Bethune-Cookman Uses Long Ball to Beat FAMU
SALISBURY, Md., May 18, 2017—Home runs from Danny Rodriguez and Josten Heron helped Bethune-Cookman hold on to defeat rival Florida A&M 6-5 Thursday afternoon at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in the second day of the 2017 MEAC Baseball Championship.
The Wildcats (31-23) advance to Friday's 9 a.m. semifinal, where they will face either Norfolk State or North Carolina A&T State. Florida A&M falls into the consolation bracket, where they will play at 7 p.m. against Delaware State.
Rodriguez got the Wildcats on the board in the bottom of the first inning, following a Jameel Edney single with a two-run shot over the left-center field fence to put the Southern Division regular-season champions up 2-0.
The Rattlers followed in the top of the second with a two-run shot of their own, a 349-foot homer from Ben Ellzey that tied the game at 2-2. The shot brought home Aubrey McCarty, who had singled up the middle in the previous at-bat.
Kyle Corbin led off the bottom of the second with a triple to right center, and he later scored on a Nate Sterijevski groundout to put B-CU on top 3-2.
The Wildcats tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth on a sac fly from Chase DeBonis.
FAMU (27-25), the No. 3 seed out of the Southern Division, got one back in the top of the seventh, loading the bases before Willis McDaniel brought home Danny Rodriguez on a sac fly to cut the lead to 4-3.
Heron added a two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth, a bomb to left field, to give the Wildcats some insurance at 6-3.
But the Rattlers fought back in the top of the ninth, loading the bases with nobody out thanks to a walk to Octavien Moyer and back-to-back singles from Brian Davis and Dallas Oliver. McDaniel was then hit by a pitch to bring in Moyer and cut the lead to 6-4. McCarty then reached on an error that brought in Davis.
Joseph Calamita then struck out Ellzey and got Kaycee Reese to ground into a forceout to end the game.
Corbin, Sterijevski and Adonis Lao each had two hits for the Wildcats.