Norfolk, Va. (Mar. 20, 2017) --- Sean McGrath threw six solid innings for his first win of the season to lead Delaware State to a 3-1 victory over Norfolk State in the second game of a doubleheader at Marty Miller Field today. The Spartans won the opener 3-1. The Hornets took two of the three games in the first MEAC North series of the season for both teams.
McGrath allowed five hits and one run, while striking out a season-high five and walking one to improve to 1-1 . The performance lowered his earned run average to 3.32 this season.
Delaware State opened the scoring with two runs in the top of the third inning. Devin Beverly singled to lead off the inning and advanced to second to on a sacrifice bunt by Tommy Jordan. After Beverly moved to third on a single by Kwestin Smith, he came home on a bunt by Even Regez to give the Hornets a 1-0 lead. Smith, who advanced to second on the Regez bunt and to third on an infield single by Darnel Maisonet, crossed the plate with DSU’s second run of the game on a single to left by Ciaran Devenney.
McGrath was breezing along with the 2-0 lead until running into trouble in the sixth. The Spartans cut the Hornets’ lead to 2-1 on a two-out single by Justin Burrell in the inning. Norfolk State’s Roger Hall attempted to go from first to third on the Burrell hit, but was thrown out on the play for the final out of the inning.
Delaware State added an insurance run in the seventh when Jordan scored from second base on a two-out error by the Spartans.
Darien Ragins relieved McGrath in the Norfolk State seventh. He retired the Spartans in order on two grounders and a fly out for his second save of the series and the season. Ragins was one of the heroes of the Delaware State’s 5-4 win in the series opener on Sunday, striking out the side with runners at second and third in the bottom of the ninth inning. The performance earned him MEAC Co-Pitcher of the Week honors, the league announced today.
The Hornets outhit the Spartans 9-5 in the nightcap. DSU’s Jared Gillis was 2-for-2 at the plate, while Devenney had two hits in four at bats in the game.
In the opener, Norfolk State’s Devin Hemmerich, a preseason All-MEAC Second Team selection, struck out 10 Hornets in a complete game four-hitter.
The Spartans led 1-0 when the Hornets finally got to Hemmerich in the sixth. Jordan doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a single up the middle by Smith to tie the game.
Norfolk State regained the lead with two runs off Hornet reliever Travis Dill in the eighth. The go-ahead run scored on a one-out double by Tony Leite.
Dill (1-2) allowed four hits and two runs, one earned, in 1.2 innings to suffer the game one loss. Freshman Garrett Lawson was impressive in his first MEAC start for the Hornets. Lawson threw 6.1 innings, giving up one run on five hits. He struck out three and walked two.
Delaware State (5-9) is home for its next five games, beginning with a visit from La Salle on Tues. (Mar. 21). Game time is 3:00 p.m. at Soldier Field. The Hornets will also host Navy on Wed. (Mar. 22 @ 3:00 p.m.) and Coppin State for a three-game series (Mar. 25-26) during the homestand.