Feb. 19, 2011
CLINTON, S.C. -
The Navy baseball team fell to Presbyterian by a score of 12-5 on Saturday afternoon in game two of a three-game set. Despite collecting just six hits, the Mids (0-2) put up five runs and fought back several times in the game to pull within striking distance, but were never able to tie or take the lead.
After playing from behind and rallying nearly all game, the Mids trailed 8-5 in the eighth inning, and it looked like Navy would again slice into the Presbyterian lead. David Milanes and Greg Dupell got things started as they led off the inning with consecutive singles.
Presbyterian reliever Nick Ferguson then got Nick Driscoll to strikeout for the first out of the inning. The Mids' next batter, Jeff Bland, battled Ferguson to a full count, but ended up striking out.
Ferguson then foiled the Navy rally in the next at-bat as he got Moore to foul out.
Having prevented the Midshipmen from getting any closer, the Blue Hose put the game out of reach in their half of the eighth inning with four more runs, to make the score 12-5. Kenny Bryant did the majority of the damage with a three-run home run off Navy reliever Dwayne Gammage
"The whole game spun on the eighth inning," Kostacopoulos said. "When you play a good team, you have to capitalize on your opportunities and also minimize their chances."
A combination of Presbyterian pitchers, led by starter Bud Jeter who allowed two runs off four hits in 5.0 innings, kept the Mids off balance at the plate all day.
"They are a good team and they're playing the game well right now," Kostacopoulos added. "But, offensively, we've got to be better. 11 hits in two games aren't going to do it. We'll be ready to get back out there tomorrow."
After scoring one run with two outs in the first inning, Presbyterian batted around and scored four more times, all with two outs, in the second inning to grab a 5-0 lead.
Four consecutive hits, including a two-RBI single up the middle by Brad Zebedis keyed PC's four-run inning.
Facing a five-run deficit, the Midshipmen rallied in the top of the third with a four-run outburst of their own to climb back into the game.
A day after hitting his first-career home run, third baseman Josh Moore started the rally with a leadoff single to left field. Dylan Wheeler followed with a walk, putting Brandon Beans in position to drive in the first Navy runs of the game. Beans connected with an offering from Jeter that second baseman John Wagner mishandled, allowing Moore to score.
Andrew Hahn followed with a single that brought in Wheeler and Beans, making the score 5-3.
Two batters later, Milanes continued the Navy comeback as he made it a one-run game with a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Hahn.
Navy starter Sam Long held the Blue Hose scoreless in the third inning, but a leadoff walk to start the fourth, followed by a sacrifice bunt and RBI double, ended his day after 3.1 innings.
Presbyterian added two more runs in the inning off Navy reliever Joel Rinehart to increase its lead to 8-4.
After a scoreless fifth inning, Bland hit his second home run in as many days as he sent a solo shot over the left field wall to make the score 8-5.
Long took the loss for Navy, as he allowed seven runs off 10 hits.
Jeter went 5.0 innings and allowed four runs off two hits to earn the win for Presbyterian (2-0).
Hahn finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Navy.
The two teams will conclude the three-game series on Sunday at 12 p.m.
Senior captain Jeff Bland hit his second home run in as many days, becoming the first Mid to go long in consecutive games since 2009 when Michale Speciale and Steve Soares both accomplished the feat. Speciale and Soares both homered in a 10-1 win over UMBC on April 7, and then both went long in the Mids' following game, a 9-6 loss at Army on April 12.
With 11 career home runs, Bland is now in a four-way tie for 10th place on Navy's all-time home run list.
Dating back to last season, Bland now has a hit in five consecutive games.