Navy Baseball Preview
The Navy Midshipmen won 38 games in 2018, good enough for second-most in program history. After finishing as Patriot League regular season champions with an 18-7 record in conference play, the Midshipmen eventually fell to service academy rival Army in the championship series of the Patriot League tournament. While the season ended with a disappointing series loss, the Midshipmen racked up a number of season awards. Zach Biggers earned Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and Second-Team All American honors in his 2018 campaign. Biggers was Navy’s tenth tenth player to earn an All-American award dating back to 1960. Biggers also joined pitcher Noah Song in All-ECAC honors, with Song earning All-ECAC first team recognition while Biggers was named to the second team.
The 2019 schedule features the usual Patriot League contests which includes five games against preseason favorite Army-West Point and the surging Bucknell Bison. In non-conference play, Navy will open the season February 15th in Keeter Stadium, home of the American Legion World Series, against Gardner-Webb, before traveling to Kinston, NC to take on the Air Force Falcons in the Freedom Classic the following weekend. Navy’s first homestand will occur the first weekend of March when the Mids host a tri-team series featuring visits from Central Connecticut State and UMass. An exciting addition to this year’s schedule will be a regular-season concluding road trip to Farmville, Virginia where the Midshipmen will have a three-game series against the Lancers of Longwood.
Players to Watch
Zach Biggers, Jr., 2B
As if 2018 wasn’t a good enough year for Biggers, he is primed to have an even better showing this spring. The junior second baseman from Walhalla, SC was named the 2019 Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year by the other coaches of the Patriot League. He looks to build upon his sophomore season campaign which ended with a .343 batting average, 73 hits, and 43 total runs. Biggers was also named D1 Baseball’s Preseason Patriot League Player of the Year and Collegiate Baseball Preseason All-American.
Micahel Coritz, Jr., IF
Coritz was named Second Team All-Patriot League as a shortstop in 2018 due to his .963 fielding percentage and team-high on-base percentage (.413). The junior knows how to get on base as he drew the fourth most walks and also recorded a hit in 16 of his final 20 games of the season.
Christian Hodge, Sr., 1B/C
Hodge earned First Team All-Patriot League honors in 2018 due to his .406 slugging percentage that included a team-leading five home runs. Hodge is not only a power hitter, but also maintains a consistent bat. In 2018, Hodge tallied 15 multi-hit games and a 10 game hitting streak.
Jared Leins, So., RHP
The 6’6” right-handed pitcher out of Raleigh, NC earned Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors four times in 2018 which eventually earned him a spot in Collegiate Baseball’s Freshman All-American team. Even with only one career start under his belt, Leins finished second on the team with five wins and led the team in saves (5). Something to watch for at the start of the season will be finding out exactly how Navy head coach Paul Kostacopoulos plans to use the youngster.
Liam Lowery, Sr., DH/OF
Liam represents half of the Lowery duo poised to have a solid 2019 season. The Senior was third on the team last season in batting average (.312) and led the Midshipmen in slugging percentage (.484). Lowery was named First Team All-Patriot League as a designated hitter in 2018 and earned the same honor in the 2019 Preseason awards.
⚾️2019 Preseason #PLbaseball All-League Team ⚾️— Patriot League (@PatriotLeague) January 30, 2019
*@@ArmyWP_Baseball leads the way with 6⃣ preseason all-League members
*11 of 15 preseason all-League members were 2018 all-League selections
Read More: https://t.co/1y0qAsFzyp pic.twitter.com/fXUAxaNl5n
Noah Song, Sr., RHP
With Song on the mound Navy will have a chance against any team in the country. The previous 2016 Patriot League Rookie of the Year was named 2019 Preseason Pitcher of the Year by conference coaches. His 2018 campaign featured a Patriot League starting pitcher leading 1.92 ERA and 121 strikeouts which contributed to six conference wins, a mark he undoubtedly hopes to improve in 2019. Song was also named D1 Baseball and Baseball America Preseason Patriot League Pitcher of the Year and was recently placed on USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Watch List, an award given to the best amateur baseball player in America.
Football season is over. It’s time to get excited about the smell of the outfield grass, the sounds of leather popping on the diamond, and everything that baseball season brings with it. So, head on over to Max Bishop Stadium and cheer on the Mids as they look to have a strong showing in the Patriot League this year!