Brian Nicolas drove in five runs as Coppin State’s baseball team defeated top-seeded Delaware State, 15-5, on Friday afternoon at Marty Miller Field. The Eagles will make just their third appearance in the MEAC Championship Game, and first since 1995 when they won their only conference title, on Saturday at 12:00 pm.
For the second-straight day, every Coppin starter had at least one base hit, and four had multi-hit efforts. The Eagles finished with 14 base knocks.
Nicolas finished 3-for-5 with five RBI, a double and three runs scored while Jordan Hamberg, Sebastien Sarabia and Corey Miley all had two hits. Mike Dorcean matched Nicolas with three runs while Marcos Castillo, Josh Hankins and Miley scored twice.
Tyler Nichol improved to 2-2 on the season with a gutsy performance, throwing 6.2 innings while giving up five runs on five hits while striking out four. After 134 pitches, Nichol was relieved by John Neeld who went the final 1.1 innings without allowing a run.
The Eagles scored in all but one inning, taking an early 1-0 lead as Hankins scored on a wild pitch after recording a one-out single earlier in the frame.
Delaware State put two across in its half of the frame before Coppin regained the lead in the second on RBI from Wellington Balsley and Hankins. After Nichol held the Hornets scoreless, Dorcean drove in Castillo with a sacrifice fly, making it a two-run game.
After the Hornets tied it up with two in the third, the Eagles erupted for five runs in the fourth and never looked back. Sarabia lined a single to left, bringing in Balsley before Dorcean drew a bases-loaded walk. Nicolas then broke the game wide open with a bases-clearing double to right field, scoring Sarabia, Castillo and Dorcean and extending the lead to 9-4.
In the fifth, Hankins drew a one-out walk before Hamberg, the MEAC Pitcher of the Year and First Team All-MEAC selection at two positions, just missed a home run. Hamberg’s shot went off the right field wall on the fly to score Hankins, and he scored on Castillo’s sacrifice fly to deep center.
Nicolas drove in another two runs in the sixth with a single, scoring Miley and Dorcean, and Hankins plated him on a groundout to shortstop.
Nichol retired seven-straight with 1-2-3 innings in the fifth and sixth and Coppin sealed the game in the eighth with another run in the eighth. Nicolas reached on a throwing error by the shortstop and was awarded second base. Matt Day followed with the same result and Nicolas was also awarded home to put the run-rule into effect.
Neeld, who had retired his only batter in the seventh, got the first two in the eighth to groundout before Day made a spectacular catch in center field to end the game.