ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Navy baseball team (6-5) suffered a 15-4 setback against Mount St. Mary’s (2-7) on Thursday night at Max Bishop Stadium. The Midshipmen pitching staff surrendered 12 walks in the game, in addition to hitting four batters, while the Navy offense tallied four runs on nine hits and left seven runners on base.
The Mids had three players with two hits in the game, highlighted by the duo of Christian Policelli (Sr., Walkersville, Md.) and Zach Stevens (Sr., Lexington, Mass.) each recording a double and driving in a run.
“When you walk 12 guys and hit four, you aren’t playing baseball,” said head coach Paul Kostacopoulos. “There’s no rhythm, there’s no flow, there’s not anything to the game. It was a really poor performance by our pitchers tonight, we weren’t challenging the zone. That sets the tempo for the game and the tempo stayed that way the entire game.”
Navy opened the scoring of Thursday’s contest in the home half of the first, taking a 2-0 lead on an RBI double by Policelli that was followed by an RBI single off the bat of Alex Smith (Jr., Laguna Hills, Calif.).
Mount St. Mary’s cut the Midshipmen lead to a run in the top of the second on an RBI single, before taking its first lead of the day at 6-2 with five runs on five hits in the visitor’s half of the second.
The Mids responded immediately to the Mountaineers’ rally in the fourth, cutting their deficit to 6-3 on a Stevens’ double into the right-center field gap that brought home Colin Smith (Jr., Wilimington, Del.) who scored from first base after singling in the previous at-bat.
In the fifth, Mount St. Mary’s loaded the bases with just one out in the inning, prior to bringing its advantage back to four runs at 7-3 with an RBI groundout. Navy reliever Zach Powers (So., Centreville, Md.) was able to work out of the inning with just one run allowed, maintaining the four-run deficit for the Midshipmen.
On the back of Powers working out of the jam with just one run allowed, Navy plated its fourth run of the day in the bottom of the sixth as Kyle Rausch (Jr., Middle Island, N.Y.) worked a bases-loaded walk that brought home Policelli and cut the Mount lead back to three runs at 7-4.
However, in the top of the seventh, the Mountaineers tallied six runs with the assistance of six walks along with a hit batter by the Midshipmen to take a commanding 13-4 lead. Mount St. Mary’s added two runs on two hits to its ledger in the eighth, capping off an 11-run victory, 15-4, over Navy.
Shane Wockley led the Mountaineers at the plate, going 2-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and three RBI. Thomas Bramley added a 2-for-4 showing that included two RBI and three runs scored to round out the top offensive performers for the Mount.
Mount St. Mary’s starting pitcher Nick Breznak allowed three runs, two being earned, on seven hits while striking out four over four innings of work, before giving way to Blake Beal (1-0) who earned his first win of the season.
Beal pitched two innings, in which he allowed one run on one hit while striking out two batters. Max Moore finished the game for the Mountaineers, pitching the final three innings where he allowed just one run and tallied seven strikeouts to earn the save.
Thomas Russell (Jr., Fairfax, Va.) (1-1) pitched 3.1 innings for the Mids in his second start of the season, taking the loss after allowing three runs on two hits while walking four and striking out two.
Navy will have an opportunity to bounce back quickly as it welcomes Marist to Annapolis on Friday for a doubleheader. First pitch of game one from Max Bishop Stadium is scheduled for 2 p.m.