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Baseball drops Patriot League championship opener

Baseball drops Patriot League championship opener


WEST POINT, NY Despite senior Eduardo Diaz homering twice, the Navy baseball team (28-22) could not defeat rival Army (30-21) in the opening game of the 2024 Patriot League Championship Series as the Black Knights fought back from an early deficit for an 11-8 victory over the Midshipmen on Sunday afternoon at Johnson Stadium at Doubleday Field.

While the Mids were able to outscore their opponent 14-11 and get three-hit performances from both Diaz and fellow senior Logan Kellerthe Black Knights had eight of the nine starters driving in at least one run, highlighted by William Parker's three-run home run.

Navy sprinted to an early lead when Diaz singled with one behind in the top of the first inning, followed by sophomore Brock Murtha doubling the top of the left center wall and fellow sophomore Victor Izquierdo he threw his own double down the left field line to plate Diaz and Murtha.

Army bounced back in the bottom of the second inning thanks to a walk for Braden Golinski and a double play by Coleson Titus to start the frame, while an Ethan Ellis single drove in Golinski and Addison Ainsworth's sacrifice bunt hit Titus. Back-to-back singles from Derek Berg and Chris Barr added two more runs before Parker blasted his three-run shot to right-center to make it 7-2.

By putting runners on second and third in the fourth inning, the Mids lost Army's senior lead Share design scored Keller on a groundout and senior Hudson Lehnertz beat out an infield single to leave freshman Jack Killelea cross to home. Diaz's first two-run shot to left field brought the score within one run at 7-6, but Army extended the lead to 8-6 in the bottom of the inning on Sam Ruta's sacrifice fly.

The fifth saw more offense from Army as Golinski homered to lead off the frame and an RBI double from Ainsworth was followed by Thomas Schreck's RBI single.

After leaving the bases loaded in the top of the seventh, Navy finally broke through again in the eighth when Lehnertz doubled to lead off the inning and brought up Diaz, who hit another two-run homer down the left field line. By bringing in Steven Graver, Army quelled the Navy rally by retiring the next six Mids to close out the Game One victory.

Handed the loss, sophomore Tyler Grain pitched three innings in his start for Navy, giving up eight runs on seven hits. Senior Nolan Jorgenson followed by giving up three runs on three hits over two frames while junior Owen Beisty pitched 1.2 scoreless innings of relief and sophomore Jackson Beattie recorded the last 1.1 scoreless innings for the Mids.

Starter Justin Lehman lasted 4.1 innings for Army, allowing six runs on 10 hits, while Andrew Berg picked up the win by going 2.2 innings and limiting Navy to two runs on four hits, and Graver recorded the save by two throwing strikeouts in two no-hits. innings.

Game notes

Navy is now 131-132 in the all-time series with Army.
Diaz is the first Navy hitter to hit two home runs in a game since Zach Stevens against Georgetown on May 4, 2022.
Diaz's first two-homer game came on April 26, 2022 in Maryland.
Diaz has now recorded a career-high four RBI three times this season.
Murtha has now recorded five consecutive performances with two hits.
Killelea has now recorded hits in 10 of his last 12 games, including multi-hit games in three of his last four games.

Next one

Navy will look to extend the series to a decisive game three tomorrow, with the second game of the Patriot League Championship Series taking place Monday at 1 p.m.




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