NORFOLK, Va. — The North Carolina Central University baseball program rallied in the middle innings and outscored Delaware State, 6-1 in the final four frames to take a 9-4 win, and advance to the semifinal round of the MEAC Baseball Championship for the first time in program history Thursday at Marty Miller Field.
NCCU (26-18) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first with help from a pair of RBI singles from Luis DeLeon (Providence, R.I.) and Jacob Raby (Granite Falls, N.C.), but DSU (15-27) responded with three unanswered runs to tie the game in the top of the fifth.
The Eagles were bitten by a few defensive miscues, and that allowed the Hornets to tie the game in the top of the third on two unearned runs.
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NCCU broke the deadlock in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single from Kokko Figueiredo (Fortuna, Calif.), and then he later touched home on a wild pitch to put the Eagles back ahead by two, 5-3. DSU pulled back one run in the top of the seventh on an RBI single by John Weglarz (Bear, Del.), but back-to-back strikeouts from Caleb McRoy (Raleigh, N.C.) stopped the Hornets short with two runners left stranded.
The Eagles went on to score two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings with help from a two-run homer by Kobe Phillips (Charlotte, N.C.) in the seventh inning, and a leadoff laser to left-center by Cort Maynard (Charlotte, N.C.) in the eighth. Cameron Norgren (Cary, N.C.) drove in the final run of the game for the Eagles on an RBI single in the eighth frame as well.
DSU rallied to load the bases and put the tying run on deck in the top of the ninth, but Scott Meylan (Pittsburg, Calif.) came in and struck out the only batter he faced to lock down his 11th save of the year.
NCCU will now face the winner between Florida A&M and Norfolk State on Friday at noon.
Courtesy: NCCU Athletics