Record Navy baseball season ends with blowout loss to N.C. State
By Rob McLamb
For The Baltimore Sun Media Group|
Jun 05, 2016 at 5:10 PM
RALEIGH, N.C. — It was an epic journey at the Raleigh Regional for Navy but the long hours spent at the ballpark finally caught up to Midshipmen on Sunday afternoon.
N.C. State struck early and often as the Wolfpack routed Navy, 17-1, at Doak Field at Dail Park to eliminate the Midshipmen from the 2016 NCAA Baseball Championship.
Navy (43-16-1) finished its winningest season in program history. N.C. State (37-21) will face Coastal Carolina in Game 6 of the Raleigh Regional at 1 p.m. on Monday.
Navy, which played three games in less than two days, had advanced to face the host team after a thrilling 13-inning victory over St. Mary's on Saturday. It was the Midshipmen's second NCAA Tournament win in the past 34 seasons and first since 2002.
"Today we just got outmanned and outgunned," Navy coach Paul Kostacopoulos said. "They swung the bats really well, jumped us and came to play."
But starting pitcher George Coughlin struggled Sunday. The right-hander recorded just four outs, allowing five runs (four earned) on four hits while walking two.
Kyle Condry, who also pitched in relief Saturday, replaced Coughlin. The junior yielded three homers, including a three-run blast off the bat of N.C. State's Chance Shepard, who also hit a grand slam against Navy in the NCAA Tournament opener Friday.
N.C. State scored in six of its nine at-bats. The Wolfpack pounded out 19 hits.
"They have some really good hitters," Coughlin said. "They stay on the ball well, they see off-speed and if you make a mistake up in the zone they are going to take it in the outfield somewhere over the fence."
Johnny Piedmonte pitched a career-best 8 2/3 innings for N.C. State to pick up his first win of the season. The right-hander, who entered the game with only seven starts on the season, held Navy to one run on six hits while walking one and fanning seven.
Piedmonte came one out away from hurling the first complete game from a N.C. State pitcher in the postseason since Carlos Rodon blanked William & Mary, 1-0, in 2013.
Navy avoided a shutout in the eighth when Nick Paglialonga singled up the middle to drive in Connor Deneen.
The Raleigh Regional was Navy's 10th appearance in the NCAA Baseball Championship.
"One thing I always tell players at the end of the year when it is your last game… The hard part sometimes is not when you lose games, the hard part is to say goodbye," Kostacopoulos said. "You have guys that have truly been a part of your life.
"I have got nothing but good thoughts about them. Today didn't go the way we wanted it too, but [I have] really good thoughts about our kids, our program and certainly what is across their chest and that term that describes our school, the United States Naval Academy."