Yankees Down Army, 10-5, In Exhibition Game

Vernon Wells (left) and Harold Earls

Vernon Wells (left) and Harold Earls

March 30, 2013

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WEST POINT, N.Y. - Brennan Boesch and Melky Mesa both hit towering home runs to help lift the New York Yankees to a 10-5 victory against a pesky Army team in an exhibition game played in front of 6,127 spectators on a sun-splashed Saturday afternoon at Doubleday Field.

The Yankees built a 5-0 lead in the second inning, but Army scored four runs in the bottom of the third to trim its deficit to one run. New York plated a pair of unearned runs in the sixth inning, before adding one in the eighth and two more in the ninth. Army scored its only other run in the bottom of the eighth.

Nine different Black Knights recorded hits in the contest. Ryan Levenhagen produced Army's only extra-base hit of the game, smashing a one-out double in the eighth inning.

New York sent 10 men to the plate in the second inning and scored five times against Andrew Flaherty. Boesch launched a two-run blast to center field to put the Bronx Bombers on top, 2-0. Francisco Cervelli, Ichiro Suzuki and Robinson Cano drove home the other three runs in the frame to make it 5-0.

Army battled back in the bottom of the third, batting around and scoring four times on four hits to draw to within 5-4. Andrew Johnson, Justin Reece and Jon Crucitti belted consecutive singles to open the inning, with Crucitti's base hit driving in Johnson with the Black Knights' first run. Daniel Cortes then delivered Reece from third base when he reached on a fielder's choice, Patrick Mescher ripped an RBI single and Mark McCants came through with a sacrifice fly to cap the rally.

The score remained 5-4 until the sixth inning when the Yankees scored a pair of unearned runs to extend their advantage to 7-4. New York made it 8-4 in the eighth when Ben Francisco doubled and scored on Dan Johnson's single.

The Black Knights crept to within 8-5 in the bottom of the eighth when Levenhagen lined a double down the right field line, moved to third base on Harold Earls' single and scored on a wild pitch.

Davis Marlar and Blake Burrus both recorded two strikeouts apiece to lead Army on the mound. Flaherty was touched for five runs on six hits over two innings and took the loss for the Black Knights.

Gil Velazquez and Vernon Wells both collected two hits each to lead the Yankees' 16-hit attack. Vidal Nuno earned the win for New York after striking out a game-high three batters over two scoreless innings.

Army lifts the lid on its Patriot League schedule on Sunday, March 31, when the Black Knights host Navy in a doubleheader at 12 p.m.

Game Notes: Army falls to 0-22 all-time against the Yankees ... the Black Knights wore their black jerseys with gray pants for today's game ... New York wore its iconic pinstripe uniforms ... Army occupied the third base dugout, vacating its clubhouse and first base dugout for the Yankees ... nearly 5,000 temporary bleachers were erected down the right field line and in the outfield in order to accommodate today's crowd ... Chris Rowley was announced as the starting pitcher, but was immediately replaced by Andrew Flaherty ... the Yankees used nine pitchers in the contest ... Mariano Rivera, the Yankees' all-star closer, threw out one of two ceremonial first pitches ... Yankees players interacted with Army players throughout the game.

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