Maryland Eastern Shore Come Back, Take Two From Coppin State Eagles


UMES Hawks Celebrating in dugout



UMES Sports Infromation


HANOVER, Maryland – As the Hawks trailed 9-1 after four innings of a three-game series opener against Coppin State, Maryland Eastern Shore needed to consider two options—tough it out and fight, or concede. They chose to fight, and with 10 runs over the final innings which included an eight run ninth, The Shore was able to come from behind and win both games of today’s doubleheader over the Eagles.

After storming back to win the first game 15-12, the Hawks edged the Eagles 5-3 in the second game. Their efforts enabled them to jump over Coppin in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Northern Division standings, improving their record to 10-32 (7-13 MEAC).

“We got an all-around great team win in the first game.” Hawks coach Charlie Goens said. “Guys stepped up and did their role from pitching to pinch hitting to baserunning. It was fun to watch. We never quit! I couldn’t be more proud of how everyone played today. ”

Coppin State capped off its large early advantage with four runs in the fourth inning. From there, the Hawks made their comeback, starting with three in the fifth. After senior Jordan Martin(Atlanta, Georgia) singled home a run, junior Jamison Trower (Chesterfield, Virginia) clocked his second long ball of the season to pull the Hawks within five.

Sophomore Joey Nicastro (New Market, Maryland) hit his first collegiate home run the following inning to further chip into the Eagles’ lead.

After a scoreless seventh, Coppin State added a run to bring the lead back to five. It would be their largest lead the rest of the way.

In the eighth, two Hawk singles would prove vital as senior Jordan Wesley (Mitchellville, Maryland) delivered in the clutch with a two out, two RBI single. Coppin’s lead shrunk to 10-7, and after the Eagles scored again to drive the score back to 11-7, Maryland Eastern Shore took advantage of their last opportunity.

A pair of one-out singles set the stage for the rally. Senior Justin Somerville (New Windsor, Maryland) drove home the first run with a single, and Nicastro followed with an RBI single of his own. Junior Isaiah Chambers (Bowie, Maryland) continued the rally with another RBI that cut the deficit to one, allowing the Hawks to tie the contest at 11-11 on an error.

Now that the comeback had been completed, The Shore wasted no time capturing the lead, as junior Tyler Friis (Appleton, Wisconsin) whacked a double to score two more. A pair of additional runs would follow Friis’ hit, and the Hawks crossed home eight times in the ninth to lead 15-11. A brief Coppin rally was quickly squashed after a run to seal the Hawks victory.

With momentum securely theirs, the Hawks needed less energy to win game two. A Trower RBI single and a Nicastro sacrifice fly gave Maryland Eastern Shore a 2-0 edge early. From there, sophomore Zach Mills (Parksley, Virginia) held Coppin State at bay with a complete game performance, and the Hawks added runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings to win the contest by two runs. After making seven defensive miscues in the opener, the Hawks greatly improved their chances in the nightcap with an errorless game.

“We played good defense [in game two] behind an outstanding performance by Zach.” Goens said. “Guys also got timely hits when it was needed.”

The Hawks’ hitters were the standout stars of the day. Friis led the way with six hits in 10 trips to the plate, scoring three times and driving in three teammates. “Tyler had a tremendous day at the plate. He set the table as our leadoff hitter all day.” Goens said.

Other notable offensive performances include the round trippers by Trower and Nicastro, a four RBI day from Jordan Martin and a 3-for-7 day from sophomore Ryan Rotondo (Warwick, Rhode Island).

From the pitchers’ mound, freshmen relievers Caleb Walston (Princess Anne, Maryland), Andre Bell (Detroit, Michigan), and Bryan Liriano (Rockville, Maryland) quieted the hot hitting Eagles in game one to allow the Hawks to come back. Liriano earned the win for his efforts.

The victories also secure four straight seasons with 10 or more victories for the first time since 1992-1995 and for just the second time in school history.

A three game sweep guarantees a third place spot for the Hawks entering the final weekend of conference play. The finale takes place on Sunday at noon.

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