ANNAPOLIS, Md - In the final Star competition of the 2018-19 Star Series presented by USAA, Army took two out of three games in a weekend baseball series at the Naval Academy, clinching the Star in a game three victory on Sunday.
After their 7-5 victory in the rubber match of the weekend, the Black Knights won the overall season series, 3-2. It marked the first season series victory for Army over its rival since 2014.
The Cadets 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 ninth but sophomore reliever Harry Flannery Jr. sat all four batters he faced down in order to secure the win.
Starting pitcher Sam Messina was solid on the hill for Army, allowing just three hits and two unearned runs in 5.1 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 Jacob Hurtubise, Drake Titus, Anthony Giachin, and 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.
- Cam Opp and Flannery Jr. both saw action out of the bullpen with Opp going 2.1 innings and Flannery 1.1 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 Andre Walden.
- The Mids 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.