HANOVER, Md.–Alex Mauricio had three hits and Devin Hemmerich struck out a career-high 13 batters as the Norfolk State baseball completed a three-game sweep of Coppin State with a 7-5 victory on Monday afternoon at Joe Cannon Stadium.
Hemmerich (5-2) won his fourth straight start and struck out at least 10 batters in a game for the third straight outing and fourth time this season to help the Spartans (12-13, 7-2 MEAC North) sweep their second straight conference series. He cruised through six innings before CSU (5-17, 4-5) rallied late, but Brian Beard earned the save by pitching the final 1.2 innings scoreless.
The Spartans got Hemmerich some early support when leadoff batter Tony Leite reached on an Eagle error and scored on Mauricio’s RBI single in the top of the first.
CSU starter Jonathan Lewis kept his team in it as the score remained 1-0 in NSU’s favor until the sixth. But the Spartans pushed across three in the sixth as Mauricio and Burrell led off with singles. Consecutive one-out walks to Denathan Dukes and Chase Anderson forced Mauricio in. Reliever Jahmon Taylor then threw two wild pitches to allow Burrell and Dukes to score, giving the Spartans a 4-0 advantage.
The Eagles finally managed a run in the bottom of the sixth. Bryant Miranda led off with a double and scored on a two-out error on the Spartan infield.
NSU scored twice more in the top of the eighth on an RBI infield single by Tony Leite and a run-scoring groundout by Moore. But the Eagles got to Hemmerich for four runs in the eighth. Jamar Criss and Corey Treyes hit run-scoring doubles and Eric Crossman knocked in another run with a groundout to chase Hemmerich. Clinton Arnold greeted reliever Quenten Thomas with an RBI double to bring the Eagles within 6-5.
But Beard got the final two outs of the inning and NSU added insurance in the ninth. Mauricio led off with a triple and scored on Burrell’s sacrifice fly to extend NSU’s lead to 7-5.
Beard walked Miranda, the leadoff batter in the bottom of the ninth, but got Nazier McIlwain to ground into a double play. After Crossman’s two-out single, Beard struck out Criss looking to end it.
Hemmerich struck out at least one batter in his first seven innings of work. He fanned the side three times, in the first, third and seven innings. He allowed eight hits and five runs, four earned, to go with his 13 punchouts. He did not walk a batter Monday, and has 33 strikeouts and just one walk in his last three starts.
Mauricio was the only Spartan with more than one hit. He also scored a pair of runs and stole two bases.
Arnold, Crossman and McIlwain had two hits each for the Eagles. Lewis (2-3) took the loss after giving up four runs, three earned, in 5.1 innings of work.