The wind chill at West Point brought the temperature down into the 20s, which certainly made the Army baseball team even more grateful it was in Lakeland, Florida. And despite committing a season-high five errors the Black Knights countered with a season-high 14 hits to defeat Miami (Ohio) 13-7.
First baseman Patrick Mescher led the assault with three hits and two RBI. Jacob Page had two hits and three RBI. Winning pitcher Alex Robinett got the victory thanks to not allowing an earned run in six innings. Army overcame a 9-6 deficit in the top of the seventh when it sent 10 men to the plate and scored six runs.
The Black Knights will conclude its Florida trip Saturday when it plays North Dakota State and Dartmouth in a split doubleheader at Chain of Lakes Stadium in Winter Haven. The Black Knights have won four of five games in their Florida trip. Army will return home, where it will begin an 11-game homestand Wednesday against Quinnipiac.
Army men’s basketball coach Zach Spiker is among the nominees for the 2013 Hugh Durham Award. The honor is presented annually to the nation’s top mid-major head coach.
The 2013 Patriot League Coach of the Year, Spiker is also a finalist for the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award, which honors those who not only achieve success on the basketball court, but who display moral integrity off it.
Spiker earned the Patriot League’s top honor after guiding the Black Knights to an academy record eight conference victories and their first winning season in Patriot League play. Army’s final record of 16-15 was the program’s first winning season since 1984-85. The Black Knights also posted school records with five straight Patriot League victories and four consecutive Patriot League road victories.
Since taking over the program prior to the 2009-10 season, Spiker has joined Bob Knight, Mike Krzyzewski and George Hunter as the only coaches in Army history to win at least 50 games in their first four seasons. His “Star Game” victory over Navy in February also put him alongside Krzyzewski as the last two Army coaches to win at least two consecutive “Star Games.” Spiker has won the game three times in his first four seasons.
The other finalists for the Hugh Durham Award are Jim Baron (Canisius); Rick Byrd (Belmont); Bill Coen (Northeastern); Keith Dambrot (Akron); Kermit Davis (Middle Tennessee); Billy Donlon (Wright State); Andy Enfield (Florida Gulf Coast); Anthony Evans (Norfolk State); Chris Holtmann (Gardner-Webb); Danny Kaspar (Stephen F. Austin); Matt Matheny (Elon); Joe Mihalich (Niagara); Jim Molinari (Western Illinois); LeVelle Moton (North Carolina Central); Steve Pikiell (Stony Brook); Joe Scott (Denver); Pat Skerry (Towson); Wayne Tinkle (Montana); Tod Kowalczyk (Toledo); and Michael White (Louisiana Tech).
The Hugh Durham Award is named in honor of Hugh Durham, who retired at the end of the 2004-05 season. Durham is one of just twelve coaches to have led two different programs to the NCAA Final Four (Florida State in 1972 and Georgia in 1983).
The winner will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet in Atlanta during the NCAA Final Four.
Army forward Joe Kozlak was one of five players selected to the Atlantic Hockey Association All-Rookie Team. Kozlak, from Duluth, Minn., was among the scoring leaders for the Black Knights this season and earned his spot on the All-Rookie Team after scoring seven goals, plus 10 assists.
Kozlak was one of seven players who competed in all 34 games for Army. He scored two game-winning goals, had assists in two of his first three games, and then had the first multiple-point game of his career with a goal and an assist against Sacred Heart. Two games later, he scored the game-winning goal on the power play in a victory over Holy Cross.
Perhaps his biggest goal came on the road, when he scored the game winner in a 1-0 overtime victory against Canisius.
Kozlak is the first Army player to be named to the All-Rookie team since Marcel Alvarez was chosen in 2009. Joining Kozlak on the 2012-13 Team were forwards Andrew Gladiuk (Bentley) and Chris Porter (AIC) and defensemen Matt Blomquist (Bentley) and Karl Beckman (Holy Cross).