Norfolk, Va. (May 18, 2012) --- Top-seeded Delaware State suffered a major blow in its bid for the school's first MEAC Tournament championship since 1989. The Hornets fell to UMES 7-6 in a wild second round contest at Marty Miller Field this afternoon. DSU will face North Carolina Central in an elimination contest this evening.
Delaware State led 5-2 before the Hawks scored four runs in the seventh inning to take a 6-5 lead. After the Hornets tied the game with a run in the last of the seventh, UMES scored the winning run on a two-out triple by Stephen Bull in the top of the ninth.
DSU had the potential tying run in scoring position when the game ended on a disputed force out at second base.
The Hawks opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first inning off DSU starter Matt McClain. UMES put its first two batters on base when Tre-von Johnson singled in the game's first run. The Hawks had runners on first and third when James Newsome hit a fly ball to left field. Delaware State left fielder Aaron Nardone bobbled the ball before making the catch. Nardone threw the ball back into the infield after the catch; and the umpires ruled that the UMES runners at first and third left early, resulting in a triple play for the Hornets to end the inning.
Delaware State answered with two runs in the bottom of the first inning to take the lead. Leader off hitter Troy Drummond hit the first pitch from UMES starter Jesus Hernandez after the fence in left field to tie the game at 1-1.
After an out, Cameron Cecil was hit by a pitch. He advanced to third on a wild pickoff attempt and scored on a ground out by Ryan Haas to give the Hornets a 2-1 lead.
UMES scored a run in the top of the fourth on a single by James Newsome to tie the game at 2-2.
Delaware State responded with three runs in the bottom of the fourth to regain the lead. Scott Davis singled in two runs and Cecil had a run-scoring single in the inning to give the Hornets a 5-2 lead.
The score held up until UMES stormed back with four runs in the seventh. Jeff Fleetwood had a two-run double to pull the Hawks to within 5-4. Bull knocked in the tying run on an infield single and Byron Campbell had a two-out double off Hornet reliever Tommy Dill to give the UMES a 6-5 lead.
DSU tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Eddie Sorondo.
The score was 6-6 when the Hornets loaded the bases on UMES reliever Zach Saca with two outs in the eighth inning. Saca got out of the jam by striking out Davis on a 1-2 pitch.
The Hawks scored the go-ahead run in the ninth off Hornet reliever Elliott Gardner. Fleetwood started the rally when he reached base on a wild pitch after striking out swinging to lead off the inning. There were two outs when Bull tripled over the head of Nardone in left field to score Fleetwood with the go-ahead run.
In the Delaware State ninth, Haas drew a one-out walk. After the second out, JP Frey was walked to put runners at first and second. Nardone then hit a grounder that was fielded by UMES shortstop Joshua James, who threw to second base for the force out on a close play to end the game.
UMES outhit the Hornets 12-to-7.
Delaware State won seven of the nine regular season meetings between the teams.
If the Hornets defeat NC Central Friday evening, they would play another elimination contest on Saturday afternoon.