April 11, 2015
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Navy baseball team came away with a doubleheader split versus Lafayette in a twinbill that showcased two very different sides of their respective squads on Saturday. In game one, the Mids’ Luke Gillingham (Jr., Coronado, Calif.) defeated the Leopards’ David Bednar in a 2-1 extra inning pitchers’ duel. In the second game of the day Lafayette (7-16, 5-5 PL) outslugged Navy (24-13, 6-4 PL) in an 11-8 decision that saw each team record 19 hits.
“Today’s games were polar opposites, in terms of the style of play,” remarked head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. “Both pitchers threw very well in game one. Luke did another great job and weathered the storm early when it looked they were getting after him, but he pitched out of it and settled down really nice as the game went on. Whenever you can have an extra-inning come-from-behind win that’s a positive thing and we were able to do that today.”
“We don’t see too many games with close to 40 combined hits between the two teams. The second game was an offensive game and they did a nice job with their at bats. I thought we battled extremely hard in the second game, but we just couldn’t throw up multiple zeros in a row versus their offense to help us get back in the game. Offensively, we were solid today. We kept going at it and kept giving ourselves a chance in the second game, that was a positive. We’ve just got to do a better job minimizing their opportunities.”
Over the doubleheader, the offense was evenly distributed as every Midshipmen batter with at least four at bats had multiple hits. Of that nine-person group, seven different hitters had at least one extra-base hit. Robert Currie (Jr., Atlanta, Ga.) led the way with a team-high four hits, including a double. Navy’s extra-base leader was Brad Borosak (Sr., Jupiter, Fla.), who had a double and a home run in game two. Logan Knowles (Fr., Port Orchard, Wash.), Sean Trent (Jr., Sorrento, Fla.) and Borosak all had two RBIs.
On the mound, Gillingham turned in his ninth straight `quality start’ of the season as he hurled 8.0 innings of five-hit one run ball in the first game. The nation’s strikeout leader notched six punch outs on the afternoon versus Lafayette to increase his season total to 92 over 66.2 innings.
In game one, offense was at a premium with Gillingham and Bednar, two of the league’s top pitchers on the mound. Lafayette was able to figure out Gillingham first as the Leopards touched him up for a hit in the first inning and three in the third. After escaping a two-out situation with a runner on third base in the second, Gillingham surrendered one run in the third.
Down 1-0, the California native locked down Lafayette and allowed just one hit over the next five innings.
Bednar held the Mids without a hit until the fifth inning when Stephen Born (Fr., Strafford, Pa.) led off with a double into the left field corner. The first-year player came into score four batters later off of a Knowles double down the left field line.
The game continued to be tied over the final two innings of the regularly scheduled seven-inning game.
In the eighth inning after Gillingham recorded his second straight three-up, three-down frame, Navy came out with a quick attack courtesy of Adrian Chinnery (So., Wilmington, Del.). The sophomore catcher led off the inning versus Bednar with a leadoff infield single to the shortstop Steven Cohen, but after a two-base throwing error on the Cohen’s attempt to first base, Chinnery found himself safe at third base. Two consecutive strikeouts by Bednar swung the momentum back to Lafayette briefly before Currie stepped to the plate and barreled up Bednar’s 1-0 offering and launched a deep line drive single to the center field wall to score the game-winning run.
In the 2-1 come-from-behind victory, both teams recorded five hits. Five separate Mids notched hits.
After game one’s pitchers’ duel, the second game of the doubleheader featured inning-after-inning of offense. Lafayette scored in each of its first four innings to jump out to an 8-5 lead. The Leopards chased the Mids’ starter George Coughlin (So., Arvada, Colo.) and reliever Colin Brady (Fr., Seneca, S.C.) after just 3.1 innings. Navy’s offense scored it five runs with a Trent RBI single in the first, two runs in the third and two runs in the fourth. Leland Saile (So., Land O’Lakes, Fla.) and Ben McGrath (Fr., Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) drove in the runs in the third, while Borosak and Trent did the damage in the fourth.
Charlie LaMar (Sr., Clearwater, Fla.) stopped Lafayette’s offense for the first time as he pitched a scoreless fifth inning. After putting a zero on the scoreboard, the Mids tightened the game to a two-run margin at 8-6 in the fifth inning as Chinnery hit a double to center field to score McGrath.
In the sixth inning, both teams scored as the Leopards drove in two in the top of the frame before Borosak launched his first home run of the season with a deep fly ball out over the right field wall to make it a 10-7 contest.
The seventh inning was the first and only complete frame without either team notching a run. Sam Sorenson (Jr., Etters, Pa.) retired Lafayette three-up, three-down for Navy.
The game stayed at three-run margin over the final two innings as the Leopards scored one in the eighth before the Mids notched the final run of the game in the bottom of the ninth. Knowles plated Born with an infield single.
In the 11-8 setback, each team recorded 19 hits. Eight Navy batters had two or more hits, led by Currie and Borosak, who each had three.
Lafayette’s first reliever, Alex Farina earned the victory with four innings of six-hit two-run pitching. Coughlin took the loss as he hurled 2.2 innings in the start.
“We got a lot of respect for them, they play the game well,” said Kostacopoulos. “I expect tomorrow to be another battle.”
The Mids and Leopards will complete their series on Sunday with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. The first game of the twinbill will be televised on CBS Sports Network.