March 18, 2014
Army 19, NDSU 9
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Patrick Mescher was 5-for-5 and Jacob Page had five runs batted in as Army scored a season-high 19 runs in a 19-9 victory over North Dakota State, Tuesday at Chain of Lakes Stadium. The game was called after eight innings with Army leading by 10 runs.
The game was delayed approximately an hour as a previous contest finished up. The delay clearly didn't bother Army who racked 19 hits in the victory.
Army improved to 11-5 overall, 4-0 on its spring trip to Florida and won its fifth straight contest.
Army's 11-5 start is its best since 2005 when the team also won 11 of its first 16 games. The 2005 team finished the season 39-14.
North Dakota State, coming off a 13-1 win over Maine, fell to 6-8.
In addition to his five hits, Mescher knocked in two runs and scored twice. Two of his five hits were doubles. Page was 3-for-5 with two doubles, knocked in five runs and scored once. Harold Earls went 3-for-6 and scored three runs, while Jon Crucitti was 2-for-3, scored three times and knocked in three runs. Kris Lindner scored three times, had two hits and knocked in two runs. Ben Smith and Mark McCants each scored twice. In all, nine players collected base hits.
Brian Hapeman started on the mound for Army and relieved by Carson Meadows in the third. Meadows threw 3.1 innings and struck out four. David Marlar and Patrick Gardner finished up for the Black Knights.
Army's defense was tested early and responded. After a leadoff triple and walk, catcher Ben Smith threw out a runner attempting to steal for the first out of the inning. A second walk was followed by an inning-ending double play.
Page, who earlier in the day was named the College Sports Madness Patriot League Player of the Week, singled to open the second. He took second on a sacrifice by Daniel Cortes and moved to third on a wild pitch. Alex Jensen was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners with one out. Lindner grounded out to plate Page with the game's first run.
Mescher led off the third with a double and advanced a base on Smith's sacrifice. Crucitti delivered a single to plate Mescher. Earls also singled and Page made it a 4-0 contest with a double to score two more runs.
North Dakota State tied the game in the fourth inning. Blake Turbak and Nick Altavilla knocked in runs and a pair of errors led to two more.
Army quickly re-took the lead in the fifth. With one out, Lindner and Mescher singled and Smith walked to load the bases. Crucitti was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Earls drilled a single and Smith scored on a wild pitch. McCants walked to load the bases and Page picked up another RBI when he drew a walk. Cortes followed with a run-scoring single. Jensen grounded out to plate another run and Army led 10-4.
Page continued his torrid afternoon in the fifth inning, doubling in two runs. His two-base hit scored Crucitti who walked and Earls who singled.
Mescher added to the Army lead in the sixth, doubling to left to score Lindner. Lindner reached on an error and stole second and gave Army a 13-4 lead.
North Dakota State cut its deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning when three players knocked in four runs to bring the Bison within five runs at 13-8.
Army again came right back. McCants was hit by a pitch, took second on a wild pitch and scored on a double by Jensen. Lindner followed with a single to plate Jensen, Mescher knocked in Jensen and then scored on a passed ball. Smith singled, took second on a wild pitch and crossed home on Crucitti's single to increase the Army lead to 18-8.
After North Dakota State scored a run in the seventh, Ryan Levenhagen reached on a fielders' choice in the eighth. He advanced two bases on wild pitches and after a walk to Jensen, scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 10, 19-9.