Army Sweeps Navy; Advances To Patriot League Championship Series

Chris Rowley

Chris Rowley

May 11, 2013

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The third-seeded Army baseball team will play in the Patriot League Championship Series for the third consecutive season after sweeping second-seeded Navy in the conference semifinals Saturday afternoon at Max Bishop Stadium. Army won the first game, 4-2, before securing a 7-3 victory in the nightcap.

Army (27-21) will meet top-seeded Holy Cross next weekend (May 18-19) in a rematch of last year's PLCS. The best-of-three series will be contested at Fitton Field in Worcester, Mass. The Crusaders swept fourth-seeded Bucknell (9-6, 3-0) in the other semifinal set.

Army defeated Holy Cross in three games to capture last season's conference title, but the Crusaders took three of four games from the Black Knights during this year's regular-season series at West Point.

Chris Rowley struck out five batters in nine innings to pitch Army past Navy (28-23) in the opener of today's twinbill, and Alex Robinett fanned three over 6.2 innings of work to help the Black Knights complete the sweep in the second game.

Rowley (8-3) allowed just five hits and one walk en route to his fifth complete game of the season, and Jacob Page was 2-for-4 to spark Army's eight-hit attack in the first game.

Robinett scattered nine hits during his outing, and Julian Larimer (2-2) collected the win after tossing 1.1 innings of scoreless relief in the nightcap. Patrick Mescher's two-run single ignited Army's four-run eighth inning as the Black Knights snapped a 3-3 deadlock.

Navy took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of the opening game as Robert Currie doubled and later scored on Dave Milanes' sacrifice fly.

Army responded in the top of the fourth as the Black Knights plated three runs on three hits to grab a 3-1 advantage. Harold Earls and Alex Jensen hit consecutive singles to begin the inning, and Earls scampered home with the game-tying run on a passed ball. Jensen moved all the way to third base on the passed ball and scored on Mescher's sacrifice fly. Mark McCants scored the third run of the frame when he hustled home on Andrew Johnson's RBI groundout.

Navy trimmed Army's lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning when Brandon Beans grounded into a fielder's choice with the bases loaded.

Army made it 4-2 in the top of the sixth inning as the Black Knights manufactured a run on three hits. Mescher and Page hit back-to-back singles to open the frame, and Johnson laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position. Michael Sands then came through with a fielder's choice groundout to score Mescher with an insurance run.

Rowley faced just one over the minimum over the final four innings as the Army right-hander shut the door on the Midshipmen.

Stephen Moore (4-3) was the losing pitcher in the first game for Navy. He allowed four runs on seven hits over 5.2 innings of work. Sam Sorensen tossed 3.1 innings of scoreless relief for the Midshipmen.

Navy took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of the nightcap on Greg Dupell's RBI single.

Army, the home team in the second game, came back with three runs in the bottom of the third to establish a 3-1 advantage. Jon Crucitti's RBI triple highlighted the uprising, which also included an RBI single by Grant Van Orden and a sacrifice fly by Jensen.

Navy tied the game at 3-3 by scoring single runs in the fourth and seventh innings. Craig Veech delivered an RBI double in the top of the fourth to pull the Mids to within 3-2, and Milanes' RBI double in the top of the seventh knotted the score.

Army put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the eight, scoring four runs on five hits to take a 7-3 lead. The first two Black Knights were retired in order, but Earls and Jensen hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. Jensen then stole second base and Mescher ripped a two-run single to left field to push across the go-ahead runs. McCants added an RBI single later in the inning, and Page capped the rally with an RBI double.

Larimer, who worked a scoreless eighth inning, earned the win, and Gunnar Carroll worked the ninth to nail down the victory and help Army complete the sweep.

Anthony Parenti (3-4) suffered the loss in the second game after permitting six runs on six hits in 7.2 innings. He struck out four and walked one.

Milanes finished 4-for-8 with two RBI and one run scored to pace Navy offensively during the doubleheader.

Game Notes: Army improves to 104-109 all-time versus Navy ... the Black Knights are now 6-4 all-time against the Midshipmen in the Patriot League Tournament ... Alex Jensen extended his hitting streak to seven straight games with hits in both ends of the doubleheader ... Chris Rowley moved into third place on Army's all-time innings pitched list (261.0) ... Rowley also moved into sole possession of third place on Army's all-time wins list (24).

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