Army Hosts New York Yankees & Navy This Weekend

Patrick Mescher

Patrick Mescher

March 28, 2013

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WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army baseball team hosts an exciting weekend at West Point's Doubleday Field with an exhibition game versus the New York Yankees slated for Saturday and a four-game series against Navy scheduled for Sunday and Monday.

Saturday's exhibition contest against the Yankees is scheduled to begin at 2:26 p.m. The Patriot League series opposite Navy will consist of doubleheaders beginning at 12 p.m. each day.

There will be an Easter egg hunt for children attending the Army-Navy games on Easter Sunday. Clues will be tweeted via @ArmyAthletics throughout the first game of Sunday's doubleheader with prizes awarded to those who successfully retrieve the eggs, which will be hidden around Johnson Stadium.

Live stats for all five contests will be available via GameTracker by logging onto Army's official athletics website (www.goARMYsports.com). In-game Twitter updates will also be offered through the official Twitter handle of Army Baseball (@Army_Baseball).

Army (7-11) is coming off a thrilling 7-6 come-from-behind victory against Siena on Tuesday. The Black Knights trailed 4-0 in the fifth inning before rallying to take a 5-4 lead. Army then fell behind 6-5, but scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to secure its first "walk-off" win of the season. The Black Knights have won two straight games and three of their last four contests.

Junior OF Jon Crucitti paces the Black Knights with a .344 batting average, 18 walks, seven stolen bases, 18 runs scored and a .506 on-base percentage. Freshman OF Jacob Page tops Army with 15 RBI, while ranking third with a .333 batting average. Sophomore INF Alex Jensen leads the team with four doubles and 24 hits, while listing second in batting average (.343) and RBI (14).

Senior RHP Chris Rowley leads the Black Knights' starting rotation with a 2.64 earned run average, while sophomore RHP Alex Robinett paces the staff with 34.2 innings pitched. Rowley and Robinett are tied for the team lead with 23 strikeouts apiece. Gunnar Carroll (1-3, 5.09 ERA) leads the club with nine appearances out of the bullpen.

After wrapping up spring training in Tampa, the Yankees officially open their 2013 campaign on Monday, April 1, when the Bronx Bombers play a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.

New York returns a bevy of superstars in Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Mariano Rivera and Alex Rodriguez, among others.

Navy has won six of its last seven games, and the Midshipmen enter this weekend's action showing an overall record of 12-12. The Mids took three of four games from Ivy League foe Princeton last weekend before defeating Maryland-Eastern Shore (9-4) on Wednesday.

Junior OF Brandon Beans leads the team's regulars with a .308 batting average and 28 hits. Senior OF Greg Dupell, who is batting .286, leads Navy in several offensive categories to include doubles (10), triples (two), home runs (two), walks (13), runs batted in (18) and slugging percentage (.505).

Senior RHP Ben Nelson, who has already been named Patriot League Pitcher of the Week three times this season, anchors Navy's pitching staff, which boasts a 4.15 team ERA. Nelson (5-1) leads the Midshipmen in wins, ERA (1.30), strikeouts (45) and innings pitched (41.2).

Freshman RHP Sam Sorenson (2-0, 1.80 ERA) has emerged as Navy's closer this season. He has allowed just three earned runs on nine hits in 15 innings of work, while posting three saves.

Army and Navy have met 207 times over the years, with the Midshipmen owning a 106-101 lead in the all-time series. The Black Knights have dominated the series over the past nine seasons, however, winning 31 of 40 matchups during that time and capturing nine consecutive series "stars."

Army faced the New York Yankees 21 times between 1927 and 1976, making the Bronx Bombers one of the Black Knights' most common Major League opponents over the years. The first meeting featured Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and the rest of the Murderers' Row Yankees.

The Yankees also visited West Point to face Army in 1928, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1944, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1972 and 1974.

The Yankees won each of the 21 previous meetings, including a 2-0 victory in the most recent matchup in 1976. The closest game in series history was played in 1966 when the Yankees edged Army, 1-0, on Mickey Mantle's RBI groundout in the first inning.

Ruth, who still ranks third on Major League Baseball's all-time home runs list, left an indelible mark on the series in his final visit to Doubleday Field on June 11, 1934, blasting a 500-foot home run over the fence in right field. The towering smash is still considered to be the longest ball ever hit at Doubleday.

Following this weekend's slate of games, Army will travel to Teaneck, N.J., on Wednesday, April 3, when the Black Knights face Fairleigh Dickinson at 3 p.m.

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