Norfolk State Sports Information
NORFOLK, Va. – Junior outfielder Justin Hayes had seven hits Saturday, with a career-high four including the go-ahead grand slam in the nightcap, to lead Norfolk State to a 10-2, 8-6 doubleheader sweep of Maryland Eastern Shore at Marty L. MillerField.
After five Spartans had multi-hit games in a 15-hit barrage in the opener, Hayes had a game to remember in game two for NSU (12-19, 9-5 MEAC). He was 4-for-4 with a single, a pair of doubles and his first homer as a Spartan. His fourth-inning grand slam erased a two-run Hawk lead and proved to be the difference in a back-and-forth contest.
Game 1: NSU 10, MDES 2
Hayes wasn’t the only Spartan with a four-hit game on Saturday. Junior outfielder Syeed Mahdi had a career-high four hits, scored twice and knocked in two to lead a balanced effort in the opener. Hayes went 3-for-5 with three steals and two runs scored, Stephen Baughan also went 3-for-5, while Alsander Womack and Johnny Mayer had two hits apiece.
NSU jumped ahead early as Baughan and Mahdi each hit run-scoring singles in the first. But the big blow was a six-run third which included a three-run triple by shortstop Mikey Delgado. Hayes and Womack also had RBI singles to give NSU an 8-0 lead.
That was more than enough for starter Chase Anderson, (5-3), who picked up his second win in as many games. After earning the win in relief Wednesday at N.C. Central, Anderson went all nine innings for his first complete game of the year against MDES (7-28, 4-10). He scattered nine hits and two runs and struck out six.
Mahdi added another RBI single and Ismael Herrera a sacrifice fly in the eighth for the Spartans, who stole a season-high six bases in the game.
Jordan Turner (0-2) took the loss for the Hawks, allowing eight runs in 2.1 innings.
Game 2: NSU 8, MDES 6
In a taut nightcap, the two teams scored all their runs in the exact same four innings. But each time the Hawks scored, NSU had an answer. MDES scored twice in the first on RBIs by Joey Nicastro and Dwayne Marshall. But Hayes singled and scored on Womack’s RBI single in in the bottom of the frame, and Baughan’s RBI doubled tied the game at 2-all after one inning.
Both teams scored once in the third, MDES on Dominic DeBlaise’s RBI double before NSU again tied it in the bottom of the frame as Hayes led off with a double and later scored on Aaron Robinson‘s sacrifice fly.
The Hawks again seized momentum with two runs in the fourth. Nicastro’s RBI groundout and Marshall’s bases-loaded walk put MDES ahead, 5-3.
But the Spartans once again came right back. Tony Leite doubled to lead off the bottom of the fourth. After two straight outs, Delgado and Mayer both walked to load the bases. Hayes then crushed a 2-1 fastball from Evan Bertone over the right-field wall to push NSU back in front, 7-5. It was NSU’s first grand slam since Angelo Rosario against NJIT on Feb. 5, 2016.
Both teams pushed across one more run in the fifth. Tyler Friis hit an RBI single to bring the Hawks to within 7-6. NSU regained the two-run edge in the fifth when Robinson (2-for-2 in game two) led off with a double and scored on a two-out MDES error.
Joey Santos kept the Hawks off the scoreboard in the final two frames to help NSU hold on for the doubleheader sweep. Santos (2-2) picked up the win with 2.2 scoreless innings of relief. He did not allow a hit, struck out two and walked three.
Evan Bertone (1-5) took the loss for the Hawks, allowing eight runs, seven earned, in four innings pitched.
Hayes scored three runs and knocked in a career-high four in the nightcap. He finished the day 7-for-9 with five runs scored, five RBIs and three steals.
Baughan batted 4-for-8 on the afternoon, Mahdi went 4-for-7 and Womack was 3-for-9. All three players had two RBIs each.
Friis and Dillon Oxyer had three hits apiece on the day for MDES.
The teams are slated to play the series finale at noon Sunday.