March 17, 2016
TOWSON, Md. – The Navy baseball team earned a late-inning come-from-behind victory on Thursday at Towson University by a 6-5 margin. After the Tigers (3-13) plated three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Mids (12-4-1) used a two-RBI pinch-hit double by Stephen Born (So., Strafford, Pa.) in the top of the ninth to secure the win at Schuerholz Park.
“That was a great college game,” remarked head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. “Towson showed a lot in coming back and taking the lead in the eighth and then we bounced back in the ninth and re-took the lead. Sam Sorenson really did a nice job finishing off the game. Those were some tough outs that he got in the end.”
Offensively, Navy got hits from nine different players and all nine of its starters reached base at least once. Born, Nick Paglialonga (Jr., Lake Forest, Calif.) and Sean Trent (Sr., Sorrento, Fla.) highlighted the Mids’ effort on Wednesday. Born collected the game-winning RBI for Navy, while Paglialonga hit a three-run home run in the second inning. Trent recorded a team-high two hits, including a ninth-inning double.
“The three-run homer by Nick got us started, but we got a lot of different contributions from throughout our lineup,” said Kostacopoulos. “Stephen Born coming off the bench in the ninth and hitting a two-run single was really big. That proves that you can go to different people and get good results.”
On the mound, the Mids’ pitching depth was on display during the non-conference matchup as five different hurlers threw versus the Tigers. A trio of freshmen in Rece Goodman (Irvine, Calif.), Andrew Sauer (Johns Creek, Ga.) and Noah Song (Claremont, Calif.) combined for seven innings of two-run baseball. In a dramatic 1.1 innings, Sam Sorenson (Sr., Etters, Pa.) pitched the Mids out a jam in the eighth inning before shutting down the Tigers in the ninth to earn the victory.
“In his first career start, I thought Rece Goodman did very well and hung in there,” said Kostacopoulos. “Andrew Sauer did well and bridged us into the sixth inning; Noah took it from there. The first seven innings were all thrown by freshmen and they held their own.”
After falling behind 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning on a Brady Policelli solo home run, the Mids used the long ball to their advantage in the top of the second as Paglialonga connected with a Matt Golczewski offering and deposited a three-run home run over the left field wall. Paglialonga’s second homer of the season plated Leland Saile (Jr., Land O’Lakes, Fla.) and Matthew Wilcox (Fr., Los Gatos, Calif.).
Up 3-1, Navy extended its lead in the top of the third inning as the freshmen duo of Scott Koscho (Fr., Trafford, Pa.) and Wilcox manufactured the team’s fourth run. After Koscho led off with a single through the right side of the infield, Wilcox came up two batters later and drove in his classmate with an RBI single to left field.
Goodman’s first career start ended in the fourth inning as he reached the 60-pitch mark after getting A.J. Gallo to fly out for the first out of the frame. The freshman’s final line was 3.1 innings pitched, five hits, one run, no walks and one strikeout. Sauer came in to relieve his fellow plebe and gave the Mids two solid innings of relief pitching. The right-hander from Georgia advanced the game into the sixth and kept Navy in the lead allowing just an unearned run in his final frame. His line was 2.0 innings, three hits allowed, one walk and one strikeout.
With the score 4-2 after six, both teams were held off the scoreboard in the seventh inning before the Tigers notched three two-out runs off of Jett Meenach (Jr., Flower Mound, Texas) in the bottom of the eighth.
Down 5-4 and going into their final at bat, the Mids’ first three batters of the ninth inning reached as Travis Blue (Jr., Orange, Calif.) walked and Trent doubled down into the left field corner before Born was summoned to the plate as a pinch-hitter. The sophomore then calmly stroked the second straight double off of Tiger pitching into left field to score both of his teammates.
After wrapping up the bottom of the eighth inning with a strike out, Sorenson came out in the ninth inning and retired the first two Towson batters of the ninth before the home squad challenged late with consecutive two-out singles. With runners on first and second, the senior pitcher stuck out A.J. Gallo swinging to complete the come-from-behind victory for Navy.
In the 6-5 win, Towson outhit Navy, 13-10. This was the first game of 2016 that the Mids won when being outhit. Navy is now 9-0 in games in which it scores six or more runs.
The victory extends the Mids’ unbeaten streak to seven games (6-0-1).
Navy will continue its action over spring break with a 2 p.m. matchup versus Rutgers at home on Friday.