May 17, 2008
Around the Bases
Around the Tournaments - MEAC
Schabacker pitches Norfolk State
past Delaware State
By Chuck Curti,
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk State pitcher Leon
Schabacker has been the victim of some tough luck this year.
Despite sporting an impressive ERA of 3.27, Schabacker came into
Friday night’s MEAC elimination game against Delaware State
sporting a 5-6 record.
Schabacker didn’t get much run support again. He
didn’t need it.
Schabacker scattered six hits over nine innings
and allowed only one run as the Spartans eliminated Delaware
State, 5-1, at Marty L. Miller Field.
The victory sets up a meeting with Florida A&M
Saturday at 10 a.m. The loser goes home, while the winner faces
the loser of Saturday’s 2 p.m. meeting between Bethune-Cookman
and North Carolina A&T at 6 p.m.
It was the second strong pitching performance of
the day for the Spartans. In the morning, NSU got a complete
game from Jason Barker in a 7-2 victory over Maryland-Eastern
“The pitching staff … we compete with each other,
we keep each other up, talk to each other in the dugout,” said
Schabacker. “This pitching staff is a family.”
Early on, it looked as though Schabacker would
once again be the victim of minimal run support. In the top of
the third, NSU finally dented the scoreboard on an RBI double by
Another run came across in the fifth. John Lynch
led off with a popup into shallow left field, and it fell
between three Delaware State players for a double. Lynch scored
two batters later on a double by Brad Stephenson.
The score persisted at 2-0 into the seventh
inning. But Schabacker insisted he wasn’t worrying about the
“Every time I go out, I just try to pitch the
best I can,” he said. “Once we got a couple of runs up there, I
wasn’t going to let them get more than one.”
The Spartan offense did give Schabacker a bit of
a cushion in the seventh inning. Stephenson drew a bases-loaded
walk, and Joyce hit a sacrifice fly.
Prior to Joyce coming to the plate, Delaware
State coach J.P. Blandin was ejected for arguing a check swing
by NSU’s John Boyd that he felt should have been ruled a strike
by the umpires. Blandin’s outburst seemed to inspire Delaware
In the bottom of the seventh, Jose Sanchez
reached on an error and later scored on Ryne Mailen’s single.
But that would be it for the Hornets, and Norfolk State tacked
on one more run for good measure in the eighth. Left fielder
Lynch, who threw out DSU’s Justin Bittner as he tried to stretch
a single into a double in the fourth, doubled home TiQuan
“We’re up high now,” said Schabacker. “We’re back
in this thing.”