Bethune-Cookman Powers Past Norfolk State
SALISBURY, Md., May 19, 2017—Five home runs propelled Bethune-Cookman, the Southern Division's top seed, to a 16-6 seven-inning win over Norfolk State on Friday in the 2017 MEAC Baseball Championship at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
Danny Rodriguez and Austin Garcia each had a pair of homers for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats (32-23) advance to Saturday's championship game, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. Norfolk State falls to the elimination bracket, where it will face the Delaware State-North Carolina A&T State winner at 3 p.m. on Friday.
The scoring began almost immediately for the Wildcats; Demetrius Sims led off the first by reaching on an error and eventually advancing to third on a sacrifice. He then scored the game's first run on a Jameel Edney triple, and Edney scored on an Garcia single to put B-CU up 2-0.
The Wildcats broke the game open in the second inning, pushing across eight runs and chasing Norfolk State starter Alex Mauricio. Garcia hit a two-run home run to left field in the highlight of the frame, and Chase DeBonis drove in two more runs with a single to left.
Rodriguez also reached on an error in that inning, which came with the bases loaded and allowed all three runs to score.
Rodriguez then hit a two-run shot in the third to put the Wildcats up 12-0.
A bases-loaded walk to Stephen Baughan and a two-run single by Andre' Moore got the Spartans (27-21) on the board, cutting Bethune-Cookman's lead to 12-3.
Rodriguez and Garcia each homered in the fifth inning as well, cranking out back-to-back solo shots that put the Wildcats up 14-3.
Chris Ford drove in a run with an RBI single in the sixth, cutting the lead to 14-4.
Edney added a two-run shot of his own in the seventh, giving the Wildcats a 16-4 lead.
Garcia was 3-for-5 at the plate for B-CU with four RBIs. Edney and Rodriguez each drove in three runs.