May 7, 2003
Army scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to cap a furious comeback as the Black Knights closed their season by rallying from an eight-run deficit to stun Siena 12-11, Wednesday afternoon at Doubleday Field.
Army (17-25-1) found itself trailing the Saints 10-2 entering the bottom of the fourth inning. Starter Dan Cappello was chased after just three innings of work for the Black Knights, allowing eight hits and seven earned runs. Justin Kashner came on in relief, but was tagged for three runs in his first inning of work as the Saints (15-31-1) built what appeared to be a comfortable cushion.
But the Black Knights chipped away at the deficit, recording single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Trailing 11-4, the game's fortune turned in the bottom of the sixth inning when Army plated six runs on five hits against Siena reliever Matt Gidaly and sent 11 batters to the plate in the process.
Wes Bumgarder delivered the key blow for the Black Knights, blasting a booming three-run double to the gap in left-center field that narrowed the margin to 11-8. Walker Gorham's two-out double to the gap in right-center field scored Bumgardner, and Jeremy Stache's opposite-field bloop single to right chased home Gorham to draw Army within 11-10.
Following a scoreless seventh frame, Army pushed ahead for the first time in the bottom of the eighth inning. Bumgarder led off with a bunt single and moved to second on Saint pitcher Josh Courage's (1-3) errant throw to first base. Nate Stone wasted little time knotting the score, smashing a searing double to the left-center field gap three pitches later. After Stone advanced to third on Gorham's flyout to center field, Schuyler Williamson lined out to third base for the second out of the inning.
With two outs, the score tied at 11-11 and the potential go-ahead run at third base, Stache launched a "hump-back" liner to short that Saint shortstop Blake Hanan misplayed for an error, permitting Stone to score with what proved to be the game-winning run.
After allowing three runs in his first inning out of the bullpen, Kashner was masterful. He yielded just one run over his final five innings of work and was dominant down the stretch. In recording his first victory of the season, Kashner retired the final 10 batters he faced, registering six strikeouts during that game-ending stretch. Overall, he allowed six hits and four runs over six innings, fanning nine and walking only one. Kashner, who pitched in tough luck throughout the spring, finished the year at 1-6, despite posting an impressive 2.91 earned run average.
Bumgardner and Stache collected three hits each, with Bumgardner adding a career-high three runs batted in. Josh Holden, Stone and Williamson finished with two hits each as the Black Knights equaled their season high with 15 base hits.