BALTIMORE – The Coppin State baseball team is heading south on a serious roll despite a series-ending 14-3 setback to Maryland-Eastern Shore in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) game at Joe Cannon Field Sunday afternoon.(BOXSCORE)
The loss won’t take away the Eagles (4-9 overall, 2-1 MEAC) mojo especially after they swept the Hawks (3-10, 1-2) Saturday by scores of 11-4 (BOXSCORE)
and 6-3 (BOXSCORE)
. Despite three hits from Randal Mendez
, Coppin State’s four-game winning streak ended. The Eagles will get on a bus Monday morning and depart for an 809-mile journey to heart of Southeastern Conference territory to play Auburn in a quick two-game midweek series.
Before looking ahead, the Eagles entered the week searching for win and they exited it with four wins and feeling great about themselves. Leading the charge for the Eagles in the sweep was a quartet of players: Darien Percell
, David Hamlett
, Jeffrey Fitch
and Jack Kraft, who all had four hits each over the two games. Shane Davies
and Anderson Burgess
were the winning pitchers in each of the games for Coppin State.
“We wanted to sweep,” Percell said. “Even though we’re disappointed with not winning all trhee games, we did what we what necessary to win a series. It was good to finally play some MEAC competition for a change and we got a chance to see where we stack up.”
Kraft had a game to remember in leading the Eagles to an opening-game victory. He drove in five runs on three hits. He had a two-run single in the third inning that helped the Eagles sprint to a 4-0 lead. Kraft added another two-run single in sixth inning as part of a three-run rally for Coppin State that helped expand its advantage to 7-2. He delivered again in the eighth-inning with a run-scoring single as Coppin State put the game away with four runs.
The Eagles pounded out 16 hits in the opening game against UMES as the first five batters combined to go 13-for-24 (.541 batting average). Fitch, Hamlett and Percell all had three hits in the opening game. Davies and O’Brien combined to strike out seven UMES players.
Coppin State had to rally to earn the sweep. For the second time this week, the Eagles were able to overcome a late deficit with some key hitting. Anderson Burgess
was superb in keeping Coppin State with 5.2 solid innings of work on the mound. Burgess also struck out five batters. Darryl Martinez
allowed one hit over 1.1 innings to earn the victory. He also struck out three of the four hitters he faced.
The big hit in the inning belonged to Ian Arciaga
, who drove in two runs with a two-run single that gave Coppin State a 4-3 lead. Hamlett capped the inning with a RBI single. Coppin State batted .359 last year
“UMES always battles to the end and we never take them lightly,” Coppin State baseball head coach Sherman Reed
said. “Last year five of our games with them were decided by 2 runs or less so we knew we had to come and play. Our hitting is slowly coming around and the guys are doing a great job at hitting in clutch situations. The pitching has given us a chance in most of our games and now we must improve on our base running and lapse of focus on the defensive side of the ball. Our defense thus far has been very unlike the great defense we displayed last year. All and all we are slowly hitting our stride as a team.”