SALISBURY, Md., — Bethune-Cookman won the 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) baseball championship on Saturday afternoon at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium, thanks to an 11-1 seven-inning win over Norfolk State in a match-up of top seeds.
Bethune-Cookman won its second straight title and its third in the last four years. The Wildcats have 18 titles overall.
“This never gets old,” head coach Jason Beverlin, the tournament’s Outstanding Coach, said. “Just to see the joy on [the players’] faces, that’s what makes moments like this so special.”
The Wildcats (33-23) receive the MEAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Baseball Championship; the Selection Show will air on ESPNU on Monday, May 29 at 12 p.m.
Even though the Spartans (26-22) struck first on an Alex Mauricio sac fly in the top of the first, Bethune-Cookman responded by pushing across three runs in the bottom of the frame. After Demetrius Sims led off the inning with a single and Adonis Lao walked, Jameel Edney tied the game at 1-1 with an RBI single.
Danny Rodriguez, the tournament’s Outstanding Performer, then followed with a two-run single up the middle to put the Wildcats on top 3-1.
Chase DeBonis led off the second inning with a double down the left field line, which kicked off a four-run frame for the Wildcats. Sims then doubled him home, growing the lead to 4-1, before advancing to third on a Lao single and then scoring on a wild pitch.
Edney then singled home another run, before an Austin Garcia double brought him home and gave B-CU a 7-1 lead.
RBI singles from Sims and Lao in the third put the Wildcats up 9-1.
B-CU then scored twice in the bottom of the sixth; the first run came courtesy of Edney, who swiped home on a double steal, before Nate Sterijevski singled home Kyle Corbin to bring the game to its final margin.
Sims went 3-for-4 in the championship game with a pair of RBIs, while Edney was 2-for-3 and Rodriguez went 2-for-4. Both of those players also drove in two runs.
Donte Lindsay struck out six in seven innings of four-hit ball to pick up his third win of the season.
Outstanding Performer: Danny Rodriguez, Bethune-Cookman
Outstanding Coach: Jason Beverlin, Bethune-Cookman
2017 MEAC Baseball All-Tournament Team
Evan Regez, Delaware State
Darnell Maisonet, Delaware State
Kyle Clary, North Carolina A&T State
Myles Sowell, North Carolina A&T State
Justin Burrell, Norfolk State
Devin Hemmerich, Norfolk State
Andre’ Moore, Norfolk State
Stephen Baughan, Norfolk State
Danny Rodriguez, Bethune-Cookman
Austin Garcia, Bethune-Cookman
Anthony Maldonado, Bethune-Cookman
Demetrius Sims, Bethune-Cookman