POMONA – Army West Point baseball split Saturday’s doubleheader vs. rival Navy at Palisades Credit Union Park, taking game one 6-1, but falling in game two, 8-7.
Game one was a pitcher’s duel early, with Army starter Anthony LoRicco going nearly the distance in the seven-inning contest, as he tossed 6.1 innings of work, allowing just one run on five hits with two walks and tied his career-high strikeout total of 12.
Navy starter Charlie Connolly tossed 4.1 innings, allowing one run on two hits, but the Black Knights were able to get into the Mids’ bullpen, putting up five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Andre Walden plated two on an infield single, Kevin Dubrule doubled home two more and Sam Ruta brought home the fifth run of the inning with a single back up the middle.
Lefty specialist Tyler Pritchard finished off the seventh for the Black Knights, tossing the final 0.2 to preserve the win.
In game two, the Black Knights came roaring back from a 6-1 deficit in the fourth inning, tying the game back up at 6-6 with an RBI triple from Nick Manesis in the seventh.
However, Navy added two more in the eighth to pull back ahead, 8-6.
The Black Knights tried to rally in the bottom of the ninth and they had the go-ahead run at the plate, with runners on the corners and no outs but were only able to bring home one run on an RBI groundout to make it an 8-7 ballgame.
Sam Ruta led in the second game at the plate for the Black Knights, tallying three hits with one RBI, while Manesis and Dubrule each had two.
Starter Robbie Buecker took the no-decision in five innings of work. Reliever Brian Dawson took the loss after giving up two unearned runs in the eighth.
Reliever Trey Braithwaite earned the win for the Midshipmen. Zach Stevens had two home runs for the Mids, driving in three runs, while Joe Simourian had one three-run homer on the day.
Ruta takes a current team-high five-game hitting streak into Sunday, while Tim Simoes has a team-leading 10-game reached base streak.