WEST POINT, N.Y. - Kash Manzelli went 5-for-8 with four RBI and two runs scored as Navy swept a Patriot League doubleheader from Army in the conference opener for both schools Sunday afternoon at Doubleday Field. The Midshipmen posted a 7-1 victory in the opening game before taking a 4-2 decision in the nightcap.
Manzelli was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI in the opener, and Stephen Moore (2-2) allowed one run on five hits over seven innings to earn the win on the mound for the Midshipmen (14-12, 2-0 PL).
Patrick Mescher went 2-for-3 with one RBI to pace the Black Knights (7-13, 0-2 PL) in the first game. Mark McCants finished 1-for-3 with one run scored. Army starter Chris Rowley (2-3) was touched for seven runs on eight hits and three walks over six innings. He also recorded five strikeouts during his outing.
Manzelli and Greg Dupell both went 2-for-5 in the nightcap, and Anthony Parenti (2-2) collected the victory after permitting two runs (one earned) on four hits over six innings. He struck out five batters and walked four. Joel Rinehart, who picked up his third save of the season, did not allow a hit over three scoreless frames of relief. He struck out two and walked one.
Army starting pitcher Brock Davidson (1-3) was saddled with the loss in the second game after yielding four runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks over five innings of work. Four different Black Knights recorded singles to pace Army's offense.
"First of all, I'd like to congratulate Navy," said Army head coach Joe Sottolano. "I thought they played well today. With that said, I truly believe in the guys we have in our program. I believe in our philosophy and I believe in our players. We just have to keep plugging along. Once we get over the hump, I really think good things will start to happen. Our main focus is us. If we can just hold court until we get stronger, we'll put ourselves in position to achieve what we want to achieve."
Navy took a 2-0 lead in the second inning of the opener when Connor Deneen and David Wiedeman stroked consecutive RBI singles.
Army drew to within 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth when McCants doubled, moved to third base on a throwing error by the Navy catcher and scored on Mescher's base hit.
The Midshipmen padded their lead in the late innings, scoring two runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh. Moore, who finished with four strikeouts and did not walk a batter, limited Army to just one hit over the final three frames to nail down the complete game victory.
Army got on the scoreboard first in the nightcap, pushing across a single run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Mescher singled to begin the frame, advanced all the way to third base when Andrew Johnson reached on a throwing error by the Navy second baseman and scored on Jacob Page's sacrifice fly to right field.
Army's lead was short-lived, however, as Navy plated four runs in the top of the fifth inning to assume a 4-1 advantage. Manzelli's two-run single keyed the rally, which was aided by a pair of Black Knight errors.
Army got one run back in the bottom of the fifth to make it 4-2. Jon Crucitti walked leading off the inning, moved to second base on Alex Jensen's groundout and scored on McCants' single.
The Black Knights were held in check by Rinehart over the final three innings, producing just one base runner during that time.
Army and Navy close out their four-game series on Monday with another doubleheader scheduled for 12 p.m.
Game Notes: Army falls to 101-108 all-time against Navy ... the Black Knights wore their white uniforms for both games of today's doubleheader ... Garrison Franklin pitched a career-best 2.1 innings in the nightcap ... Grant Van Orden returned to the lineup for the first time since March 16 ... Van Orden played second base for the first time in his career.