Baseball postseason bound after doubleheader sweep of Lehigh

By Kat Castner Army Athletic Communications

 Sophomore third baseman Anthony Giachin finished 4-for-9 in the doubleheader sweep of Lehigh May 4 in Bethlehem, Pa. Giachin tied the Black Knights’ single-season doubles record after notching two in the games. The Livingston, N.J., native sits tied with Kevin McKague’s 2008 mark of 19.   Photo by Eric S. Bartelt/PV

The Army West Point Baseball team earned its third-straight postseason berth May 4 following a twin bill sweep of Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
The Black Knights registered a 3-2, seven-inning win in the opener before taking a thrilling 8-7, 13-inning win in the nightcap.
While the Cadets know they are playoff bound they are still unsure about their seed in the Patriot League Tournament. They are currently tied with Holy Cross for second place at 14-9 with two games remaining. The Crusaders hold the tiebreaker over Army though after having won the season series, 3-2.
Junior centerfielder Jacob Hurtubise finished an impressive 5-for-8 in the doubleheader, while sophomore third baseman Anthony Giachin followed closely behind at 4-for-9.
Sophomore leftfielder Andre Walden reeled in a team-high four runs batted in and they all came from one swing of the bat as he drilled his first career grand slam in a Black and Gold uniform during Game 2. Senior shortstop Trey Martin added three RBI to Army’s final total as well.
Senior pitchers Tyler Giovinco and Cam Opp were both credited with wins. Giovinco allowed six hits and two runs in 6 1/3 innings during the opener, while Opp pitched five  innings of relief work in the nightcap giving up just one walk. Both earned multiple strikeouts as well with Giovinco notching six and Opp five.
A highlight from the day was Hurtubise breaking Army’s career walks record. The junior now has 126 to his name.
Giachin also tied the Black Knights’ single-season doubles record after notching two in the games on Saturday. The Livingston, New Jersey, native sits tied with Kevin McKague’s 2008 mark of 19.

Army highlights and game notes
• The Black Knights advanced to the Patriot League Tournament for the third-straight season.
• Ten of the Cadets’ 11 runs on the day came with two outs.
• Army posted eight extra base hits to just five for Lehigh. Seven of those eight were doubles.
• Giachin touched home plate an impressive three times, while Walden crossed twice.
• Walden drilled his fifth home run of the year, which ties him with Giachin for second on the team.
• Hurtubise, Martin (2x) and Walden (2x) all tallied a stolen base on the day.
• Hurtubise pulled within four of breaking the Patriot League steals record (99) as he now sits with 96 in his career.
• Both teams turned a double play on the day.
• Sophomore pitcher Harry Flannery Jr. recorded his second save of the year after coming in to earn the final two outs of Game 1.
• Senior pitcher Sam Messina started the nightcap and allowed three hits, five runs, three of which were earned, and three walks in 5.0 innings.
• Senior pitcher Mike Gagliardi and Jacob Carte and freshman pitcher Anthony LoRicco each saw action in Game 2 as well.

How it happened—Game 1
• Junior designated hitter Jeremiah Adams broke the scoreless deadlock in the fourth after he converted on a sacrifice fly to center field to score Giachin for the 1-0 edge. Giachin led off the frame with a double before advancing to third on a wild pitch one batter later.
• The Black Knights added to their lead in the sixth following a two-out, two-RBI single by sophomore second baseman Tim Simoes. His knock brought home Giachin and sophomore catcher Blake Ledoux for the 3-0 edge.
• Lehigh wouldn’t go away though, posting two runs on two hits in the seventh to make things interesting late. Fortunately for Army, Flannery Jr. came in to register the final two outs to secure the win.

How it happened—Game 2
• The Mountain Hawks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first after a Ryan Malloy double brought home two runs.
• The Cadets cut the deficit to 2-1 in the fourth following an RBI-single by Martin but Lehigh responded in the bottom half with an additional two unearned runs to make it a 4-1 ballgame after four.
• Another run by the home team in the fifth increased their advantage to 5-1.
• The Black Knights would battle back in the seventh following a two-out rally. Freshman rightfielder Carter Macias, Giachin and junior first baseman John McKenna all found themselves on base with two outs. That’s when Walden stepped into the batter’s box and cleared the bases with a blast over the left center fence to knot the score at 5-5.
• Lehigh responded back in the bottom half with two runs on one hit to create a 7-5 gap between the teams.
• Again, the Cadets sparked a two-out rally to tie the game in the ninth. This time it was Martin who came up with the big hit as the senior launched a double into the right center gap to plate junior pinch runnerAnfernee Crompton and Simoes.
• Army then held on in the bottom half to force extra innings.
• The game remained tied at 7-7 over the next three frames until Adams posted what ended up being the game-winning RBI-double to right center in the 13th inning. His hit brought home Martin, who had singled and stole second during the previous at bat.
• Opp then closed the door on the Mountain Hawks with a 1-2-3 frame to earn the doubleheader sweep.