GLEN BURNIE, Md. – The Coppin State baseball team earned its first wins of the season in style Tuesday against visiting North Carolina Central at Bachman Park.GAME 1 BOXSCORE
/ GAME 2 BOXSCORE
Coppin State’s Ian Arciaga
sent everybody home happy by slugging a three-run walkoff home run in the bottom of the 12th inning to give the Eagles a dramatic and thrilling, 11-8 victory in the opening game. The win capped a remarkable comeback for Coppin State as it trailed 8-4 entering the bottom of the eighth inning.
The Eagles (2-8 overall) concluded the sweep by defeating NCCU 5-1 behind a complete-game pitching performance from William Grebenstein, who struck out five batters. The wins were a perfect tonic for Coppin State’s confidence heading into divisional play this weekend.
“The guys really responded well tonight with good defense, pitching and timely hitting,” Coppin State baseball coach Sherman Reed
said. “It was great to get two wins over an excellent NCCU team who came off a big series win over Bethune-Cookman. The intent of our strong non-conference schedule is to prepare us for conference play and we are close to hitting our stride when it really counts.
The first game is one people will be discussing for quite some time. The Eagles displayed heart and character in overcoming a late deficit against NCCU. With six outs remaining, Coppin chipped away at its deficit by scoring three times in the eighth inning and tying it in the ninth inning on a two-out RBI single from Jack Kraft, who had four hits in both games combined to raise his season average to .343 overall.
Kraft, who has a seven-game hitting streak, and Randall Mendez had three hits each in the opening game for Coppin State while Colin Dower
and William Brown
had a pair of hits each. With Dower and Brown able to get on base at the bottom of the order consistently in the opener, it enabled the top of the lineup to be productive. That resulted in a season-high hit and run total for Coppin State.
’s two-run double in the eighth inning injected life into Coppin State. His hit scored Kraft and David Hamlett
and pulled the Eagles to within, 8-6. Two batters later, Chris Godfrey
delivered a sacrifice fly that scored Percell. Pitcher Jhar Devilme
was the winning pitcher as he tossed 2.1 innings of scoreless baseball.
After falling behind 1-0 in the second game, Coppin State immediately struck back by scoring all of its runs in the second and third innings. John Walls
had the big blow in the game by delivering a two-run single during a three-run third inning for Coppin State. Once the Eagles got in front, Grebenstein handled the rest.
Coppin State has a few days to savor this triumph before it returns to action Saturday against UMES in a weekend series. The Eagles and Hawks will play a doubleheader beginning Saturday at 1 p.m. and a series-ending single game Sunday at noon.
“Now we’re hoping that Mother Nature cooperates with us the next few weeks because we cant afford any extended layoffs due to weather postponements. This weather this spring has been brutal. NCCU came in with 15 games under their belt while we entered today’s contest having only played 8. We really need to get consistent games under our belts.”