Eagles Showcase Pitching And Power In Doubleheader Split With DSU

The North Carolina Central University baseball program got a strong start from Shawn Runey (Daniel Island, S.C.) in the first game of the day for a 9-3 victory, but Delaware State held off a late rally from the Eagles in the second contest to win 3-2, and split the doubleheader on Saturday, April 17 at Soldier Field in Dover, Delaware.

GAME ONE:  NCCU (13-13, 5-6 MEAC) was kept off the board until the third frame when Justin Bowers (Yorktown, Va.) brought home a run on a grounder, and that started a string of nine unanswered runs.

The Eagles then hit two home runs in back-to-back innings in the fourth and fifth that was started by a solo homer from Luis DeLeon (Providence, R.I.), and followed with a two-run blast by Jacob Raby (Granite Falls, N.C.).  NCCU then put the game out of reach with five runs in the top of the seventh to go ahead, 9-0.

Runey gave up a double to the first batter he faced in the contest, and then wasn’t reached again until the bottom of the seventh as DSU (11-13, 9-5 MEAC) broke up his bid to throw the first one-hitter at NCCU since 2007.  Runey also fanned a new career-high seven batters during the outing, and retired 18 consecutive batters.

The Hornets used that renewed confidence to put three runs on the board during their final turn at bat, all coming on a three-run home run by Cole Garey (Felton, Del.) to send the game to its final score of 9-3.

Kokko Figueiredo (Fortuna, Calif.) went 3-for-4 from the leadoff spot with one RBI, and both Raby and Kobe Phillips (Charlotte, N.C.) had two hits.

GAME TWO:  DSU put the first number on the board in the bottom of the first after a sacrifice fly to take a 1-0 lead, but Chet Sikes (Trinity, N.C.) immediately equalized the game with his first career home run in the top of the second to knot the game at 1-1.

The Hornets moved back ahead, 2-1, after a wild pitch allowed a runner to score in the bottom of the third, and then picked up a third run on an RBI single from Trey Paige (Reading, Pa.) in the bottom of the fifth to push the advantage to 3-1.

NCCU was able to bring the go-ahead run to the plate in both the sixth and seventh innings, and pushed the tying run to third in the final frame after an RBI double by DeLeon.  However, the Eagles’ rally would be cut short as DSU took the second contest, 3-2.

NCCU hit three total home runs during the doubleheader, and have now hit 10 home runs in its last eight games.

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