ANNAPOLIS, Md. – After picking up a thrilling win over George Mason last time out, the Navy baseball team (5-2) is set to return to action on Friday as it hosts Central Connecticut State (0-0) at the Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium 4:30 p.m. Friday to open a three-game series.
After Friday’s series opener, the Mids and Blue Devils will square off with a pair of starts at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free, live stats from all three contests will be available via NavySports.com.
ALL-TIME SERIES vs. CCSU
Over 26 all-time meetings against Central Connecticut State, Navy has played with a 14-12 advantage that includes winning each of the last three games in the series. The two programs last met in the 2019 season, with the contenders earning a 5-2 victory over the Blue Devils in Annapolis.
General assessment: 5-2
Home recording: 2-1
Away records: 1-0
Neutral registration: 2-1
Patriot League record: 0-0
The Head Coach: Paul Kostacopoulos I 17th season at Navy, 33rd overall (990-654-7)
LAST DEATH: Last time out, Navy rallied in the ninth inning to break a 6-6 tie against George Mason, highlighted by Colin Smith (Jr., Wilmington, Del.) driving in the starting run on a two-out RBI single. With a 7-6 lead down the frame, Nolan Jorgenson (So., Eastvale, Calif.) then retired the final three batters, two via strikeouts, to secure the Mids’ one-run victory.
Smith led the way for the Navy offense, going 2-for-4 with a game-tying three-run home run in the sixth inning as well as the aforementioned go-ahead single in the ninth. Thomas Russell (Jr., Fairfax, Va.) led the way for the Mids on the mound, pitching 3.1 scoreless innings in relief to tie the game at 6-6.
LEADING THE CHARGE: Logan Keller (So., Longwood, Fla.) remains the Navy’s leading hitter through seven games, posting a .407 batting average with two RBIs and reaching base at a .500 clip. Christian Policelli (Sr., Walkersville, Md.) is second on the team in batting average (.345), in addition to recording a triple, a home run, two doubles and an RBI eight with a .586 hitting percentage. Completing the best attacking players for the Mids this season is Hudson Lehnertz (So., Santa Ana, Calif.) who in six games, including three starters, hits .333 with two stolen bases and three RBIs.
TURNING A CORNER: The Midshipmen’s pitching staff, after giving up 28 earned runs on 34 hits in the first three games of the 2022 season, have rebounded in a big way over the past four games. Navy pitchers have just 0.197 batting average and 2.90 ERA over 31 innings pitched the past four games. Leading this effort is the trio of Jorgenson, Russell and Liam Golden (Fr., Springfield, Va.).
Jorgenson went 5.1 innings over the past four games, allowing no runs while allowing just two hits and striking out three batters in addition to earning his first career stoppage against George Mason. Russell, who made his only appearance of the four-game streak on Wednesday, walked two batters and struck out one in his 3.1 innings against the Patriots.
Golden made his first career start in Game 2 of the Freedom Classic doubleheader against the Air Force, going three innings and allowing just one hit while totaling two strikeouts. Besides, Matthew Shirah (So., Blue Ridge, Ga.) had a strong outing against the Air Force, allowing one run on four hits while walking one and striking out three.
HUNT 1000: With Wednesday’s victory over George Mason, head coach Paul Kostacopoulos now has 990 career wins as a head coach. Kostacopoulos is looking to become the 16th active head coach in all divisions to eclipse the 1,000 win plateau.
Now in his 33rd year as head coach overall, Kostacopoulos had 220 wins in seven seasons as Providence before going on to win 284 in nine seasons as head coach of the Maine baseball program. . At Navy, Kostacopoulos recorded the second most wins by a head coach in program history with 486, trailing only Joe Duff (1962-93) with 595 career wins.
THE TOP OF THE STACK: On this weekend, Navy ranks among the top offensive teams in the Patriot League this season. The Prospects are first in triples (5), tied for first in runs scored (45), tied for first in RBI (40), second in slugging percentage (.404), second in home runs (6) and second in on-base percentage (.401). In pitching rankings, the Midshipmen are second in the league in saves (2) and third in batting average against (.239).
In individual standings, Lehnertz leads the league in on-base percentage (.579) while Zach Stevens (Sr., Lexington, Mass.) is tied for first among Patriot League batters in triples (2) and on walks (7). Alex Smith (Jr., Laguna Hills, CA) and Colin Smith are tied for the league lead in homers (2) while Keller is fifth in the league in batting average (.407) and Policelli is sixth in slugging (.586).
NAVY HITTERS vs. CCSU: The Stevens Trio, Dalton Jackson (Sr., Chesapeake, Virginia) and Joe Simourian (Sr., Andover, Mass.) are the only players on the current roster to have faced Central Connecticut State in their respective careers.
Stevens led the charge for Navy offense in the aforementioned 5-2 win over the Blue Devils in 2019 by going 3-for-4 with a two RBI single that ultimately gave the contenders a three-point lead. points they wouldn’t. relinquish victory. Jackson and Simourian each went to the plate four times against the CCSU pitcher, returning without a hit.
NATIONAL RANKINGS: Nationally, Navy is 12th in triples (5), 13th in triples per game (0.71) and 35th in walks (47). Individually, Stevens is tied for sixth among national leaders in triples (2) while Shirah is tied for 16th in games started on the mound (2). Policelli is tied for 16th in the hardest to knock out category, while Lehnertz’s .579 on-base percentage is tied for the 46th-highest on-base percentage in the nation.
SURGE: In its first seven games of the 2022 campaign, Navy has seen 17 of its 56 hits go for extra bases. The contenders have totaled five triples, six doubles and six home runs this season for a .404 hitting percentage, led by Policelli who hits to a .586 clip while Alex Smith and Colin Smith hit two home runs apiece.
CCSU PRIMER (files 2021)
General assessment: 28-15
Home recording: 13-7
Away records: 11-5
Neutral registration: 4-3
NEC Registration: 21-9
2022 NEC Pre-Season Poll: Second
The Head Coach: Charlie Hickey I 22nd season at CCSU, 25th overall (686-569-6)
IN SEARCH OF THE BLUE DEVILS
REVIEW OF 2021: In 2021, Central Connecticut State posted a 28-15 overall record that included a 21-9 mark in Northeastern Conference play. The Blue Devils won the 2021 NEC Tournament Championship, earning a bid to play in the NCAA Eugene Regional. In the region, CCSU lost a 13-10 decision to Oregon before falling in a hard-fought game to LSU, 6-5, in 10 innings.
BEST RETURNING HITTERS: Noah Martinez returns as the top batting for the Blue Devils in 2022, a season after hitting .305 with two triples, eight doubles, seven home runs and 37 RBIs in addition to reaching base at a .396 clip and having a hitting percentage of .396. 503. Joining Martinez among the top returning hitters for CCSU this season is Jay Devito who posted a .333 batting average last season with one triple, five doubles, 25 RBIs and scoring a team-high 41 runs.
BEST RETURNING PITCHERS: After losing each of their two top pitchers from last season at graduation, Andrew Braun and Brandon Fox, Central Connecticut State returns Anthony Mozzicato as its top pitcher for the 2022 season. Mozzicato made 13 starts last season, posting a 5.09 ERA while striking out 45 batters in 58.1 innings pitched. After Mozzicato among the top returning arms for CCSU this season, Jake Neuman recorded a 1.67 ERA and eight saves in 32.1 innings pitched out of the bullpen in 2021.
After its three games against the Blue Devils, the Navy will return to action on March 9 for a midweek game at home against Mount St. Mary’s which is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. After the game against The Mount, the aspirants are set to host Marist and Delaware State at Max Bishop Stadium March 11-13 for two games against the Red Foxes and one game against DSU.