Sophomore Chris Lankford knocked home four runs to highlight a 12-hit attack that gave Navy a 11-4 victory and a split with Monmouth in the NCAA play-in doubleheader at Max Bishop Stadium in Annapolis yesterday.
After being held hitless for five innings by Navy sophomore Shane Groover (7-1), Monmouth won the opener, 5-1, with a bases-empty home run by Fred Kampf and a two-run blast by shortstop George West breaking the game open in the late innings.
The third and deciding game will be played at noon today.
In the first game, Navy (26-16), representing the Patriot League, gained a 1-0 lead in the fourth when first baseman Mark Zematis doubled to deep center to score Todd Benke.
But things began to unravel for the Mids in the sixth inning when the Hawks scored twice on only one hit.
Center fielder Tom Ambrose ended Groover's no-hit bid with a leadoff single. Greg Landis then beat out a bunt to the mound. Second baseman Joe McCullough, who was batting .429 with 72 RBIs, also bunted, and was safe when Groover's throw bounced off Navy second baseman Nick Sylvester'sglove and rolled down the right-field line.
Ambrose scored, and Landis and McCullough both advanced a base. After Nick Del Gozzo fouled out to the catcher, West's groundout to third scored Landis with the go-ahead run.
Navy wasted excellent scoring opportunities in the sixth and seventh innings off Hawks starter Charlie Krajewski, who gained his seventh straight victory after starting the season 0-3.
The Mids had runners on first and second with none out in the sixth and failed to score, and on second and third and none out in the seventh when freshman reliever Brian Gismonde came in to shut Navy down without a hit the rest of the game.
In the second game, Navy parlayed a walk, two infield errors and Lankford's two-run double into four runs in the second inning off Monmouth starter Mike Benfield.
The Mids' lead grew to 9-1 before a three-run homer by McCullough chased Navy starter Scott Kozink (7-4) in the seventh inning. Freshman reliever Dave Self held the Hawks scoreless the rest of the way.
Pub Date: 5/15/98