On Tuesday afternoon, the Navy baseball team fell to Delaware State 9-4 at Bob Reed Field in Dover, Delaware, despite two home runs. The Midshipmen now hold a 7-9 record while Delaware State stands at 5-9.

Alex Smith and Hudson Lehnertz’s home runs were the highlights of the day for Navy. Smith’s two-run homer briefly put Navy ahead, while Lehnertz’s solo shot marked his first of the campaign. Trey Paige from Delaware State, however, proved to be the key player of the match, going 3-for-5 with three RBI and four runs scored, as he was one of three Hornet hitters to rack up multiple hits.

In the opening inning, an error allowed Paige to reach second, and a single from Evan Bouldin advanced him to third. A 6-4-3 double play allowed Paige to cross home for the game’s first run. Navy took the lead in the top of the third inning when Lehnertz walked to start the frame, and Smith drove him in with two down with a homer that went over the left-field fence. Delaware State evened the game in the bottom of the inning when a pair of singles and a hit-by-pitch set up Alec Rodriguez to bring in Paige on a sacrifice fly.

The Hornets surged ahead in the home half of the fourth when Paige plated two runners with a single to the left-center gap before coming home himself on a throwing error after Bouldin flew out. Navy’s Brock Murtha cut the DSU lead to 5-3 when he put a bases-loaded sacrifice fly out to left field that scored Logan Keller in the sixth, but the Mids were unable to capitalize further in the inning.

Credit: U.S. Naval Academy

In the seventh inning, Nick Gnardellis extended the Hornets’ edge to 6-3 with a solo shot, while Delaware State tacked on to its lead in the eighth, putting up a three-spot on five singles. Lehnertz tried to spark a rally in the ninth with a home run off the scoreboard in left-center field, but C.J. Loper retired the final two Navy batters to close out the Hornets’ victory.

Navy starter Liam Golden got the no-decision after one inning of work with one unearned run allowed, while Bouldin also did not factor into the decision after throwing three innings of one-hit ball. Hiram Davis picked up the win after striking out two in his one inning of relief, while Evan Hamill suffered the loss after surrendering four runs (three earned) in four innings on the mound.

Delaware State trimmed the all-time series with Navy to 25-7-1 in favor of the Mids. Murtha has now reached base safely in six straight games, Golden has not allowed an earned run in his last two starts, and Hamill’s four innings pitched set a new career high for the right-hander.

Navy will host Bucknell for four games on March 17-19 to start Patriot League play, with the league opener set for a 2 p.m. first pitch on Friday, while Saturday’s doubleheader and Sunday’s finale are both slated for 1 p.m. starts.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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