March 30, 2009
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - After winning three-of-four games to open Patriot League play last weekend, the Navy baseball team (9-14-1) will close out its 10-game homestand against in-state foe Maryland (11-15) on Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium.
Live stats for Tuesday's contest will be available via GameTracker on www.NavySports.com, and admission is free for all home Navy baseball games.
|Navy (9-14-1) vs. Maryland (11-15)|
||Tuesday, March 31|
||Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium (1,500)|
||Navy | Maryland|
||Tuesday vs. Maryland|
Looking Back at Navy Last Weekend vs. Lafayette
Navy took three-of-four games from Lafayette to open Patriot League play this past weekend in Annapolis. Head coach Paul Kostacopoulos is 14-2 all-time in league-opening weekends with Navy. The Midshipmen pitching staff held the Leopards to just 11 runs over the four games, with their starters accounting for 27.0 of the 33.0 innings last weekend.
Saturday (Game 1) - Navy 5, Lafayette 4: Navy second baseman Matthew Curley delivered a go-ahead, two-run double in the sixth inning and reliever Drew Carlson retired the Leopards in the seventh for a one-run win. The Mids held a 3-0 lead after four innings before Lafayette rallied for a four-run fifth to take the lead until the sixth.
Saturday (Game 2) - Lafayette 2, Navy 1: The Leopards broke a 1-1 tie in the ninth with an unearned run to split Saturday's doubleheader. Navy starter Wes Olson fired 8.0 innings of one-run baseball with three walks and four strikeouts. Lafayette took a 1-0 lead in the first before Navy knotted the game at one in the sixth with a run scoring on a balk.
Sunday (Game 1) - Navy 2, Lafayette 1 (8 inn.): Navy shortstop Mike Guadagnini delivered the game-winning single to center to score pinch-runner Andrew Hahn from second base in extra innings. The Leopards took a 1-0 in the seventh before Navy forced free baseball in the bottom half, as Kendall Bolt tripled and scored on a two-out double from Michael Speciale. Navy starter TJ Kerins went a career-long 7.1 innings with only one run and no walks allowed, to go along with a career-high seven strikeouts.
Sunday (Game 2) - Navy 13, Lafayette 4: Navy used three long balls to erase a 3-0 first inning deficit to score 13 unanswered runs in cruising to a series-finale victory on Sunday. Bolt led the Midshipmen with four hits, including a towering home run in the first, as four Mids recorded multi-hit performances. Starter Zach Sipe fanned five with walking only two over 7.0 innings of three-run baseball to earn the win.
Maryland makes the short drive to Annapolis with an 11-15 overall record after it was swept at home in a three-game, ACC series against No. 22 Florida State. The Terrapins were out-scored by the Seminoles, 37-9, including a 21-5 setback in the series finale on Sunday.
The Terrapins own a 9-5 record at Shipley Field this season, but have posted a 2-10 mark in games away from College Park. Both of those road wins came at ACC foe N.C. State on March 15.
Maryland owns a 3-9 mark in ACC action this spring to stand in a tie for fifth place in the six-team Atlantic Division with Wake Forest. Coming into the year, the Terrapins were picked to finish sixth in their division, according to the ACC Preseason Coaches Poll.
The Terrapins are hitting .267 as a team after 26 contests and are averaging 5.58 runs per game. Outfielder A.J. Casario leads the squad with a .337 (32-for-95) batting average with seven doubles, four home runs and 17 RBIs. Third baseman Mike Murphy has blasted a team-best five long balls while batting .310 (27-for-87) and utility player Will Greenberg is hitting .309 (21-for-68) with a team-high two three-baggers.
Maryland's pitching staff has combined for a 6.08 ERA while holding the opposition to a .290 batting average. The Terrapins have averaged 8.19 strikeouts per nine innings, but they have also issued 4.78 walks per nine frames. Southpaws Matt Fullerton or Adam Kolarek may get the nod to start Tuesday's affair. Fullerton (2-2, 5.06 ERA, 21.1 IP) started the series opener against Florida State on Friday and allowed three runs on five hits over 2.0 innings with a walk and a strikeout. Kolarek (0-1, 5.57 ERA, 21.0 IP) has pitched in 11 games this spring and made a 3.1-inning appearance in relief against the Seminoles on Saturday.
All-Time Against Maryland
Navy owns a 50-35-2 advantage over Maryland in the all-time series that dates back to 1899. The Midshipmen have dropped seven-straight to the Terrapins, including a 13-6 setback last season in which Navy collected 16 base knocks.
The Midshipmen are 40-25-2 all-time against Maryland in contests played in Annapolis. The two teams last squared off at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium in 2003, with the guests coming away with a 7-2 win.
All-Time Against the Atlantic Coast Conference
Navy is 91-103-4 all-time against teams currently affiliated with the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Midshipmen have played Boston College (1-6), Clemson (0-1), Duke (13-23), Georgia Tech (0-2-1) Maryland (50-35-2), Miami (Fla.) (0-1), North Carolina (10-12), North Carolina State (4-6-1), Virginia (10-15), Virginia Tech (2-1) and Wake Forest (1-1). Among the 12 teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Florida State is the only team that Navy has not met on the diamond in program history.
2009 Navy Baseball Broadcast Information
A total of six Navy baseball games will have live audio available through Navy's All-Access subscription package. Navy All-Access provides fans with the ability to listen and/or watch several Midshipmen events for $6.95 per month and $49.95 per year.
Below is a listing of audio broadcasts on Navy All-Access for the 2009 baseball slate:
March 15 - Monmouth, 2:30 p.m. (also airing live on WNAV)
March 22 - Princeton, 12 p.m. (also airing live on WNAV)
March 25 - Georgetown, 3 p.m.
March 29 - Lafayette, 12 p.m. (DH)
April 19 - Bucknell, 12 p.m. (game two only)
In addition, Navy's Sunday doubleheader opener against defending Patriot League champion Bucknell in Annapolis on April 19 will be televised live nationally on CBS College Sports Network. Tom Hart will call the play-by-play, while former eight-year MLB player Kevin Stocker will provide color commentary. The game will also be streamed online through Navy All-Access, with yearly subscribers being able to watch free of charge.
Highway to the K-Zone
Navy's pitching staff has struck out 179 batters in 209.1 innings - good for an average of 7.70 strikeouts per nine innings. That marks ranks as the seventh-highest average in school history, with the record dating back to 1960, when the Midshipmen punched out an amazing 9.85 batters per nine frames.
Sam Long ... Strikeout Specialist
Navy southpaw Sam Long has struck out a Patriot League-best 43 batters in just 26.2 innings of work this spring. He also leads the league with an eye-popping average of 14.51 strikeouts per nine innings. The Newnan, Ga., product came into last weekend ranked second nationally in that category, behind only fireballer Stephen Strasburg's amazing 18.71 strikeouts per nine innings for San Diego State (88 K in 42.1 IP).
Long struck out 13 batters in just 5.1 innings of work during his start against Monmouth on March 13 in Annapolis. The 13 punchouts were a career high for Long, who was making his fourth-career start that afternoon. His 13 strikeouts were the most by any Navy pitcher this decade and the highest total since Scott Kozink fanned 14 Bucknell batters in the 1999 Patriot League Championship series.
Pitching and Defense Wins Championships
If the old adage of pitching and defense wins championship holds true, then Navy should be in good shape to make a run for the Patriot League title in 2009. The Midshipmen lead the league in lowest ERA (5.16), lowest opponent's batting average (.286), lowest walks-per-nine-innings ratio (3.14) and highest strikeouts-per-nine-inning ratio (7.70). In addition, the Mids lead the league in throwing out base stealers (48.7 percent, 19-for-39) and rank second in fielding percentage (.967).
Right-hander TJ Kerins and left-hander Sam Long rank first and third, respectively, among Patriot League pitchers in ERA. Kerins has produced a 2.30 ERA in 31.1 innings, while Long owns a 3.38 mark over 26.2 frames. Kerins also boasts the league's lowest opposition batting average, holding foes to a mere .242 mark.
Catcher Steven Soares has thrown out 18-of-35 (51.4 percent) of all base stealers this spring, including 10 of the last-12 runners. Soares was not run upon successfully by Lafayette last weekend despite the Leopards leading the league in stolen bases coming into the series.
TJ Kerins: Patriot League Rookie of the Week (March 30, 2009)
Following another solid start on Sunday, Navy right-handed pitcher TJ Kerins has been named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week, it was announced by the league office on Monday afternoon. This is the third Patriot League honor for Kerins over the last-four weeks. Last Monday, the Navy right-hander became the first freshman in five years to earn Patriot League Pitcher-of-the-Week accolades. Two weeks prior, he was tabbed as the league's rookie of the week.
Kerins was stellar in his third-career start for the Midshipmen against Lafayette in Sunday's doubleheader opener, in which Navy won in eight innings, 2-1. He allowed only one run on nine hits over a career-long 7.1 innings with no walks and seven strikeouts. The Navy rookie held the Leopards to a 2-for-15 mark at the plate with runners on base and fired 108 pitches - 77 for strikes.
For the year, Kerins is 1-0 with a Patriot League-best 2.30 ERA over 31.1 innings with only five walks and 24 strikeouts. He has not allowed a walk over his last-18.0 innings of work and allowed his first run as a starter on Sunday after holding the opposition scoreless during his first-17.2 innings in a starting role. The product of Marietta, Ga., has also limited the opposition to a .242 (29-for-120) batting average - the lowest mark in the Patriot League.
Navy Honors in 2009
Below is a list of weekly Patriot League honors earned by the Midshipmen this spring:
Feb. 24 - RHP Zach Sipe (Rookie)
March 10 - RHP TJ Kerins (Rookie)
March 23 - RHP TJ Kerins (Pitcher)
March 30 - RHP TJ Kerins (Rookie)
Kendall Bolt Among League Leaders in Several Categories
Navy infielder Kendall Bolt ranks among the Patriot League leaders in batting average (4th - .366), hits (3rd - 34), RBIs (2nd - 24), stolen bases (8th - 6), on-base percentage (8th - .435) and slugging percentage (8th - .538).
Bolt had a streak of 30-consecutive games in which he reached base safely (hit, walk or hit by pitch), dating back to the 2008 season. Within that stretch this year, he had a career-long 11-game hitting streak.
Going Deep at Home
Despite the often times pitcher-friendly conditions at Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium, this year's squad has already belted 12 long balls in 19 home games. Last season, the Midshipmen set a school record with 38 home runs, but only 14 came at their home field. Navy's offense combined for just six home runs in 61 games between the 2006 and '07 home slates.
The Midshipmen went deep three times in their 13-4 win over Lafayette on March 29 in Annapolis. The three home runs were the most by Navy in one game on its home field since it blasted three round-trippers against Lafayette during a 25-3 win on April 3, 1999.
Kostacopoulos Earns Career Win No. 100 with Navy
With Navy's 3-1 win over Pittsburgh on Feb. 22, head coach Paul Kostacopoulos picked up his 100th career win as the skipper for Navy.
He joined the elite list of Joe Duff (595 wins from 1962-93), Max Bishop (306 wins from 1937-61) and Bob MacDonald (178 wins from 1994-00) as the only coaches in program history to win 100-plus games with the Midshipmen.
Last year, Kostacopoulos earned his 600th career win as a head coach with Navy's 17-5 victory at Delaware State.
For his 20-year head coaching career, Kostacopoulos owns a 612-412-5 (.597) record.
Home Games Aplenty in 2009
Navy is currently scheduled to play 28 games on its home field this season - Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium. Twenty of those 28 home games come before the month of April.
Since head coach Paul Kostacopoulos took over the reigns in 2006, Navy has sported a 67-48-3 (.581) record on its home field. In each of the last-two seasons, Navy has surpassed the 20-win mark at home (22 wins in 2007, 21 wins in 2008).
Navy's 33-man roster is comprised of eight freshmen, 12 sophomore and 13 juniors (Note: Team captain JD Melton is a senior eligibility-wise after transferring to Navy following a Freshman All-America season at Wofford (S.C.) in 2006).
The Midshipmen are the only team in the Patriot League without a member of the senior class on their roster in 2009. In fact, every school in the league has at least three seniors, with Bucknell (eight), Lafayette (seven) and Army (six) leading the way.
Navy in Preseason Patriot League Rankings
Navy was picked to finish second in the Patriot League Preseason Poll, behind only defending league regular season champion Army. The Midshipmen were picked ahead of Holy Cross (third), Lafayette (tied for fourth), Bucknell (tied for fourth) and Lehigh (sixth).
In the TheCollegeBaseballBlog.com Patriot League preview, Navy was picked second behind Army and in front of Bucknell (third), Lehigh (fourth), Holy Cross (fifth) and Lafayette (sixth).
In the Rivals.com Patriot League preview, Navy was tabbed third behind Army (first) and Holy Cross (second). The Midshipmen were ahead of Lafayette (fourth), Bucknell (fifth) and Lehigh (sixth).
In the Baseball America Patriot League preview, Navy was picked to finish sixth in the league. Army was selected as the league favorite, followed by Holy Cross, Bucknell, Lehigh, Lafayette and Navy.
Navy was tabbed as the preseason favorite in the Patriot League by CollegeBaseballToday.com, while Army was named the league front-runner by CollegeBaseballInsider.com.
CAREER SLUGGING PERCENTAGE
School Record: Andy Loferski, .652 (1981-83)
11. Brian Bernth (1993-96) .491
12. Michael Speciale (2007-pr.) .481
CAREER AT BATS
School Record: Renaldo Hollins, 730 (2005-08)
14. Todd Butler (1990-93) 468
15. Michael Speciale (2007-pr.) 464
--- Jared Munde (2003-06) 464
CAREER RUNS SCORED
School Record: Toph Lake, 153 (1995-98)
13. Mitch Harris (2005-08) 105
14. Michael Speciale (2007-pr.) 100
CAREER HOME RUNS
School Record: Marcus Lee, 29 (1991-94)
6. Luke Braham (1997-00) 14
Ron Kinn (1985-88) 14
8. Michael Speciale (2007-pr.) 12
Edward Abner (1975-77) 12
CAREER TOTAL BASES
School Record: Toph Lake, 330 (1995-98)
14. Luke Braham (1997-00) 243
15. Michael Speciale (2007-pr.) 223
School Record: JD Melton, 16 (2007-pr.)
1. JD Melton (2007-pr.) 16
2. Ryan Hefner (2003-06) 11
5. four pitchers with... 5
9. Chris Murray (2007-pr.) 4
seven others with... 4