Baseball wins season series over Navy, secures ‘Star’

By Kat Castner Army Athletic Communications

April 25th, 2019 | Army and Community Sports, Sports
 For the first time since 2014, the Army West Point Baseball team claimed the season series over service-academy rival Navy Sunday afternoon in Annapolis, Md. After their 7-5 victory in the rubber match of the weekend, the Black Knights won the overall season series, 3-2, and earned the ‘Star.’                     Photo by Army Athletic Communications
 Junior centerfielder Jacob Hurtubise went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in and a walk during Army West Point’s 7-5 victory over Navy Sunday in Annapolis, Md.                                 Photo by Eric S. Bartelt/PV

For the first time since 2014, the Army West Point Baseball team claimed the season series over service-academy rival Navy Sunday afternoon in Annapolis, Maryland.
After their 7-5 victory in the rubber match of the weekend, the Black Knights won the overall season series, 3-2.
The Black Knights jumped out to an early 2-0 edge in the first but the Mids answered in the second to pull the game even at 2-2. The score remained tied until the Black Knights registered an impressive five runs on five hits in the sixth inning to break the contest open at 7-2.
The home side tried to rally and even cut the deficit to 7-5 in the bottom of the eighth but sophomore reliever Harry Flannery Jr. sat all four batters he faced down in order to secure the win.
Starting pitcher senior Sam Messina was solid on the hill for Army, allowing just three hits and two unearned runs in 5 1/3 innings. The senior righty struck out a game-high six during his time on the mound.
For the second-straight contest, the Black Knights saw eight of the nine batters in their lineup record at least one hit.
The top of the lineup did most of the damage on the day with juniors centerfielder Jacob Hurtubise and rightfielder Drake Titus, sophomore third baseman Anthony Giachin and senior shortstop Trey Martin all posting two hits each. Hurtubise and Martin both chipped in two runs batted in as well, while Titus crossed home plate a team-high two times.

Army highlights and game notes
• The Black Knights improve to 24-16 on the year and 11-6 in Patriot League play.
• Army has now won nine of its last 11 games, claiming three conference weekend series’ during that stretch.
• Titus registered the Cadets’ lone extra base hit on the day and it came during the second at bat of the contest.
• The Black Knights pitching staff did not allow an extra base hit and compiled 13 strikeouts.
• Senior pitcher Cam Opp and Flannery Jr. both saw action out of the bullpen with Opp going 2 1/3 innings and Flannery 1 1/3 innings. Opp allowed two hits and three runs, while Flannery posted a clean sheet, including two strikeouts.

How it happened
• Army jumped in front early with two runs on two hits in the opening half frame. Titus doubled down the left field line with one out to place a runner in scoring position. Giachin followed that up with a walk before a Martin single down the right field line scored Titus. Two batters later Giachin touched home thanks to a sacrifice fly by sophomore leftfielder Andre Walden.
• The Midshipmen responded in the second when they scored two runs on one hit and one error to record two unearned runs.
• The game remained tied for the next three innings until the Black Knights finally broke through in the sixth with five big runs on five hits. Army started its rally when it loaded the bases with two outs in the frame. Hurtubise then drilled a single to right center to bring home two of the Cadets’ five runs. Titus chipped in with an RBI-single to center field to score another run before Giachin reached on a wild pitch, which allowed the Black Knights’ fourth run to cross. Finally, Martin singled to center field for his second RBI of the contest.
• The Mids would not go away though, earning three runs back on two hits in the bottom of the eighth to cut the lead to 7-5. Fortunately, Flannery struck out Zach Biggers with the bases loaded to halt Navy’s rally.
• Flannery then closed out the bottom of the ninth with a one, two, three inning to secure the win.

Facts & figures
• The Black Knights recorded seven runs on 12 hits, while Navy posted five runs on five hits.
• Both teams were credited with an error in the contest.
• Army stranded five runners on base. Navy left 10.