Norfolk State Devin Hemmerich Just Misses No-Hitter, But Wins 8th Straight at Spartans Split with Delaware State

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Norfolk State

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Norfolk State Sports Information

 

NORFOLK, Va. – Senior left hander Devin Hemmerich wrote another chapter in his storybook senior season on Saturday, tying the school’s career wins record and coming within one strike of a no-hitter in a 5-0 shutout of Delaware State in game 1 of the teams’ doubleheader at Marty L. Miller Field.

DSU (16-21, 11-9) won the second game 4-2 in 10 innings, leaving the Spartans (22-16, 15-4 MEAC North) one win shy of clinching the conference’s regular season Northern Division title for the third straight season.

Hemmerich won his eighth straight decision and did not allow a hit until DSU two-hole hitter Evan Regez lined an 0-2 fastball through the hole between shortstop and third base with two outs in the top of the ninth. Hemmerich retired Ciaran Devenney on a popout to finish his sixth complete game and second one-hit shutout of the season. He also accomplished the feat at Towson on March 12.

Hemmerich, who leads the MEAC in strikeouts, fanned just five on Saturday, matching his lowest total of the season. But he needed just 100 pitches (71 strikeouts) to get through nine innings and pick up his 23rd career victory, tying Matt Outman (2014-16) and J.R. Wilkerson (1987-90) for the most in NSU history. In his last three starts, Hemmerich has broken the school’s career strikeout record (April 14 vs. Md. Eastern Shore), single-season strikeout record (April 21 vs. Coppin State) and now tied the career wins record.

Alex Mauricio gave NSU the only run it would end up needing in the bottom of the first. Brian Beard reached on a two-out Hornet error before Mauricio doubled off the wall in right field to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead. NSU scored three times more in the fourth thanks to RBI singles by Stephen Baughan and Andre’ Moore and a bases-loaded walk drawn by Tony Leite.

Terrence Pinkston scored NSU’s final run in the seventh. Pinkston doubled, took third on a bunt single by Moore, then stole home while Moore was in a run-down between first and second bases.

Moore, Mauricio and Hall each went 2-for-4 for the Spartans, who outhit DSU 12-1.

Game 2 was a pitcher’s duel throughout between righties Sean McGrath of DSU and Chase Anderson of NSU. Neither factored into the decision, however, as the scheduled seven-inning game needed three additional frames to be decided. The Hornets recorded four consecutive two-out hits to push across three runs in the top of the 10th, and a promising Spartan rally fell short in the bottom of the 10th.

Neither team posted its first hit till the fourth, when DSU’s Kwestin Smith singled. The Hornets pushed across a run in the fifth on a two-out RBI single by Tyler Collins, but the Spartans answered right back in the bottom of the fifth. Justin Burrell reached on an error, took second on a wild pitch and went to third on a flyout. Catcher Ismael Herrera‘s well-place bunt down the third-base line accounted for both NSU’s first hit and run of the game, knotting the score at 1-all.

The score remained that way until the 10th. Collins singled with two outs and pinch runner Rich Rountree scored on a single by Tommy Jordan for the go-ahead run. Smith and Jacob Bartlett added RBI singles to push the Hornets’ lead to 4-1.

DSU ended up needing those insurance runs. NSU outfielder Troy White doubled to lead off the 10th and scored on an RBI single by Beard. Hall walked to put the tying run on base, but DSU closer Darien Ragins retired the final two Spartans to earn the save.

Hornet reliever Travis Dill (2-5) pitched 2.1 scoreless innings to get the win. Ragins collected his eighth save of the year. McGrath allowed just two hits and one unearned run in 6.2 innings of work.

Jonathan Mauricio (3-3) took the loss, allowing three runs in three innings out of the bullpen. Anderson fanned nine batters, one shy of matching his career high. He allowed just four hits and one run in seven innings pitched.

Herrera went 2-for-4 for the Spartans in the nightcap. Smith and Collins had two hits each for DSU.

The teams conclude their series with game 3 on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for noon.

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