Norfolk State Sports Information
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Bethune-Cookman scored seven runs in the fifth inning to break open a tie game en route to a 12-3 win over Norfolk State in an elimination game of the 2018 MEAC Baseball Tournament on Friday morning at Sliwa Stadium.
The loss ends the season for the Spartans at 19-30, while the Wildcats (22-33) advance to face Florida A&M in another elimination game later on Friday.
Kyle Corbin was 4-for-5 with three RBIs for B-CU, which lost 8-7 to NSU earlier in the tournament before ultimately eliminating the Spartans for the third straight year. B-CU topped NSU in the last two MEAC tournament championship rounds (2016, 2017).
The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the first on a Danny Rodriguez RBI double. The Spartans tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth on a two-out RBI single by outfielder Khie Simms.
But B-CU took advantage of seven singles, two walks and a pair of NSU errors to break the game open in the top of the fifth. Adonis Lao hit the go-ahead RBI single and later scored on a failed pickoff throw. Jordan Stacy, Chase DeBonis and Corbin added run-scoring singles in the frame, which saw 13 Wildcats bat.
B-CU tacked on four more in the ninth to account for its final runs.
Despite the loss, NSU sophomore Stephen Baughan doubled and hit his third home run of the tournament, a solo shot in the fifth and his Division I NSU single-season record ninth of the year. The nine homers are the most by any Spartan since Reggie Terry hit 16 in 1995, when the Spartans played in Division II. Baughan’s homer was NSU’s 26th of the season, the program’s most since also hitting 26 in 2010.
The Spartans also plated one run in the bottom of the ninth on Simms’ second RBI single of the day, which scored Syeed Mahdi. Mahdi had tripled earlier in the frame.
Making his second appearance of the tournament, NSU right hander Jonathan Mahoney(7-5) took the loss. Mahoney, who earned the win over the Wildcats in relief earlier in the week, allowed five earned runs in 4.1 innings.
Alexis Herrera (3-5) pitched all nine innings for the Wildcats, allowing nine hits and three runs while striking out four.
Baughan, Simms and Justin Hayes all finished 2-for-4 for the Spartans.