Manhattan Outscores Army, 18-11

Kevin McKague

Kevin McKague

April 4, 2012

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WEST POINT, N.Y. - Ramon Ortega and Matt Troisi combined to go 8-for-10 with eight runs batted and five runs scored as Manhattan overcame an early 10-5 deficit to defeat Army, 18-11, in a non-league baseball game on a windy Wednesday afternoon at Doubleday Field.

"It was a tough day for us," said Army head coach Joe Sottolano. "It was a disappointing day in some ways, but I still thought we did a lot of good things. We swung the bats well, we hit the ball hard and we had consistent at-bats throughout the ballgame. But, pitching and defense win championships, and our pitching just didn't compete in the zone today."

Nick Camastro went 3-for-5 with four runs scored and one RBI to help Manhattan (9-17) to its fifth straight victory. Kyle Murphy was 3-for-6 with two runs scored and two RBI for the Jaspers, who scored six runs during a decisive seventh inning rally.

Kevin McKague went 4-for-5 with four runs batted in to pace Army (19-8) offensively. The senior from Fayetteville, N.C., blasted a two-run homer during the Black Knights' six-run uprising in the first inning and capped Army's four-run third inning with a two-run double. He added a pair of singles later in the contest and finished a triple shy of the cycle.

"Kevin swung the bat well today," said Sottolano. "He got us going early, which we really needed after falling behind 2-0. Kevin has been hitting the ball to all fields, which is great for us. He's certainly getting hot at the right time with J.T. (Watkins) being down."

Zach Price posted three hits on the afternoon, going 3-for-6 with two runs scored and one RBI. Matthew Carter was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and one run batted. Patrick Mescher, Cody Murtle and Connor Love each went 2-for-4 to help spark Army's 19-hit attack.

Manhattan took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Murphy's RBI single and Ortega's solo home run.

Army answered quickly in the home half of the first as the Black Knights sent 10 men to the plate and scored six runs on seven hits. Price tripled to left center field leading off the inning and he scored when Daniel Cortes grounded a base hit through the left side of the infield. McKague followed by smashing his third home run of the season. The two-run shot, which just stayed fair inside the left field line, gave Army a 3-2 lead. Mescher and Murtle then hit consecutive singles to put runners on first and second. Carter and Love followed with back-to-back RBI singles to extend the Black Knights' advantage to 5-2. Carter, who moved to third base on Love's run-scoring base hit, scored the sixth run of the frame when he scampered home on a wild pitch.

"I thought we had steady approaches and hit the ball hard during the first inning," said Sottolano. "We did that throughout the day. Of our 19 hits, I don't know that we had any cheap ones. I was pleased with the way we put together consistent at-bats today."

Manhattan got three of those runs back in the top of the second inning as the Jaspers pulled to within 6-5. Troisi hit a leadoff single and he scored the first run of the frame after the next three Manhattan batters were hit by pitches. Camastro drove in the second run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to slice Army's lead to 6-4. After another hit batsman loaded the bases, Andrew Gorecki drew a walk to force in another run.

After a scoreless second inning, Army put four more runs on the board in the bottom of the third to extend its cushion to 10-5. Alex Jensen, Carter, Love and Price hit consecutive one-out singles to push across the first two runs of the frame. Cortes then reached on a fielder's choice and both he and Love scored when McKague hammered a double that landed at the base of the wall in deep left center field.

Manhattan began chipping away at Army's lead in the top of the fourth as Camastro doubled with one out and scored when Joe McClennan was hit by a pitch with the bases-loaded.

The Jaspers scored three more runs in the sixth inning to cut Army's lead to 10-9. Camastro and Murphy were hit by pitches to begin the frame and Ortega drove both runners home when he ripped a two-run double to left center field. Later in the inning, Ortega scored from second base on Troisi's RBI single.

Manhattan completed its comeback in the top of the seventh as the Jaspers sent 10 men to the plate and scored six runs on five hits to open up a 15-10 lead. Manhattan did all of the damage with two outs. Anthony Vega began the uprising when he lofted a wind-blown home run over the wall in left field to tie the score at 10-10. Camastro followed with a double, and he scored on Murphy's RBI single. Ortega then hit his second double of the game to put runners on second and third, and Murphy later scored on a wild pitch. Gorecki then walked and McClennan was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Troisi, who delivered a two-run single to make it 15-10.

Manhattan tacked on three more runs in the eighth inning to increase its lead to 18-10.

Army pushed across a single run on two hits in the bottom of the eighth to cap the scoring. Price led off with a single, moved to third base on McKague's base hit and scored on Sean McIlroy's groundout.

Taylor Sewitt (4-1) earned the victory for Manhattan as the sidearm reliever gave up four runs on nine hits over five innings of relief. Scott Lucado (0-2) took the loss for the Black Knights after yielding four runs on four hits in 0.2 innings out of the bullpen.

Army returns to action this weekend (April 7-8) when the Black Knights host Patriot League rival Lehigh in a four-game series at Doubleday Field. The four-game set begins on Saturday with a doubleheader scheduled for 12 p.m. The Army Athletic Association will host an Easter Egg Hunt via Twitter (@ArmyAthletics) throughout Saturday's twinbill.

Game Notes: Army falls to 32-18-2 all-time versus Manhattan ... the Black Knights wore their gold jerseys with white pants and black caps today ... the gold jerseys were selected following a vote of Army fans on Facebook ... Army matched its season high with 19 base hits ... the Black Knights recorded a season-best 25 total bases today ... the 18 runs given up by Army were the most yielded since allowing 18 to Radford last February ... Harold Earls has reached base safely in 24 straight games ... Earls also extended his hitting streak to 10 games ... every Army starter recorded at least one base hit in today's contest ... six Black Knight starters registered multiple-hit games ... John Buckley made his first appearance of the season today ... Patrick Mescher recorded the first two hits of his career ... Matthew Carter established a career high with three hits ... Connor Love registered his first career multiple-hit game ... Zach Price has reached base safely in 10 straight games ... Cody Murtle is riding a six-game hitting streak.

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