May 17, 2008
Around the Bases
Around the Tournaments - MEAC
Norfolk State fights back against
By Chuck Curti,
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
NORFOLK, Va. – As the ball rolled under his glove
and into left-center field, Norfolk State shortstop Moriba
George dropped his chin to his chest in frustration.
After a heart-breaking loss to North Carolina A&T
on Thursday, the last thing George wanted to do was commit an
error to spot Maryland Eastern-Shore a lead. But that’s exactly
what happened in Friday’s elimination game in the MEAC
Tournament at Marty L. Miller Field.
UMES’s Phil Vaughn, who had singled and stole
second, scored on George’s miscue in the bottom of the first to
give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
But George and the Spartans redeemed themselves
and stayed alive with a 7-2 victory. The Spartans were scheduled
to play Delaware State in another elimination game later in the
George shook off his early gaffe to tie the game
1-1 in the top of the third with a sacrifice fly. John Boyd’s
single plated John Lynch with the go-ahead run.
“Those two plays took a lot of pressure off me,”
said George, referring also to a successful squeeze bunt that
scored Jerrod Farley in the eighth. He added a sensational
defensive play in the seventh when he threw out Ken Richardson
after making a diving stop in the hole. “I hadn’t been hitting
in the tournament.”
Eastern Shore, showing a bit more spunk that the
day before when it was blown out, 13-1, by top-seeded Bethune-Cookman,
knotted the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the third on an RBI
single by Pat Hercinger.
NSU put the game away in the fourth by sending
nine hitters to the plate and scoring four times.
Farley had an RBI single and later scored on a
single by Brad Stephenson. Stephenson’s hit was the first of
three straight RBI singles for the Spartans, with John Boyd and
Chris Joyce following.
The Spartans cruised from there behind starter
Jason Barker. After surrendering two runs and five hits over the
first three innings, Barker blanked the Hawks to two hits the
rest of the way for his first career complete game.
“I just kept pitching my pitches,” said Barker,
who admitted he might have been putting a little pressure on
himself early. “I knew my team would hit.”
With a win under their collective belt, the
Spartans’ confidence has been renewed for a run at the MEAC