Stephen Baughan’s 4-4 Day, Devin Hemmerich’s Latest Feat Lift Norfolk State Past N.C. A&T In MEAC Opener

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Norfolk State Sports Information

 

SALISBURY, Md. – Stephen Baughan matched his career high with four hits, including a trio of doubles, and Devin Hemmerich won his school-record 24th career game in Norfolk State’s 5-4 MEAC tournament-opening win over North Carolina A&T on Thursday at Arthur Perdue Stadium.

With the win, the Spartans (25-20) advance to tomorrow morning’s 9 a.m. game against Bethune-Cookman, which was a 6-5 winner over Florida A&M earlier Wednesday. The winner will advance to Saturday’s championship round. Friday’s schedule has been moved up three hours due to the threat of inclement weather.

Hemmerich (10-2) allowed seven hits and four runs over seven innings while striking out seven Aggies (27-24). He broke a tie with former teammate Matt Outman and J.R. Wilkerson (1987-90) atop the school’s career wins list. In addition, Hemmerich tied Luke Foss (2007) for the most wins in a season in school history and also surpassed Chris Horne (100 in 2013) for the most innings pitched in a season in school annals with his performance on Friday. Hemmerich is now at 105.1 innings pitched this season.

Things didn’t start auspiciously for Hemmerich, however. N.C. A&T struck first in the top of the second inning. Dawnoven Smith worked a two-out walk before Kyle Clary hit a two-run homer to left to give the Aggies a 2-0 lead.

But the Spartan bats connected often in the second and third innings off Aggie starter Marcello Betances. Baughan’s RBI double to the gap in right-center scored Justin Burrell with the Spartans’ first run in the bottom of the second. Ismael Herrera‘s RBI groundout scored Baughan and tied the game before Johnny Mayer‘s run-scoring single plated Andre’ Moore with the go-ahead run.

Burrell and Baughan hit consecutive extra-base hits to nearly the same spot in deep center in the third. Burrell’s triple chased home Roger Hall, who had singled in the previous at-bat. Baughan then blasted his second double in as many innings to stretch the NSU lead to 5-2.

The Aggies cut their deficit to 5-4 in the seventh thanks to a pair of two-out RBI hits, a triple by Myles Sowell and a single by Brandon Melendez. But Hemmerich struck out Milton Rivera to end the threat.

Chase Anderson did the rest of the work on the mound for NSU. He pitched two scoreless innings of relief to pick up his first save of the season. Anderson did not allow a hit and struck out three.

Moore went 3-for-4 with two stolen bases. Burrell, Mayer and Tony Leite added two hits each for the Spartans, who out-hit N.C. A&T 14-7. Baughan – whose previous four-hit game also came against the Aggies, in an April 19 game – had two RBI to lead NSU.

Clary went 3-for-4 and was the only Aggie with more than one hit.

Betances took the loss for the Aggies, allowing nine hits and five runs in three innings.

Friday’s win was NSU’s 25th victory of the season, the program’s third straight season with at least that many.

 

 

 

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