HAWKS CONCLUDE 2014 SEASON WITH LOSS TO N.C. CENTRAL
May 15, 2014
NORFOLK, Va. – The University of Maryland Eastern Shore baseball team concluded its 2014 season on Thursday afternoon as the Hawks fell to North Carolina Central, 10-5, in an elimination game at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament. The Hawks were hurt by a season-high 17 runners left on base and made four errors. UMES concludes its year with a five-win improvement from 2013.
UMES (13-35) led early against NC Central (19-32-1), before giving up eight runs over a three inning stretch. UMES attempted a comeback late in the contest but NC Central dug deep to advance and see another day. UMES had 10 hits in the game to mark the 18th time this season with double-digit hit tallies. UMES left the bases loaded four times against NCCU.
The Hawks saw four student-athletes conclude their collegiate careers on Thursday morning. Senior Stephen Bull (Millsboro, Del.) was 3-for-4 in the contest to fall just two hits shy of the UMES single-season hits record. He finishes his career No. 2 on both the single-season hits list (68) and career-hits list (199). Senior Byron Campbell (Waldorf, Md.) was 1-for-4 with an RBI double and ended his career as No. 3 in single-season hits (66) and career hits (197).
Senior first baseman Jeffrey Fleetwood (Delmar, Del.) walked twice in his final collegiate match, while senior Bernard Parker (Waldorf, Md.) finishes his career as the top Hawk pitcher in 2014 with team-bests in ERA (4.08) and appearances (18).
The Hawks looked to score early in the contest after sophomore Mike Escanilla (Waldorf, Md.) led off with a double and moved to third on a single through the right side by Bull. NCCU starter Grant Cain would bear down to retire the next three hitters to keep the Hawks off the scoreboard.
After a scoreless inning by sophomore J.P. Black (Elkton, Md.), UMES loaded the bases in the top of the second. Cain would do damage control again as he induced a fly out to end the threat. UMES left five runners on base through two innings of play.
The Hawks would send eight batters to the plate and take a 2-0 lead in the third. UMES was the beneficiary of two costly NCCU errors as Bull opened with a walk, moved to third on a fielding error by NCCU and scored on a dropped fly ball. Senior Byron Campbell (Waldorf, Md.) reached on the first error and scored on an infield single by freshman Skylar Murray (Georgetown, Del.).
NCCU would get on the board in the bottom half of the inning after registering back-to-back RBI triples by Zack Lee and Carlos Ortiz. The two triples made the score 3-2, but NCCU was not done yet. The Eagles scored one more in the inning after an errant pickoff attempt scored Ortiz.
Trailing 4-2, UMES went to work in the fourth. The Hawks loaded the bases for the third consecutive inning and used a two-RBI double by freshman Justin Dattilo (Pittsburgh, Pa.) to even the score at four.
NCCU upped its advantage to 8-4 with two runs in both the fourth and fifth. Sophomore Jordan Bone (Pittston, Pa.) came in to replace Black with the bases loaded in the fourth, but fanned two hitters to get out of the jam with minimal damage. UMES scored one after Bull came in on a RBI double by Campbell in the sixth to make it 8-5.
The Hawks looked to give up a couple more in the seventh, but a perfectly executed relay from Campbell to senior Jeffrey Fleetwood (Delmar, Del.) to freshman catcher Troy Anderson (Bridgeport, W.Va.) gunned down NCCU’s Justin Dey at the plate.
The game went silent for the next couple of at-bats, before NCCU added two insurance runs in the eighth. The push proved to be too much for the Hawks to overcome as they would fall in the contest and conclude their season. N.C. Central moves on to play the loser of the Norfolk State and Bethune-Cookman match at 10 a.m. tomorrow.
Bone fanned two and did not allow an earned run in four innings for UMES. He finished the season by not allowing an earned run in his last 11 innings. Black (1-5) gave up six runs (four earned) with four strikeouts in three innings. Dattilo and Escanilla each had two hits, while six other Hawks hit safely on the day.
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