Feb. 27, 2004
Millington, Tenn. - For the third straight game, the Navy baseball team failed to score more than two runs in a contest as it fell 5-2 to Memphis Friday night in the opening round of the 2004 Service Academy Classic. Last Sunday, the Midshipmen managed a total of three runs in a doubleheader against Maryland-Eastern Shore losing 2-1 and 3-2.
On Friday, the Mids managed six hits while allowing the Tigers (2-1) 10. Shortstop Matt Gonabe (So., Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) had career-highs with two hits and two runs scored to lead Navy.
Jarrett Grube, the Memphis' ace, held Navy at bay for seven innings. He fanned seven Mids, while walking just one. Grube allowed one unearned run on four hits to improve to 2-0. The Tigers' starter got help from relievers Bill Edwards and Corey Kines. The two tossed the final two innings giving up two runs on two hits and a pair of walks.
Rob Molinaro (Fr., Charlestown, Mass.) took the loss for Navy giving up two unearned runs in five innings while striking out three. Molinaro, who falls to 0-2, struck out three and walked two. The Mids combined to toss the final three innings. Elliott Anderson (Fr., Tierra Verde, Fla.) threw one inning and was touched for two runs on three hits. Joe Koessler (So., Knoxville, Tenn.) pitched 1-1/3 innings allowing a run on three hits. Jeff Lange (Jr., Springfield, Va) pitched the final two outs. Lange gave up one hit and walked one.
"We got a good pitching performance from Rob," said Navy head coach Steve Whitmyer. "He really kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win. Grube is a solid pitcher and was tough. I thought that Memphis played a solid game overall tonight. We are really going to have to pick our play up if we want to beat Air Force tomorrow. It should be a hard fought game."
Memphis jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first with a pair of unearned runs with two outs off Molinaro. A throwing error by Chris Ashinhurst (Sr., Stafford, Va.) let Bill Moss reach base. After a single and a hit batter loaded the bases, Ryan Martin drew a bases loaded walk to score Moss. Kurt Welch tallied the second run on a single by Josh Payne, who went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Navy cut its deficit to one in the top of the third. With two outs, Gonabe singled. He moved to third on a throwing error on a Craig Candeto (Sr., Orange City, Fla.) infield single and plated on a passed ball by Grube.
In the fifth, Navy had the opportunity to cut its deficit even further when Matt Lukevics (Jr., Tampa, Fla.) reached on a lead-off single and went to second on a wild pitch. Doug Silverman (Jr., Foster City, Calif.) moved Lukevics to third with one out, but the second baseman was left stranded.
The Tigers extended its lead to 5-1 with a pair of runs in the sixth and a run in the seventh. Anderson gave up a pair of runs in the sixth when Payne scored on a single by Adam Amar. A sacrifice fly by Chad House scored Amar. Memphis' final run plated in the seventh when Welch scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Payne.
Gonabe scored in the top of the eighth to make it a 5-2 contest. He singled up the middle to start the inning and moved to second when Candeto walked. Navy loaded the bases when Ashinhurst drew a no-out walk from Kines. Gonabe crossed the plate on a groundout by Rick Amos (Fr., Hammonton, N.J.). Memphis got out of the inning when Kines got Ryan McGinn (So., Arvada, Colo.) to hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
McGinn, who entered the game with a .667
average, was held hitless ending a five-game hit streak.
The Mids will look to end its four-game losing streak on Saturday when they face rival Air Force at 2 p.m. Air Force lost 11-1 to Kentucky in its opening game of the Classic.