Daytona Beach, Fla. (May 20, 2011) --- Elliot Gardner tossed a four-hit complete game and Ryan Haas drove in the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning to lead Delaware State to a 3-2 MEAC Tournament win over North Carolina A&T in an elimination game at Jackie Robinson Park today.
The second-seeded Hornets (26-28) will take on either Norfolk State or defending champ Bethune-Cookman in another elimination contest at 6:00 p.m.
Gardner (5-7) matched his career high with 10 strikeouts. He struck out two batters in the second, fourth and fifth innings, and fanned at least one in seven of the nine frames. The former Middletown (Del.) High School star outdueled the Aggies' Craig Erskine (2-7), who suffered the loss despite allowing just three Delaware State hits.
North Carolina A&T opened the scoring when Kelvin Freeman doubled to lead off the top of the third and later scored on a suicide squeeze bunt by Stefan Jordan.
The Hornets evened the game with a run in the bottom of the third. Jose Portela was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Peter Broehl. After a walk to Keith Hernandez, Troy Drummond reached base on a force out and advanced to second on a NCA&T error, allowing Hernandez to score.
North Carolina A&T regained the lead 2-1 on a run-scoring double by Xavier Macklin in the top of the fourth inning.
Delaware State tied the game again in the fifth on a two-out single by Drummond. The hit scored Hernandez, who walked with two outs, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
The Hornets scored the go-ahead run when Justin Allen crossed the plate on the sacrifice fly by Haas in the last of the seventh inning. Allen was pinch running for Peter Broehl, who singled to lead off the inning.
The Aggies had runners on first and third with two outs in the ninth when Gardner retired Mark Nales on a pop out to Haas at first base to end the game.