the ninth for his fifth complete game of the season. Kamine (4-3) fanned 10 and walked just one while scattering six hits. He has yet to allow a run in two conference weekends.
Lafayette and Navy will conclude the series on Monday with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.
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