May 4, 2013
Box Score (.pdf)
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Patrick Mescher went 3-for-3 with four RBI and one run scored, and Chris Rowley struck out seven batters in eight scoreless innings as the Army baseball team blanked Nyack, 13-0, in a non-league contest Saturday afternoon at Doubleday Field.
Harold Earls finished 2-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI, and Mark McCants went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored as Army (24-21) equaled its season high with 16 hits. Alex Jensen, Connor Love and Justin Reece each collected two hits apiece for the Black Knights, who have won three straight games and 17 of their last 24 contests.
Rowley (7-3) was dominant from the outset and only faced two over the minimum thanks to a season-high four double plays turned by the Army defense. He allowed just four singles and did not walk a batter as he lowered his earned run average to a miniscule 2.60.
"Chris did a good job of throwing three pitches for strikes today," said Army head coach Joe Sottolano. "He located the fastball and got groundball double plays when we needed them each and every time. I thought he threw the ball well and set the tone for us."
Cole Tobin and TJ Briggs each went 2-for-3 to lead the Nyack offense, which was held in check by Rowley throughout the afternoon. Erik Puterio (2-8) suffered the loss on the mound for the Warriors (14-24) after yielding eight runs on 10 hits and three walks over 3.2 innings of work.
Army opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, plating three runs on three hits. Jon Crucitti and Earls hit consecutive singles to open the frame and Jensen was hit by a pitch to load the bases for McCants, who stroked two-run double to left-center field. Jensen moved to third on the play and scored on Mescher's sacrifice fly.
Army broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth, scoring five runs on five hits to open up an 8-0 advantage. Earls' two-run double highlighted the uprising, which also included RBI singles by Mescher, Dakari Cooke and Michael Sands.
The Black Knights sent 11 men to the plate in the bottom of the seventh and scored five more runs to account for the final margin. Crucitti and Earls drew back-to-back walks to begin the inning, and Crucitti hustled around from second base with the first run of the frame on Jensen's RBI single. After McCants walked to load the bases, Earls scampered home on a wild pitch to make it 10-0. Mescher then delivered a two-run single up the middle, and Reece hit an RBI single to cap the rally.
Erik Washburn came on in relief of Rowley in the top of the ninth inning and stranded runners on the corners to preserve Army's third shutout victory of the season.
"We made a lot of good contact offensively, especially at the top of our lineup," added Sottolano. "We hit the ball well in those three big innings, but probably could have done even more in a few of the innings in which we did not score. The wind was blowing in today, and I thought our guys did a nice job of hitting low line drives and groundballs that got through the infield."
Army wraps up its eight-game homestand on Sunday, May 5, when the Black Knights host Chestnut Hill at 1 p.m.
Game Notes: Army improves to 1-0 all-time versus Nyack ... the Black Knights turned four double plays in a game for the first time since doing it against Quinnipiac on March 22, 2011 ... Army also registered 16 hits against NYIT on March 23 ... the Black Knights posted a season-high 12 RBI today ... Chris Rowley moved into a tie for third place on Army's all-time wins list (23) ... Rowley also moved into fourth place on Army's all-time strikeouts ledger (204) and fifth place on Army's all-time innings pitched list (252.0) ... Rowley's seven victories this season are tied for the 10th most on the Black Knights' single-season ledger ... Patrick Mescher recorded a career-best four RBI ... Mescher also matched his career high with three hits ... Harold Earls established a career best with three runs scored.