April 23, 2014
Army 4, Marist 2
FISHKILL, N.Y. - Centerfielder Jacob Page went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in, including the game-winner during a two-run rally in the seventh, to lead Army to a 4-2 win over Marist in the Ninth Annual WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic at Dutchess Stadium Wednesday night. The Black Knights (28-12) topped the Red Foxes (12-25) for the second straight season and took a 5-4 lead in the HVBC series.
Army took a 1-0 lead on an RBI infield single by Jon Crucitti, but the Red Foxes answered with two in the fourth inning to take a 2-1 lead. Keyed by an error in the outfield, the Black Knights scored two in the seventh inning to regain the lead and added an insurance run on Page's second RBI in the ninth. The Red Foxes put two runners on in the ninth, but Brian Hapeman did not allow a runner to score.
"Every game is very important to us, whether it's a conference game or non-conference game," interim head coach Matt Reid said. "When you play a team as talented as Marist, and they're right down the road, you want put forward your best effort. We were struggling a little bit early on, but our pitching kept us right in it, and we got some timely hits."
Reliever Julian Larimer improved to 2-2 on the season, throwing two and two-thirds scoreless innings. He did not allow a hit, striking out five and walking two. He set down the side on strikes in the sixth. Hapeman earned his second save of the season with two scoreless frames. He allowed just one hits, striking out one. Starter Patrick Gardner allowed two run on six hits in three and one-third innings. Justin French also threw one inning of scoreless relief.
Sean Keenan (3-1) took the loss for the Red Foxes, giving up two runs, only of which was earned, on two hits in three innings of relief.
Both team pounded out seven hits. In addition to Page, Crucitti had two hits and drove in a run. Kris Lindner and Grant Van Orden accounted for the Black Knights other two hits. Lindner, Alex Jensen, Daniel Cortes and Page all scored for Army.
Joey Aiola was the only Marist player with multiple hits, reaching twice. Nick McQuail had the only extra-base hit of the game, a triple in the fourth.
The Black Knights have now won six straight to reach a high-water mark of 16 games over the .500 mark.
Page stared Army's third-inning rally with a single and moved to third on Van Orden's base hit to right. After a strikeout, Crucitti beat out a slow roller to short that chased Page home with the game's first run. The Red Foxes escaped further damage, inducing a 4-6-3 double play.
Marist took its first lead in the fourth. After McQuail led off with a triple, Tyler Kirkpatrick's infield hit moved him the final 90 feet to tie the game at 1-1. Zach Passarelle was hit by a pitch to put two runners on, and Graham McIntire gave the Red Foxes a 2-1 lead with an RBI single. After a single by Aiola, Larimer came in and put out the fire with back-to-back strikeouts to leave the bases loaded.
Army went hitless in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, but Linder singles to start the seventh. Jensen bunted him to second for the first out, and Cortes hit what appeared to be a routine fly ball to center. The ball glanced off the fielder's glove, allowing Linder to score and moving Cortes into scoring position. Page followed with a sharp single to right, scoring Cortes with the eventual winning run.
"That was a big momentum shifter," Reid said. "We got a big base hit after that as well. I liked the fact that Cortes had two strikes on him, but he battled and hit it well enough to have the centerfielder make that mistake."
The Black Knights added on in the ninth inning on another run-scoring single from Page. Jensen came around to score after being hit by a pitch to start the inning.
Marist rallied in the ninth, putting runners on first and second with only one out after a base hit and an error. A near double-play put runners on the corners with two outs, and Hapeman induced a ground ball to end the game.
The Black Knights head to Annapolis to face arch-rival Navy in a four-game weekend series to end their Patriot League slate. Army is currently one-half game behind first-place Bucknell and can clinch at least the No. 2 seed in the upcoming conference tournament with two victories against the Mids.