Norfolk, Va. (Mar. 19, 2017) –Delaware State scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning and Darien Ragins struck out the side with runners at second and third and none out in the bottom of the ninth to lead Delaware State to a 5-4 win over Norfolk State in a nail-biting MEAC opener at Marty Miller Field this evening.
The Hornets trailed 4-1 before scoring four times in the top of the ninth inning. The big blow in the inning was a one-out, three-run double by Darnel Maisonet (below) to give DSU a 5-4 lead.
In Norfolk State’s half of the ninth, Delaware State reliever Terry Godfrey allowed a single and a walk to the first two batters. Ragins then entered the game and threw a wild pitch to advance the NSU runners to third and second with none out.
Ragins then bore down to strike out Chase Anderson looking, Denathan Dukes swinging and pinch hitter Stephen Baughan swinging to strand the runners on base and secure the win for the Hornets.
The save was Ragins’ first of the season and made a winner of Godfrey (1-1), who pitched two innings in relief after DSU starter Lane DeLeon threw the first six innings. DeLeon allowed five hits and two runs, while striking out three and walking two.
Norfolk State opened the scoring with two runs off DeLeon in the bottom of the fourth.
The Hornets finally got on the board when first baseman Ciaran Devenney drew a bases loaded walk with one out in the top of the eighth inning. Norfolk State turned a double play to avoid further DSU damage in the inning.
The Spartans added two runs in the bottom of the eighth to stretch their lead to 4-1.
Delaware State scored its first ninth-inning run when Jaylen Zielecki drew a one-out walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on the first of two Norfolk State errors in the inning.
Maisonet had four of Delaware State’s eight hits in the game (4-for-5). He has five hits and four RBI in his last six at bats to raise his season average to .375.
Hornet second baseman Kwestin Smith was 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored in the contest to up his on-base percentage to .436 for the season.
Delaware State and NSU are scheduled to wrap up the series with a doubleheader on Monday. Game one is set for 12 p.m. at Miller Field in Norfolk.