Norfolk State Spartans Run Win Streak to Five, Take Two From UMES




Norfolk State Sports Information


SALISBURY, Md. – The Norfolk State baseball team ran its win streak to five in a row and swept a Saturday doubleheader for the third consecutive week, taking a pair of MEAC Northern Division games from host Maryland Eastern Shore by scores of 6-5 and 4-2 Saturday at Perdue Stadium.

Freshman first baseman Aaron Robinsonspearheaded a 13-hit attack in game one with a career-high four hits before fellow rookie Joey Santos struck out the game’s final batter with the tying run on base. In game two, Jonathan Mahoney pitched a seven-inning complete game for the second week in a row and was backed by two hits and two RBIs by freshman Alsander Womackas the Spartans (7-13, 5-0 MEAC North) completed the doubleheader sweep of the Hawks (2-20, 1-4).

Game 1: NSU 6, MDES 5
The Spartans never trailed, but had to keep the hosts at bay in the later innings. NSU wasted little time in taking a 1-0 lead in the first, as junior outfielder Justin Hayes led off the game with a double, and after Womack singled, Robinson’s sacrifice fly plated Hayes.

Both teams scored a run in fourth before the Spartans added three more in the fifth. Robinson got the fifth-inning rally started with a triple to right center. He scored on Justin Burrell‘s RBI single. Ismael Herrera‘s squeeze bunt scored Tony Leite, who was hit by a pitch earlier in the frame, before Burrell scored on a two-out error to put NSU ahead 5-1.

Joey Nicastro and Jamison Trower hit RBI fielder’s choices in the bottom of the fifth to cut NSU’s lead in half. An RBI single by Dominic DeBlaise, who was 4-for-4, brought the Hawks within 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth.

But NSU got some much-needed breathing room in the top of the ninth. Robinson led off with a double and scored on Leite’s RBI base hit for a 6-4 Spartan advantage.

The Hawks threatened in the bottom of the ninth. NSU reliever Seth Hockett walked Tyler Friis to lead off the inning before giving way to Santos. The lefty hit Dillon Oxyer with a pitch, then walked Nicastro to load the bases with no outs. But Santos pitched his way out of it, allowing a run to score when he induced Trower to hit into a double play. Santos then froze Avery Tunnell with the tying run on third to end the game.

Right hander Chase Anderson (3-2) won for the third straight start. He pitched seven innings and allowed five hits and three runs. He walked six and struck out five. Santos earned his second save of the year.

Robinson was a perfect 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Hayes, Leite and Burrell each added two hits.

Game 2: NSU 4, MDES 2
The Spartans scored one run in each of the first four innings and held on behind Mahoney (3-3), who allowed just six hits and two runs and struck out four without allowing a walk to win his third straight start. Hayes was again a catalyst, walking to lead off the game, stealing second and scoring on Womack’s RBI double to give the Spartans the early 1-0 lead.

Burrell reached on an error in the second and scored on an RBI groundout by catcher Toby Buchanan. In the third, Hayes was at it again. He led off with an infield single, stole second and took third on a Hawk overthrow. Womack’s single to right plated Hayes for a 3-0 NSU lead.

Leite led off the fourth with a single and also stole second before taking third on another error by the Hawks’ catcher. Leite scored on a wild pitch to increase the Spartans’ edge to 4-0.

DeBlaise’s infield hit and Jessey Valdez’s RBI double brought the Hawks within 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth. But Mahoney retired nine of the final 10 batters he faced to finish out the Spartans’ seventh win in their last nine games.

Womack was 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the nightcap and finished the day 3-for-8. Hayes went 1-for-2 with two runs scored in the nightcap, and finished the day 3-for-6 with three runs scored and three stolen bases. Robinson went 4-for-7 in the doubleheader, and Burrell and Leite also totaled three hits on the day.

The teams play the series finale at noon on Sunday.

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