Just last week the nation caught word of a postponed NBA season. From there, there were talks of a postponed or cancelled March Madness. Schools were shutting down and the future of the NCAA spring sports was unknown. The Patriot League wasted no time and made the decision to conclude the athletic season early in hopes of combating the spread of COVID-19.
Patriot League To Cancel All Spring Practices and Competitions— Patriot League (@PatriotLeague) March 12, 2020
For More Information: https://t.co/p838vOxltl pic.twitter.com/meT8f8NajM
“All Spring practices and competitions” - that left no grey area. Patriot League baseball came to a screeching halt less than 24 hours after Navy baseball had won its 14th-straight game with a come from behind victory over UMES. This team put together a truly impressive 15-game season and certainly proved to baseball fans everywhere that this was a truly special group destined for an incredible 2020 run.
The 2020 @NavyBaseball team was putting together a once in a lifetime type of season. pic.twitter.com/m9LRoqb74t— Austin Lanteigne (@a3lanteigne) March 18, 2020
It was only fitting that all four seniors played a role in Navy’s final victory of the 2020 season. Zach Biggers knocked in the first run of the game for the Midshipmen on a sacrifice fly. Michael Coritz got things going in the ninth-inning with a single that was eventually responsible for the game-tying run. Evan Lowery scored what ended up being the game winning run in the ninth and Jacob Williamson was responsible for two hits and a run of his own.
These seniors were undoubtedly the glue for this Navy roster and their leadership will certainly carry-on in their future military careers. While it is no secret these four athletes had tremendous success on the diamond it is safe to say they will all lead admirably as future military officers. Let’s take a look at each senior a little more in depth as we hope to honor them and their stellar baseball careers.
Biggers earned First Team All-Patriot League honors at second-base his sophomore and junior years and was named a Second Team Preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper heading into the 2019 season. The Walhalla, South Carolina native also earned Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2018. The senior finished with a .317 average at the plate and an impressive .984 fielding percentage which included zero errors in the 2020 season. Biggers will serve the United States Marine Corps as a USMC Pilot after graduating in May.
Let’s never forget this web gem that made its way to SportsCenter compliments of Biggers himself.
ICYMI: Zach Biggers comes in at #8 on ESPN's SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays for his web gem versus Army on Monday pic.twitter.com/RPGrsHKuye— Navy Baseball (@NavyBaseball) May 22, 2018
Chosen as the Team Captain, Michael Coritz was nothing short of the anchor for Navy Baseball this season. The Clifton, Virginia native earned Second Team All-Patriot League honors in 2018 and was a member of the Academic All-Patriot League team as a sophomore and junior. Coritz’s steadfast leadership was evident in his plate appearances where he carried a .283 batting average and a .389 on-base percentage. The senior carried a five-game RBI streak in March and none was more important than a sacrifice fly in Navy’s hitless win over Penn State (see below). Coritz will head to Pensacola, Florida after graduation to train as a Navy Pilot.
.@NavyBaseball takes the lead with a sacrifice fly from Michael Coritz to score Matt Wolff! Navy leads 1-0 after six innings and is still searching for its first hit— Navy Athletics (@NavyAthletics) March 6, 2020
Watch live on @PatriotLeagueTV: https://t.co/pA5NcX46wI pic.twitter.com/PDzcUo0yUk
This future Navy Pilot was having the best season of his career batting an impressive .341. Although 2020 will go down as a shortened season, Lowery’s batting average and his .500 on-base percentage will go down as career highs for the Williamsburg, Virginia resident. If his last name sound familiar there is a reason for that - Evan’s older brother Liam was a 2019 Navy Baseball graduate who is currently in flight school in Pensacola, Florida. Evan finished the 2019 season with ten sacrifice flies, good enough for second best in the NCAA. Although he firmly (and incorrectly) believes that pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza, we can still appreciate Evan’s success on the field and wish him best of luck as a Naval Aviator.
This week's Naval Academy Student-Athlete Spotlight presented by Northrop Grumman:— Navy Athletics (@NavyAthletics) January 16, 2020
⚾️ @NavyBaseball Senior Outfielder Evan Lowery pic.twitter.com/lLB3xA5pR1
The lone non-pilot in the 2020 baseball class, Jacob Williamson will serve our country as a Supply Corps officer upon commissioning in May. The Sims, North Carolina native and James Hunt High School Graduate started every game as a Midshipmen and helped contribute to 2020’s 128-51 record - good enough for a 71.5% winning percentage. Williamson contributed 107 RBIs in his four years as primarily a third basemen, although the soon to be Ensign also found time on the mound his freshman year pitching 2.2 innings. The four-year starter had arguably the best defensive game of his career against Fairleigh Dickinson with five putouts and an assist on six chances in early March. He will be remembered for all his athletic plays at the hot corner like this one against Army just last year.
Jacob Williamson steals a hit from Army to keep Navy's deficit at three heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. @PatriotLeagueTV pic.twitter.com/dApeE8zioD— Navy Baseball (@NavyBaseball) May 18, 2019
We all know the 2020 season wasn’t what we hoped it would be but no one could have asked for a better start for the Midshipmen. Their 14-1 record will go down in history as the second best season in Navy baseball history; rivaling Max Bishop’s 15-1 season in 1946. While we will certainly miss Zach, Michael, Evan, and Jacob - we couldn’t be more excited for their future as Navy and Marine Corps officers. Thank you for the memories and best of luck in your future careers: we salute you!
Special thanks to Navy Baseball SID David Gerhart (@Dgerhart53) for compiling and forwarding service assignment information.