Celab Ward’s Bat, Kevin Alicea’s Arm Lift Norfolk State To 4th Straight Win




Norfolk State Sports Information


FARMVILLE, Va. – Outfielder Caleb Ward drove in a career-high six runs and left hander Kevin Alicea struck out 13 batters as Norfolk State ran its win streak to four games with a 10-4 win at Longwood on Tuesday.

Ward went 3-for-5 as part of 15-hit day for NSU (4-10), which posted exactly that many hits for the second straight game. Ward hit run-scoring singles in the first and third innings, a three-run double in the sixth and an RBI groundout in the eighth to finish with the most RBIs by a Spartan since Kyle Vaas had seven at North Carolina Central in 2016.

Adam Collins added a season-high three hits and Stephen Baughan hit a two-run homer for the Spartans.

Ward’s RBI single in the first scored Justin Hayes, who had also singled and stole a base. Longwood touched up Alicea for two hits and two runs to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first, but Alicea settled in from there. He did not allow another hit until the seventh inning.

The Spartan bats gave the junior pitcher plenty of support. Ward’s two-out RBI single scored Alsander Womack with the tying run in the third. Baughan then smashed his second homer of the season, a two-run shot to give NSU the lead for good, at 4-2.

Ward struck again in the sixth. A single by Seth Hockett was sandwiched by walks to Kam Holland and Alsander Womack, the latter of which was an intentional pass that loaded the bases. Ward then delivered a three-run double to clear the bases and extend NSU’s lead to 7-2.

Holland tacked on a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Womack hit an RBI single and Ward a run-scoring groundout to push the NSU advantage to 10-2 in the eighth.

Hunter Gilliam hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth for the Lancers (5-11).

Every Spartan starter had at least one hit. In addition to Ward’s big day, Collins was 3-for-4 with a stolen base. Womack went 2-for-3 with an RBI, two walks and two runs scored. Hayes also scored twice and recorded two of NSU’s five steals.

Alicea was brilliant in his third start of the season. After the rocky first inning, he set down 14 batters in a row at one stage spanning the second to seventh innings. He pitched a season-high 7.1 innings, allowed three hits and three runs, walked two and struck out 13. That’s the most strikeouts by a Spartan pitcher since Devin Hemmerich fanned 13 twice in 2017.

The Spartans open MEAC Northern Division play this weekend when they host Delaware State for a three-game series. The series gets underway with a 3 p.m. game Friday at Marty L. Miller Field.

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