Feb. 24, 2013
Box Score (.pdf)
ROCK HILL, S.C. -
JP Frey went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and one RBI as Delaware State rallied from a 4-2 deficit to defeat Army, 6-5, in 10 innings on the final day of the Coca-Cola Classic Sunday at The Winthrop Ballpark.
Cameron Cecil, Mike Alexander and Peter Broehl each collected two hits apiece to pace Delaware State (2-2). The Hornets scored once in the eighth inning and twice in the ninth, before plating the game-winning run on a passed ball in the top of the 10th. Derek Marshallsea (1-1) earned the win after allowing just one run on one hit over 2.1 innings of relief.
Army trailed 2-0 before scoring two runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh to move in front, 4-2. Delaware State got one run back in the eighth inning, and then took a 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth. Army rallied a second time, knotting the score at 5-all in the bottom of the ninth, before Delaware State scored what proved to be the game-winning run in the 10th.
Patrick Mescher went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Jacob Page finished 1-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored to lead Army (0-4). Andrew Flaherty (0-1) was saddled with the loss after pitching the 10th inning.
"Delaware State is a talented and well-coached ballclub, and it's no surprise that they were in the NCAA Tournament last season," said Army head coach Joe Sottolano. "I thought we showed some toughness and resiliency today, battling back twice from deficits.
"We continued to show signs of improvement, both defensively and at the plate," added. "You can tell that some of our younger players are becoming more comfortable out on the field, and we're playing the game with better rhythm. I thought our guys took good approaches at the plate, and we hit some balls hard today. We are a young ballclub, and we have to learn how to win games. We're going to have to pride ourselves on playing hard-nosed baseball and doing our best work in key situations."
Aaron Nardone doubled against Flaherty leading off the 10th inning, and he eventually scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball. Daniel Cortes walked to begin the bottom of the 10th and advanced to third base on a pair of ground outs, but was stranded there.
Delaware State took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Ryan Haas' RBI ground out. Frey ignited the uprising with a leadoff single to center field. He advanced to second base when Cecil reached on a fielder's choice, took third on Alexander's sacrifice bunt and scored when Haas grounded out to second.
Army loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first, but Delaware State starter Zach Adkins was able to escape the jam unscathed and the Hornets held onto their tenuous 1-0 advantage.
After three scoreless frames, Delaware State increased its lead to 2-0 in the top of the fifth inning as the Hornets strung together three consecutive two-out singles. Army starter Alex Robinett retired the first two batters of the inning on ground outs, but Frey began the rally with a base hit to left field. He moved to second base when Cecil reached on an infield hit, and scored on Alexander's RBI single to center field.
Army pushed across two runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the score at 2-all. Alex Jensen led off the inning with a single, advanced all the way to third base on a wild pitch and scored when Page ripped a double into the gap in right center field. Page moved to third base on a wild pitch and Harold Earls walked to put runners on the corners for Mescher, who delivered an RBI single to center field.
After Black Knight reliever Gunnar Carroll retired Delaware State in order in the top of the seventh inning, Army took the lead in the bottom half of the frame as the Black Knights scratched out a pair of runs to go on top, 4-2. Jon Crucitti and Cortes drew back-to-back walks to open the inning, and both moved up a base on Jensen's sacrifice bunt. Mark McCants then delivered an RBI single to left field, plating Crucitti with the go-ahead run. Page followed with a sacrifice fly, scoring Cortes and extending Army's lead to 4-2.
Delaware State got a run back in the eighth inning as Alexander singled, stole second base and later scored on Eddie Sorondo's RBI ground out.
Army loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth, but failed to add to its one-run edge. Delaware State then rallied in the top of the ninth, scoring twice against Carroll to take a 5-4 lead. Frey drove home the game-tying run with a sacrifice bunt, and Cecil's RBI double gave the Hornets the one-run advantage.
The Black Knights came back with an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score at 5-5 and send the game to extra innings. Page drew a one-out walk, stole second base, advanced to third on Earls' single and scored when Mescher reached on an error.
Army returns to action next weekend (March 1-3) when the Black Knights travel to Lynchburg, Va., to compete at the Liberty Invitational Tournament. Army will face host Liberty twice and Siena once during the three-day event.
Game Notes: Army falls to 0-1 all-time versus Delaware State ... Jacob Page collected his first career double in the sixth inning ... it marked Army's first extra-base hit of the season ... Daniel Cortes drew a career-high four walks in the contest ... Patrick Mescher set a career high with two walks ... he also equaled his career best with two base hits ... Andrew Flaherty made his season debut, pitching the 10th inning.