Feb. 22, 2014
CARY, N.C. - Patrick Mescher knocked in the game winning run in the eighth inning and three Army pitchers limited the University of Massachusetts to three runs as the Black Knights swept the doubleheader with a 4-3 victory, Saturday at the USA Baseball Complex.
Army posted a 14-0 win in the first game and swept the doubleheader with a gritty effort in game two.
The Black Knights improved to 3-2 while UMass fell to 0-2. The two teams will conclude their three-game series Sunday with a single game beginning at 12:15 p.m.
Alex Robinett, who picked up the save last week against William & Mary, was strong in his first start of the season. He threw 5.1 innings, allowed six hits and two runs and struck out four.
Julian Larimer relieved Robinett and fired three innings to earn the win. He struck out five and walked one.
Johnny Griffith earned his first collegiate save with two strikeouts.
Army got on the scoreboard first. Daniel Cortes walked to open the third inning and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Connor Love. Grant Van Orden grounded out moving Cortes to third. Crucitti beat out an infield single to score Cortes with the first run of the game.
UMass scored its first runs in the bottom of the third. Nick Sanford singled and one out later, Vinny Scifo and Adam Picard walked. Dylan Begin hit a sacrifice fly to score Sanford and Scifo came around on an errant throw for a 2-1 lead.
Army quickly tied the game. With one out in the top of the fourth, Mark McCants was hit by a pitch and took second when Jacob Page grounded out. Alex Jensen singled and Cortes laced a base hit to plate McCants and knot the game at 2.
Army scored its final runs in the top of the eighth inning. Van Orden beat out a single and moved to third when Crucitti's bunt was misplayed. With runners on second and third and the infield in, Earls lined out to shortstop. Mescher followed and delivered a perfect suicide squeeze to score Van Orden and McCants singled to plate Crucitti to give Army a 4-2 lead.
Larimer induced a double play ground ball to end the eighth and keep the two-run advantage.
UMass scored once in the bottom of the ninth before Griffith entered with one out. He struck out the first batter he faced looking and then recorded his second strikeout in his collegiate debut with the tying run on second.
GAME NOTES: Army wore its gray jerseys with gray pants ... Lt. Col. James Osuna, the Inspector General at West Point, served as the Officer Representative ... Army has seven players on its roster from North Carolina ... The USA Baseball Complex is where Nick Hill, Class of 2007, worked out when he was a member of the USA Baseball squad .. Steve Reich trained in Tennessee before the complex moved to Cary, N.C. ... Army now leads the series with UMass 7-3.