ANNAPOLIS, Md.- Nearly 24 hours after the Falcons football team sang second to conclude its 23-3 win against the Naval Academy, Air Force women’s soccer followed suit on Sunday afternoon, downing the Midshipmen 1-0. 

“I’m very proud of the team tonight,” said head coach Larry Friend. “We beat a very good Navy team that has qualified for the NCAA tournament the last two years.”

On paper, the Falcons were the less offensive team, with Navy outshooting Air Force 17-9, but one good chance was all the away team needed. In the 23rd minute, with Air Force attacking, junior Catherine Bakken settled an attempted Navy clearance. She eventually found Hailey Ramos, who cut behind the left side of the Navy defense. After a couple of touches, Ramos sent a pass back towards the middle of the penalty box, where an unmarked Jenna Rubidoux calmly put away her first collegiate score. The two-player assist gave Bakken and Ramos their first-ever assists as well. 

In spite of forcing only one Midshipmen save, Air Force made up for a lack of consistently-threatening offense with energy and physicality. Air Force gave Navy a spirited 90 minutes, with Kayla Milford, Cam Karras, and Jennifer McFaddden all receiving yellow cards. As Navy chased the game for nearly 70 minutes, the scrappiness of the Falcons was necessary to boost the team to a win. Though the Midshipmen recorded 17 shots, only two needed the aid of Cammi Bych, who recorded her second clean sheet of 2021. The victory for Air Force is the first over Navy in over 20 years, the last coming in 1999. 

Though there is no Commander-In-Chief’s trophy for Air Force’s women’s soccer team, the Falcons (2-2-1, 0-0) will look to make 2021 a clean service academy sweep when the ladies travel to West Point, N.Y. to play Army on September 16. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 pm MT. 

“Tonight, we enjoy the win,” said Friend. “Tomorrow, we get ready for Army.”

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At least 8 of the 49 swimmers who qualified forward from Wave I of the US Olympic Swimming Trials to Wave II won’t race at the second meet in Omaha.

Included among the 9 are one of the best stories out of the Wave I meet: a pair of US Naval Academy men who went 1-2 in the 800 free.

Garrett McGovern (8:11.25) and Luke Johnson (8:12.13) took the top two spots in Wave I. With 2 swimmers in each event earning a qualification forward to the Wave II meet, where faster qualifiers have been pushed automatically through, both had the opportunity to race again in the bigger show this week in Omaha.

According to Navy men’s head coach Bill Roberts, each had their own reason.

“We waited until after their 1500s on Monday night to discuss,” Roberts said. Johnson was 5th in the 1500 and McGovern was 8th.

“At that time, we decided it would be best not to accept the opportunity to advance. Carrying the taper for those two events for another week plus was going to be difficult.”

Roberts says that Johnson, who recently graduated, was “happy to finish the meet with most of his team” and will now move on to his Naval service. Naval academy graduates are required to have a minimum of 24 months of active service in the U.S. Navy.

McGovern, with his coach, decided that he was ready to move on to focus on the 2021-2022 NCAA season, and is now back home and in training.

Missy Cundiff, who won the 50 free at the Wave I meet, is beginning an auditing internship at Grant Thornton on Monday. She entered the Wave I meet seeded 46th, and her coach Nate Kellogg says that winning “exceeded her expectations.”

“Missy’s mature perspective allows her to understand that swimming is a part of her life, not her entire life. Although swimming in Wave II would have been a amazing experience, this internship will also be a critical experience for her future beyond swimming.

“As her coach, I fully support her decision. As always, she has represented William & Mary incredibly well and I am so proud of her.”

William & Mary almost cut their swimming programs last year, but a huge push by the school’s alumni saved them from elimination. Cundiff’s “Save Tribe Swimming” video was a big part of launching that effort.

When one of the two (or in the case of the women’s 50 free, three) swimmers chooses not to accept the invite to Wave II, they are not replaced by the next best Wave I finisher.

Wave II qualifiers faced many logistical challenges. On top of having to carry their tapers forward for two weeks, they would have to make plans, and pay for, the period between the two meets, and find last minute travel and lodging in Omaha – which became substantially more expensive once teams for the College Baseball World Series were announced.

Wave I to Wave II Qualifiers

Lifelong Los Lunas resident Savanna Lewis received her appointment to play women’s basketball at the U.S. Naval Academy last month after playing in high school at Hope Christian.

“It was God who did all this,” Lewis said about her appointment. “I would have never thought all this would have happened, but, if God wants you somewhere, it’s going to happen. The whole thing is just a God thing, you know?”

Lewis said prior to the appointment, she had never considered enlisting in the military, but now considers it an option for her future “if everything goes well.”

“There’s no telling. There’s no way I’ll be able to tell if I’ll like it or not, but that’s what’s so cool about it. If I don’t end up liking it, I’m not committed until my junior year,” Lewis said.

She said she is excited to move to Annapolis, Md. and experience all that the Naval Academy has to offer, including travel and other opportunities not included in a traditional college experience.

“Everything about it is new to me, so just getting to experience that,” Lewis said. “The basketball of course, being on the East Coast — it’s just a cool opportunity. You get to go on ships, there is just so much you get to do.”

However, Lewis said out of everything, she is most excited to have the opportunity to serve her country.

Lewis began playing both basketball and soccer at a young age and joined the girls basketball team at Hope Christian during her eighth grade year.

“It’s been a crazy few years. We’ve had some different coaching changes and girls moving in and out of the program, but it’s been good,” Lewis said. “We got to play in The Pit my sophomore year. That’s probably the coolest thing I’d say I got to do.”

Lewis was also named to the girls All-State first team for 4A this year.

She said she caught the eye of the Navy coach, at that time Stefanie Pemper, after her club coach tipped them off that Lewis was a player to watch out for.

“All the coaches ended up watching me that summer. When they asked me to go and visit last fall, I went out there,” Lewis said. “I thought it was a nice little visit. I didn’t really think anything of it.”

She said after the visit, she began to learn about what the academy had to offer and considered it as a serious option for her future. However, shortly after her trip, Navy announced Pemper had been let go from the program, putting her chances at the school in jeopardy.

“I did a lot of praying because I had a lot of other schools looking at me,” Lewis said, adding that other options included Eastern Mexico where her sister is playing. “But, this is the one that stood out to me a lot.”

Luckily, after Tim Taylor was hired as the next head coach at the Naval Academy, he reviewed her

Happy Friday and welcome to Overnight Defense. I’m Rebecca Kheel, and here’s your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter.

THE TOPLINE: Former Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite was in the job for just eight months during the Trump administration, but reportedly spent about $2.4 million on air travel for 22 trips.

USA TODAY reported that Braithwaite, who was sworn in last May and resigned when President BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won’t run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE took office on January 21, traveled to more foreign and domestic locations than any other senior Pentagon civilian amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

By comparison: Other service secretaries took fewer trips in the same period, with then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthyRyan McCarthyArmy report confirms Vanessa Guillén was sexually harassed before her death Pence pleaded with military officials to ‘clear the Capitol’ on Jan. 6: AP Alarming threat prompts early exit, underscoring security fears MORE embarking on 17 trips that cost roughly $900,000 and then-Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett traveling to 19 destinations for a total $1.6 million, according to spokespeople from each service.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark MilleyMark MilleyOvernight Defense: US may keep training Afghan forces in other countries | Defense chief tight-lipped on sexual assault decision | ‘Swift’ return to Iran deal possible, US says US adds 12 fighter jets to protect Afghanistan withdrawal McConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by ‘the end of the year’ MORE, meanwhile, took four trips in that time frame, and then-Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperCourt declines to dismiss Amazon challenge against JEDI decision Inspector general chose not to investigate Secret Service in clearing of Lafayette Square: report The paradox of US-India relations MORE and his successor, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, took a combined 15 trips.

Where did he go?: Among Braithwaite’s trips was a $232,000 excursion in January to the South Pacific’s Wake Island to record a farewell message to the Navy and Marine Corps.

The island is essentially a refueling stop and emergency landing strip thousands of miles from Hawaii where no sailors or Marines are stationed, Navy spokesman Capt. Jereal Dorsey told the outlet.

Braithwaite also flew to Norway, Italy, Greece, Japan and India, as well as several trips to Hawaii and a more than $24,000 flight to attend the Army-Navy football game with his family.

Braithwaite’s response: Braithwaite defended his travels in a statement to USA Today, claiming they were necessary to strengthen the Navy after recent crises, likely alluding to the scandal surrounding the coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier.

“I am extremely proud of the record of accomplishments of Our Sailors and Marines during my tenure as Secretary, especially following such a tumultuous chapter in the Navy’s recent history of crisis following crisis as compared to our other

ANNAPOLIS, Md. –– The Navy men’s tennis team will travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., this week to face Oklahoma State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.  The Mids (9-0) and the Cowboys (9-11) will play Saturday at 10 a.m.

The Mids, who are essentially the No. 3 seed in the North Carolina Regional, earned their berth into the event by winning the Patriot League Tournament for a league-high 13th time.

Oklahoma State earned an at-large berth into the 64-team field.  The Cowboys, who would be considered the No. 2 seed in the region, lost in the semifinal round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament to a Texas team that earned the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Navy is making its Patriot League-best 10th appearance in the NCAA Tournament since the current format was instituted with the 1999 edition of the event.  The Mids are making their third-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament (the 2020 event was canceled) and fourth in six opportunities under head coach Chris Garner.

Oklahoma State is appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the seventh consecutive time (2014-21) and the 15th time since 2001.  The Cowboys most recently lost in the first round in 2018, in the second round in 2014, ’15, ’17 and ’19 and in the Round of 16 in 2016.

This is the first time Navy will not be playing either a nationally-ranked team or a regional host in its first-round match.

Saturday’s match will be the first between the Mids and the Cowboys.  It also will mark the second time in which Navy will play at Chapel Hill in the NCAA Tournament.  The Mids lost to the Tar Heels in 2019 in the only other trip to the school.

Navy and Oklahoma State comprise half of the four-team regional being hosted by North Carolina.  The Tar Heels, who earned the overall No. 6 seed in the tournament, will play host to Presbyterian Saturday at 1 p.m. in the additional first-round match at the site.  The winners of the two first-round matches will play in Sunday’s second round at 1 p.m.

 

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Competing for the second time this 2021 season, the Navy women’s rowing team put together a strong effort on Saturday with a three-race sweep of George Washington. Racing on their home Severn River for the first time since April 6, 2019, the Mids (2-0) defeated the Colonials (1-3) in the first and second varsity eight events by six-plus seconds before going one-two-three in the varsity four competition.

“Today we were very fortunate to be able to run a home race against George Washington,” remarked head coach Joe Schlosberg. “One of the biggest things we lost over the past year was the opportunity to gain race experience so each time we line up, we learn more about ourselves and how to race.”

The action began with the top varsity eight crews going head-to-head. Competitive during the early portion of the race, Navy started pulling away in the middle 1,000 meters. The Mids were comfortably ahead when the teams hit the seawall and they found that next gear down the stretch to earn a 6.05-second victory over the Colonials, 6:52.54 to 6:58.59.

“We were able to push our bow ahead of GW and build out to a four-seat lead early on,” said Schlosberg when recapping the V8 race. “By the 1,000-meter mark, we pushed out to an open water lead, but were just not as aggressive as I would have liked. However during the final stretch along the seawall, we were able to find the aggression and speed that we have and were able to close strong.”

In the second varsity eight contest, Navy had a pair of boats entered alongside George Washington’s 2V. The visitors broke out to an early lead over Navy’s second and third varsity crews before the Mids’ 2V began its comeback. Once Navy’s second varsity boat got moving it couldn’t be stopped as the Mids turned in a dominant home stretch and won by 8.21 seconds, 7:03.63 to 7:11.84. Navy’s 3V challenged George Washington and came in less than four seconds off the Colonials’ mark with a time of 7:15.74.

“GW jumped out on us at the start of the 2V,” remarked Schlosberg. “The boat remained calm and steadily worked their way, inch-by-inch back into and then through the GW boat. The Navy 3V, also in the race, locked themselves just off the GW stern and would not let go. When the 2V hit the seawall, this boat found another gear and broke open water on GW and kept opening. The 3V never relented and put together a great race as well.”

A quartet of varsity four boats concluded the day of racing on the Severn on Saturday morning. In a showing of Navy’s depth and quality throughout its ranks, the Mids had three crews all clock in ahead of the Colonials’ top four-person crew. Navy’s team in the “Venom” shell found itself battling with “Viper” for most of the 2,000 meters as Venom won by less than

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Navy (10-5, 5-5 Patriot League) is back in Patriot League action on Saturday and Sunday against Bucknell (6-15, 6-11 Patriot League) in a three-game series. The Midshipmen host the doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. from Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium. The Bison host the series finale on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Lewisburg, Pa.
 
Following the guidelines set by state and local government officials, Navy will allow limited attendance at its home baseball games this spring. Spectators will be required to wear a mask throughout the contests and maintain social distancing. No visiting fans are permitted at Sunday’s game hosted by Bucknell.
 
After dropping a doubleheader last Saturday at Lafayette, the Midshipmen bounced back on Sunday and swept the doubleheader at home to split the weekend series. Navy’s two wins on Sunday pushed its home record to 8-1 this season and the Midshipmen have won 18 of their last 19 home games.
 
Navy’s offense sparked it to the two wins last weekend as the Midshipmen hit .344 against the Leopards. Overall, Navy is hitting .302 for the year to lead the Patriot League and rank 14th in the nation in batting average. The Midshipmen also rank eighth in the country with a .419 on-base percentage to go along with a .445 slugging percentage. As a team, Navy has racked up 140 hits with 44 going for extra bases.
 
Logan Keller has spearheaded Navy’s offense with a .371 batting average to lead all Patriot League hitters. The freshman also has 19 RBIs, 23 hits and a .548 slugging percentage, which all rank in the top five in the Patriot League. Zach Stevens is just behind Keller with a .345 average and 14 RBIs, but the junior has a team-leading .552 slugging percentage – second in the Patriot League – behind seven extra-base hits while also being tied for the team lead with 14 runs scored.
 
The Navy pitching staff struggled last week against Lafayette allowing 33 runs over the four games where the Midshipmen issued 15 walks and hit 10 batters. Through the first 15 games of the season, Navy has a 5.88 ERA and is allowing the opposition to hit .262 for the year. Jared Leins has a team-low 2.70 ERA in three appearances and 6-2/3 innings. Charlie Connolly has logged the most innings for the Midshipmen with 24 and he leads the way with 36 strikeouts along with a 4.13 ERA. Connolly has a league-leading 13.50 strikeouts per nine innings mark and he is tied for second in wins with three.
 
Bucknell snapped a seven-game losing streak this past Monday with an 8-2 win over Lehigh and the Bison are now 6-15 on the season and 6-11 in the Patriot League. Bucknell has a .239 team average with Peter Marren leading the way with a .329 batting average behind 25 hits to rank fourth in the Patriot League. Eunsang Yu has a team-leading 13 RBIs

This Week In Navy Varsity Sports
Overall Record:  97-56-2 (.632)
 
Baseball (10-5, 5-5 in the Patriot League)
Last Week: Defeated Towson, 13-4; lost to Lafayette, 8-6; lost to Lafayette, 13-12; defeated Lafayette, 8-4; defeated Lafayette, 10-8
This Week: Bucknell-DH (Saturday, 1:00 PM and 3:30 PM, Max Bishop Stadium, free live statistics on navysports.com)-Fans Allowed; at Bucknell (Sunday, 1:00 PM, Lewisburg, Pa., live video on ESPN+, free live statistics on navysports.com)-No visiting fans
 
Men’s Golf (3-1)
Last Week: Defeated George Washington 2.5-0.5; lost to Howard 2-1; defeated Richmond 5-4
This Week: Army-Star Match (Saturday-Sunday, 9:00 AM both days, West Point Golf Couse)-Only those that live on base can attend
 
Women’s Golf (1-0)
Last Week: Defeated Mount St. Mary’s, 616-717
This Week: Idle
 
#9 Gymnastics (3-3)
Last Week: Idle
This Week: at the NCAA Championship-Qualifying Meet (Friday, 2:00 PM, Minneapolis, Minn., live video on Big Ten Network +, live results on navysports.com); at NCAA Championship (Saturday, 8:00 PM, Minneapolis, Minn., TV: Big Ten Network, live results on navysports.com)-No tickets available
 
Men’s Lacrosse (3-2, 1-2 in the Patriot League, 1-2 in the Patriot League South)
Last Week: Lost to #8 Lehigh 13-7
This Week: at #13 Loyola (Saturday, 1:00 PM, Baltimore, Md., live video on ESPN+, free live statistics on navysports.com)-Visiting fans not allowed
 
#21 Women’s Lacrosse (4-3, 1-2 in the Patriot League, 0-2 in the Patriot League South)
Last Week: Lost to #18 Drexel, 17-8; lost to Lehigh, 12-7
This Week: at George Mason (Wednesday, 5:00 PM, Fairfax, Va., live video on ESPN+, free live stats on navysports.com)-Fans allowed; American (Saturday, 11:30 AM, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, TV-CBS Sports Network, free live stats on navysports.com)-Fans allowed
 
Heavyweight Rowing (2-0)
Last Week: Defeated Saint Joseph’s, 6:08.4-6:46.0
This Week: vs. Syracuse (Sunday, TBA, Fairfax, Va.)-No fans
 
Lightweight Rowing (2-0)
Last Week: Defeated Temple, 5:45-6:08
This Week: vs. George Washington (Sunday, TBA, Fairfax, Va.)-No fans
 
Women’s Rowing (1-0)
Last Week: Idle
This Week: George Washington (Saturday, 8:00 AM, Annapolis, Md.)-Attendance limited to those that live on the Yard
 
Intercollegiate Sailing
Last Week: Finished first, second and third out of nine teams at the Navy Fleet Race; finished first and fourth out of six teams at the Navy Team Race Meet
This Week: at the MAISA South Fleet Race (Saturday-Sunday, all day, St. Mary’s City, Md.)
 
Offshore Sailing
Last Week: Idle
This Week: NASS Lighthouse Race (Saturday, all day, Annapolis, Md.)
 
Men’s Soccer (4-1-1, 3-1-1 in the Patriot League, 2-1-1 in the Patriot League South)
Last Week: Lost to Loyola, 2-0; tied American, 1-1
This Week: Idle
 
Women’s Soccer (3-4-1, 3-1-1 in the Patriot League, 3-0-1 in the Patriot League South)
Last Week: Tied American, 1-1
This Week: Loyola in the Patriot League Semifinals (Wednesday, 6:00 PM, Annapolis, Md., live video on ESPN+, live statistics on navysports.com)-Attendance limited to those that reside on the Yard; if Navy wins they will either host Boston or travel to Colgate in the Patriot League Championship on Saturday on ESPN+, 11:00 AM in Annapolis, TBA

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Navy baseball (7-3) is back on the road to start its five-game week as the Midshipmen travel to Towson (10-17) on Wednesday afternoon for a 3 p.m. first pitch from John B. Schuerholz Park. Only spectators on a team pass list will be permitted.
 
Navy enters the weekend after dropping a three-game series against Lehigh this past weekend, where the Midshipmen won the middle game of the series, 4-3, but lost the opener and finale, 5-1 and 3-1.
 
The offense for the Midshipmen is hitting .279 for the season with Zach Stevens leading the way with a .333 average and a .500 slugging percentage. The junior is second on the team in both RBIs and runs scored at seven and eight, respectively. Logan Keller is leading the way with 11 RBIs and nine runs scored. During his freshman campaign, Keller is hitting .293 and he is also tied with Stevens with a team-leading 12 hits.
 
On the mound, Navy has a 5.27 ERA with 83 strikeouts over 80-1/3 innings to start the year. The Midshipmen compiled a 3.75 ERA during the three-game series this past weekend and limited Lehigh to just a .184 average at the plate, which lowered Navy’s opponent batting average to .252.
 
Towson brings a three-game winning streak into the week after the Tigers won the final three games of a four-game series against Delaware. Towson is hitting .219 over 27 games this year with Danny Becerra leading the way with a .274 average behind 29 hits and 20 runs scored. Billy Godrick has a team-best .387 slugging percentage with eight extra-base hits on 25 hits while Nolan Young – who is hitting .250 on the year – leads the way in RBIs with 16.
 
The Tigers’ pitching staff has allowed the opposition to hit .277 over 228-2/3 innings of work where they have compiled a 5.83 ERA. In seven starts this year, Josh Seils has a team-leading 35 strikeouts and he is one of three pitchers with two wins this spring. Kody Reese – who has made 12 appearances and one start – has a team-best 1.66 ERA in 21-2/3 innings and he has chipped with 20 strikeouts as the team has racked up 213 for the year.
 
Navy leads the all-time series against Towson, 28-10-2, and the Midshipmen have won the last three meetings. However, the last time the two programs met was during the 2017 season when Navy earned an 11-6 home win over the Tigers. Navy scored six runs in the sixth inning and four runs in the eighth inning en route to the win.
 
Following Wednesday’s matchup, Navy has a four-game series on tap against Lafayette this weekend. The Midshipmen travel to Easton, Pa., for a doubleheader on Saturday starting at noon. The series will conclude in Annapolis on Sunday with a doubleheader moving up to 1 p.m.
 

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Following a three-week pause, Navy baseball (4-0, 0-0 Patriot League) is back in action this weekend to open its 2021 Patriot League schedule against Bucknell (4-7, 4-3 Patriot League). The Midshipmen are slated to travel to Lewisburg, Pa., on Saturday for a doubleheader starting at noon. Then, Navy hosts the Bison on Sunday for the series finale at 2 p.m. from Terwilliger Brothers Field at Max Bishop Stadium.
 
No fans are allowed to attend Saturday’s doubleheader hosted by Bucknell. Following the guidelines set by state and local government officials, Navy will allow limited attendance at its home baseball games this spring. Spectators will be required to wear a mask throughout the contest and maintain social distancing.
 
Saturday is set to be the Midshipmen’s first game in 28 days following the extended pause. The Midshipmen come into the weekend with a record of 4-0 and have won their last 18 games going back to last season. Navy’s 18-game winning streak is currently the longest winning streak in the nation and the longest streak in program history since the 1960-61 seasons.
 
This year, Navy won its first two games of the campaign against Coppin State, 7-2 and 16-11, and then the Midshipmen swept a doubleheader against George Mason, 7-3 and 3-2, before the break.
 
Joe Simourian has paced the Navy offense to start the year with a .429 batting average along with a .857 slugging percentage and a .579 on-base percentage, all of which lead the team. He has all three of the team’s triples and ranks second in the country in the category. As a team, Navy is hitting .270 overall with a .385 slugging percentage behind 11 extra-base hits. The Midshipmen are also reaching base at a .416 clip. Simourian, Logan Keller and Colin Smith lead the team with five RBIs apiece with Zach Stevens tallying a team-best six runs through the first four games this season.
 
On the mound, Navy has a 4.24 team ERA with Tommy Goodridge and Trey Braithwaite tossing at least four innings each without allowing an earned run. Braithwaite has pitched just four innings out of the bullpen but has struck out nine batters and he leads the nation with a 20.25 strikeouts per nine innings mark. Goodridge has allowed opponents to hit just .115 at the plate in his eight innings of work and he holds a record of 1-0. Charlie Connolly has struck out a team-high 10 batters over eight innings and he leads the Midshipmen with a record of 2-0 in two starts.
 
Bucknell comes into the weekend with a record of 4-7 overall following a midweek loss to No. 14 Pittsburgh, 17-9. In the Patriot League, the Bison are 4-3 after winning three of four games this past weekend at home against Army.
 
Freshman Jacob Corson has paced the Bucknell offense with a .333 average in 10 starts this spring and he leads the way with 11 runs scored and is tied for second