Navy’s home opener on Tuesday afternoon was nothing short of a slugfest. The team fell into a 9-2 hole against Georgetown but fought back to tie the game 10-10 in the seventh inning. Unfortunately, they were unable to complete the comeback and fell 18-10.
Navy junior Logan Keller had a standout performance with four hits in the game, becoming the second Midshipman in two games to record a four-hit performance. On the Georgetown side, Michael Eze matched Keller’s four-hit game and tallied three runs and three RBI, reaching base safely in all six plate appearances. Navy senior Kyle Rausch joined in on the offensive explosion with four RBI, matched by Georgetown’s Austin Krerzschmar.
Georgetown kicked off the game with a lead-off home run by Jake Hyde, opening up a four-run first inning. Navy managed to cut into the deficit in the second and third innings with a Rausch sacrifice fly and a double from senior Colin Smith. However, a two-run double by Ubaldo Lopez and a two-run homer by Eze widened Georgetown’s lead to 9-2 in the fourth inning.
Freshman reliever Tyler Grenn limited the Georgetown bats, allowing Navy to strike for five runs in the bottom of the sixth. Keller hit a two-run single up the middle with the bases loaded and no outs, followed by Rausch, junior Eduardo Diaz, and junior pinch hitter Hudson Lehnertz tallying RBI singles later in the inning. A sacrifice fly from Georgetown made it 10-7 in the top of the seventh, but Navy answered with a bases-clearing, two-run triple from Rausch and another RBI single from Diaz in the next at-bat, tying the game at 10-10.
Georgetown took control of the game in the eighth inning with seven runs, highlighted by a Christian Ficca two-run double and an RBI double from Angelo D’Acunto. Georgetown added one more run in the ninth on a Kretzschmar sacrifice fly before Garret Keough closed down the game, retiring three of the four Mids he faced in the bottom of the ninth.
Despite Navy starter Cody Bowker going five innings and surrendering only two runs, four Georgetown relievers combined to record 1.2 innings before Keough picked up the winning decision with 2.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, striking out four while allowing two hits. For Navy, Grenn threw three innings of one-run, one-hit relief, giving way to sophomore Liam Golden, who registered one out before giving up five runs and being handed the loss.
After the game, Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos noted that, despite the loss, the team played well and had a comfortable and familiar environment during their home opener. The team rallied from a 9-2 deficit to tie the game 10-10 and had quality at-bats from various players, including Diaz and Rausch. Despite some personnel changes and a long way to go, Kostacopoulos saw improvement in the team’s defense.
Navy will now prepare to take on rival service academy Air Force in the Freedom Classic at Grainger Stadium in Kinston, N.C. The game is set for February 24-26 with the first pitch on Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Navy will look to bounce back from the loss and secure a win against their rivals.