Dover, Del. (Apr. 9, 2017) --- The Delaware State baseball team’s bid to tie for the MEAC North lead was denied by Norfolk State today. The Hornets lost a doubleheader to the Spartans this afternoon, falling 3-2 in the opener and dropping the seven-inning nightcap 6-4. A DSU sweep of the twin-bill would have resulted in a first place tie between the teams atop the MEAC North standings.
In the opener, Norfolk State starter Devin Hemmerich (6-2) frustrated the Hornets for the second time this season. Hemmerich threw eight innings, allowing two runs (one earned) while striking out nine to earn the win.
The Spartans scored single runs in the first, second and third innings off DSU starter Garrett Lawson to open up a 3-0 lead.
The Hornets got to Hemmerich for a run in the fifth inning. Devin Beverly doubled to lead off the inning and later scored on a groundout by Kwestin Smith to cut NSU’s lead to 3-1.
Delaware State moved closer with a run in the sixth on a two-out single by Austin Bentley. Ciaran Devenney, who led off the inning with a double, scored on Bentley’s hit to pull the Hornets to within a run.
The Hornets loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but Hemmerich worked out of the jam to preserve the lead for the Spartans.
Brian Beard relieved Hemmerich in the ninth. He retired the Hornets in order, striking out two, to earn the save.
Beverly, Devenney and Smith had two hits each in the opener for DSU.
Lawson (2-4) pitched well in defeat, giving up three runs (two earned) while striking out six in seven innings.
In the nightcap, Delaware State held a 1-0 lead before Norfolk State scored four runs in the sixth inning and two in the seventh before holding off a late DSU comeback attempt.
The Hornets opened the scoring with a run in the fourth. Devenney walked and Jared Gillis singled to put runners at second and first to open the inning. Jaylen Zielecki followed with a single to score Devenney with the game’s first run. The Hornets again had runners at first and second, but Norfolk State turned a double play to help prevent further Delaware State damage in the inning.
The Spartans were still down 1-0 before scoring four runs in the sixth to take control of the game. The rally started after there were two outs and the bases empty. Alex Mauricio, Roger Hall, Stephan Baughan and Justin Burrell had run scoring hits in the inning for NSU. Delaware State was also plagued by two throwing errors in the inning.
Tony Leite smacked a two-run homer in the seventh to give the Spartans a 6-1.
Delaware State scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh, two crossing the plate on a double by Devenney, to pull to within 6-4. The Hornets had the potential tying run at the plate in the seventh, but Jaylen Zielecki flied out to center to end the game.
Gillis had three hits in four at bats, while Darnel Maisonet was 2-for-4 for DSU in game two.
Norfolk State starter Jonathan Mauricio pitched six innings to earn the win, while DSU reliever Hunter McVey was tagged with the loss.
The doubleheader loss drops Delaware State 5-7 in the MEAC (9-17 overall), while MEAC North leader Norfolk State improved to 9-3 in the division and 14-14 overall.
The Hornets are on the road for their next eight games, beginning with a visit to Towson on Wed. (Apr. 12). Game time is 3:30 p.m. in Towson, Md.