NORFOLK, Va., — Host Norfolk State used a strong outing from Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Player of the Year Danny Hosley and balanced hitting to defeat Florida A&M 8-3 on Thursday afternoon in the 2021 MEAC Baseball Championship at Marty L. Miller Field.
The Spartans (23-26), the top seed from the Northern Division, advance to Friday’s semifinal, where they will face North Carolina Central at 12 p.m. Florida A&M falls to the elimination bracket, taking on Delaware State at 3:30 p.m.
The Rattlers got on the board right away, scoring a run in the first on a sac fly from Seyjuan Lawrence after FAMU had drawn three walks to load the bases.
Norfolk State answered with four runs in the third inning, starting with a two-run double to left from Hosley. Ty Hanchey brought Hosley in with a single and Mason Velasquez, a First Team All-MEAC selection, blasted a solo home run to right field.
Velasquez has five homers on the season.
Alsander Womack, the MEAC Preseason Player of the Year and a First Team All-MEAC honoree, doubled down the right-field line in the fourth to bring home Adam Collins and give the Spartans a 5-1 lead.
Collins had been hit by a pitch earlier in the inning and advanced all the way to third on a Raphy Rodriguez sacrifice bunt.
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Hanchey led off the fifth with a double down the right-field line, the Velasquez doubled down the left-field line, before Jacob Council brought them both home with a double to center field to give Norfolk State a 7-1 lead.
FAMU (21-33) got a run back in the top of the sixth when LJ Bryant scored on a passed ball.
Hanchey added an RBI single in the sixth, going up the middle to give the Spartans an 8-2 lead as Womack, who had drawn a walk and stole second, scampered home.
Bryant added an RBI groundout in the eighth to cut the lead to 8-3.
Womack reached base all five times, going 4-for-4 with a double, a walk, an RBI and two runs scored. Hanchey was 4-for-5 with two RBIs. Council and Hosley also drove in a pair of runs each.
Hosley also struck out nine and gave up just three hits in seven-plus innings of work to pick up his seventh win of the season.
Octavien Moyer was 2-for-4 with two runs scored for the Rattlers.