April 16, 2014
Army 4, Hartford 2
HARTFORD, Conn. – Mark McCants went 2-for-4, scored a run and drove in two to lead the Army baseball team to a 4-2 win at Hartford Wednesday afternoon. Four relievers backed starter Patrick Gardner’s winning effort on the mound as the Black Knights improved to 23-12 overall.
Army took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second and extended its margin to 4-0 with a three-run seventh inning. The Hawks got on the board with two runs in the ninth, but left the tying runs on base.
In addition to McCants, Jacob Page and Connor Love both had two hits. Kris Lindner drove in a pair of runs, while Harold Earls drove in the first run of the game with a single.
Gardner got the win (1-0), throwing four innings on a predetermined pitch count. He allowed just two hits, striking out two and walking one. Erik Washburn, Justin French and Brian Hapeman combined for four innings of scoreless relief before the Hawks scored two runs in the ninth off Johnny Griffith. French did not allow a hit in one and two-thirds innings.
James Alfonso led the Hawks with two hits and an RBI. Brian Murphy took the loss (1-2), giving up just one run and five hits in four and two-thirds innings.
Army’s second-inning rally started when Patrick Mescher was hit by a pitch. He was erased on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Lindner who was thrown out at the plate on a double by Page. Earls finally pushed home the run with a single up the middle.
The Black Knights left the bases loaded in the fifth without scoring, and the Hawks had two runners in scoring position in the fifth, but neither team dented the plate until the top of the seventh. Love singled and stole second, and after a Jon Crucitti walk, scored on a double by McCants. After Mescher was hit by a pitch for a second time to load the bases, Lindner delivered with a two-run single to left.
Hartford scored two runs in the ninth on an RBI groundout and a run-scoring single. Griffith halted the momentum and ended the game when he struck out Joe Roberti with two runners on base.
Army gets back into conference play on Saturday when it plays a doubleheader at Holy Cross. The Black Knights and Crusaders wrap up the series with another twin bill on Sunday.