-- Sophomore David Hamlett
went 2-for-3 and drove in four runs, including the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, leading Coppin State to a 10-8 victory over Bethune-Cookman in the opening round of the 2013 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference baseball tournament on Wednesday at Marty Miller Field.
Hamlett broke an 8-8 tie with a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth inning that put the Eagles ahead to stay at 9-8. Mike Wright
scored on a wild pitch later in the inning to extend the lead to 10-8.
Closer Michael Roberts
turned in a dominating performance to preserve the lead for Coppin State. Roberts entered the game in the bottom of the seventh inning with the bases loaded and just one out, but he struck out Josh Johnson and Brandon Turner to retire the side.
After the Eagles took the lead in the top of the eighth inning, Roberts struck out the side on 17 pitches. He struck out the first two batters in the ninth inning before Matt Noble was hit by a pitch, but then Roberts induced a groundout from Johnson to give the Eagles their first MEAC Tournament victory since the 2010 season.
Roberts earned the win for Coppin State and improved to 4-2 on the season, while Michael Austin took the loss for Bethune-Cookman and dropped to 0-1 on the year.
Coppin State (17-31) used a big rally against the eight-time defending champion Wildcats. After CSU took an early 1-0 lead, Bethune-Cookman scored five runs in the fourth inning to take a 5-1 lead.
The Eagles responded with three runs, highlighted by a two-run triple by Hamlett, to cut the lead to 5-4.
Bethune-Cookman (29-22) increased the lead to 8-4 with a three-run fifth inning.
Coppin State rallied to tie the game in the top of the sixth inning.
reached on an infield single to start the inning and Nathan Pitts
followed with a walk. After two outs, Wright extended the inning when he reached base on an error to load the bases.
Hamlett also reached on an error allowing Maletz to score to cut the lead to 8-5.
then drew a bases-loaded walk that brought home Pitts and brought the Eagles to within 8-6.
followed with a base hit up the middle that scored Wright and Hamlett and tied the game at 8-8.
Coppin State moves into the winner's bracket and faces North Carolina A&T at 4 p.m. on Thursday.