The Navy baseball team was unable to overcome an early deficit and fell to Bucknell, 5-1, in Patriot League action on Wednesday afternoon at Depew Field. The Bison scored four runs in the first inning, which proved to be enough to secure the victory.
Despite a rough start, Navy’s pitching kept the Bucknell bats in check over the final eight frames by allowing just one hit on eight hits over the final seven innings. However, Bucknell’s starting pitcher Ben Magovern matched it by tossing seven innings of one-run ball, with his only blemish coming on Alex Smith’s third home run of the season.
Bucknell gave themselves a solid cushion early, as Tyler Dunn and Chris Klein both laced two-run singles up the middle in the first inning, but Navy starter Liam Golden was able to settle in to post three scoreless innings. After two runners were left on in the second and Logan Keller was stranded following a lead-off double in the fourth, Golden’s battery-mate in Smith finally put the Mids on the board with a solo shot over the left-center fence in the top of the fifth.
Bucknell answered back in the bottom of the fifth with another RBI single up the middle from Dunn, giving an extra insurance run for Magovern and Bison relievers Theo Farynick and Ryan Osinski, who both piggy-backed Magovern’s quality start with a clean inning each out of the bullpen.
Magovern (2-2) finished his day by allowing just five hits and two walks while striking out three for the win, while Farynick struck out one batter in his three batters faced. For Golden (2-3), he suffered the loss after pitching 4.1 innings and being on the hook for all five runs on seven hits despite recording four strikeouts, while Reece Early followed with 2.2 shutout innings of relief and Aidan Chamberlin pitched a scoreless eighth inning that included two punchouts.
After the game, Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos commented on the loss, saying, “Bucknell’s pitching staff did a great job today. Their lefty just kept us off-balance and the couple times he needed to get an out he got the out. Every time we had a little bit of something going, he was able to get us out. Really, after the first inning, it’s a 1-1 game. We gave up four quick ones in the first inning, then Liam settled down really well. It was really nice to see Reece come back after 10 days or so off and pitch well, and Chamberlain threw a nice eighth inning after. The bottom line is we just didn’t generate any consistent offense.”
Despite the loss, Navy still holds the advantage in the all-time series with Bucknell, with a record of 94-81-1. Navy will now turn their attention to their upcoming series against rival Army, which is always a special occasion. The three-game set will take place on Saturday-Sunday, April 22-23 as part of the Army-Navy Star Series presented by USAA. Saturday’s doubleheader will also serve as Senior Day for the Mids’ eight seniors, with start time set for noon on ESPN+. First pitch on Sunday is slated for noon on CBS Sports Network.