@Cookman Baseball: MEAC Baseball Championships
NORFOLK, Va. - The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (30-23) wrapped the second half of the 2013 season with an 18-9 record, getting hot just as the fight for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) title began to ramp up. The seven-time defending MEAC Champion Wildcats go looking for another ring as they take on the MEAC Baseball Championships this week at Marty L. Miller Field, beginning with a 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (May 15) matchup with Coppin State (16-31).
The conference tiebreaker process pushed the Wildcats to the No. 2 seed in the MEAC Southern division, after both B-CU and Savannah State finished 17-7 in conference play, though both tie as divisional Co-Champions. Led by Josh Johnson and Anthony Stokes, batting .322 and .303, respectively, with a combined 49 RBI and another 48 runs scored, the Wildcats look to complete yet another tournament run to return to Daytona Beach with the Wildcats’ 17th MEAC title.
The complete tournament bracket can be viewed at this link. Listed below is the schedule for the 2013 MEAC Baseball Championships (Updated May 17, 11 p.m.):
|Wed., May 15|
|Gm 1: 9 a.m.||#2N - Norfolk St. vs. #3S - N.C. Central|| NSU 5, NCCU 1
|Gm 2: 12:30 p.m.||#1S - Savannah St. vs. #4N - Md. E. Shore|| SSU 3, UMES 1
|Gm 3: 4 p.m.||#1N - Delaware St. vs. #4S - N.C. A&T||
||NCAT 16, DSU 11
|Gm 4: 9:45 p.m.||#2S - B-CU vs. #3N - Coppin State||RHP Will Grubenstein
||CSU 10, B-CU 8|
|Thur., May 16|
|Gm 5: 9 a.m.||N.C. Central vs. Md. E. Shore
|| NCCU 10, UMES 4
|Gm 6: 12:30 p.m.||Norfolk St. vs. Savannah St.
||SSU 21, NSU 11|
|Gm 7: 4 p.m.||N.C. A&T vs. Coppin St.
||CSU 7, NCAT 3|
|Gm 8: 8:30 p.m.||Delaware St. vs. B-CU|| RHP Monana Durapau
|| RHP Jordan Eliott
||B-CU 5, DSU 1
|Fri., May 17|
|Gm 9: 10 a.m.||N.C. Central vs. Norfolk St.
||NCCU 12, NSU 6
|Gm 10: 2 p.m.||B-CU vs. N.C. A&T
||RHP Scott Garner
||RHP Justin Godette
||B-CU 11, NCAT 5
|Gm 11: 6:15 p.m.||N.C. Central vs. B-CU||RHP Michael Austin
||RHP Edwin Rios
||B-CU 7, NCCU 3
|Sat., May 18|
|Gm 12: 2 p.m.
||Savannah St. vs. Coppin St.
||SSU 14, CSU 7
|Gm 13: 5:30 p.m.||B-CU vs. Coppin St.
||LHP Ali Simpson
||LHP Burgess Anderson
|Sun., May 19||Championship|
|Gm 14: 1 p.m.||Winner of Gm 12 vs. Winner of Gm 13|
|Gm 15: 5 p.m.||Second Game if Necessary|
Wildcats’ Third Round Matchup - Friday, 6:15 p.m. - North Carolina A&T
Notes About the North Carolina Central Eagles (25-27) - Hashtag #BeatNCCU
The Eagles were flying high early in the season, but leveled off to finish just below .500. NCCU is a talented and fundamental group that can compete with and beat any team in the conference. The Eagles are led at the plate by Luis Diaz, batting .307 with 31 RBI and 42 runs scored, 11 doubles, three triples, and a pair of jacks, complimenting his .448 on-base percentage. Zach Lee also helps the Eagles reach base with .292 hitting and 33 runs scored.
The pitching staff is a notable threat for the Eagles, with a 3.92 ERA and both capable starters and a quality closer.
Wildcats’ Third Round Matchup - Friday, 2:00 p.m. - North Carolina A&T
Notes About the North Carolina A&T Aggies (15-35) - Hashtag #BeatNCAT
The Aggies are some of the biggest hitters and run-scorers in the conference, but inconsistency and errors have plagued the squad from Greensboro. The Aggies feature the MEAC’s premier power-hitter, first baseman Kelvin Freeman, who has a MEAC-high 13 home runs and 52 RBI, hitting 11 doubles and averaging .341. Luke Tendler is the NCAT leader at the plate, batting .361 with a MEAC-leading 25 doubles and five jacks of his own, with 31 RBI and 36 runs scored.
Wildcats’ Second Round Matchup - Thursday, 8:30 p.m. - Delaware State
|B-CU:||Montana Durapau (8-3, 3.41 ERA)|
|DSU:||RHP Jordan Elliott (9-1, 2.63 ERA)|
Notes About the Delaware State Hornets (33-13) - Hashtag #BeatDelState
Holding the conference’s best non-conference and MEAC records, the Hornets again hold favor in baseball publications for the title for the second year in a row, and the Hornets did push the Wildcats to a two-game championship in 2012. Their non-conference slate may be a hindrance against a MEAC field proven tougher than previous seasons, despite their talented pitching staff, as DSU’s strength of schedule rates 297th of 298.
DSU is led at the plate by Hassan Evans and Mike Alexander, batting .368 and .365, respectively, topping a group that bats .321 as a team. Alexander leads the team in RBI at 42, scoring 40 runs as well. The Hornets have driven in 277 RBI as a team, leading the MEAC.
Wildcats’ Semifinal Matchup - Saturday, 5:30 p.m. - Coppin State
|B-CU:||LHP Ali Simpson (3-7, 6.22 ERA)|
|CSU:||LHP Burgess Anderson (2-4, 5.51 ERA)|
CSU also Wildcats’ First Round Matchup - Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. - Coppin State
|B-CU:||LHP Ali Simpson (3-7, 6.10 ERA)|
|CSU:||RHP Will Grebenstein (3-0, 4.38 ERA)|
Notes About the Coppin State Eagles (16-31) - Hashtag #BeatCoppinBatting .303 with a team-best 31 RBI, David Hamlett leads the Eagles at the plate, chipping in seven doubles and a pair of triples. Joining him in the upper tier is newcomer Chris Kashangaki, who bats .296 with a team-high 50 hits and .387 on-base percentage, scoring 31 runs.
The Eagles can generate hits but have had problems closing the deal for scores, while their pitching staff gives a 5.53 ERA.Notes About the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks (8-43) - Hashtag #BeatUMES
Much like Coppin State, the Hawks are steady hitters, but have not proven adept at driving in runs, featuring the second-lowest RBI count (163) in the tournament field. Outfielder Tre-Von Johnson leads the Hawks with .330 batting on a team-best .446 slugging percentage, but his numbers don’t stand out due to 20 games missed. Byron Campbell joins him over the .300 mark at .304, with 21 RBI and a team-high 31 runs scored.
Also like the Eagles, UMES pitching staff has struggled to limit opponents, holding a 6.54 team ERA and just two pitchers with an ERA under five, hampered further by a conference-low .939 fielding percentage. Meanwhile their opponents’ ERA sits at 2.94.
Notes About the Norfolk State Spartans (18-27) - Hashtag #BeatNSU
The tournament-host Spartans do plenty of hitting, with the team averaging .275, but the run support is not quite enough for the pitching staff. The Spartans are led by infielder Killian Strenn, who has steadily improved at the plate through the course of the season and bats .431 after 27 games, but has seen inconsistent action. First baseman Zach Markel has seen action in all 45 games and bats .321 with team-bests of 52 hits, 31 RBI and 24 runs scored. Right fielder Cameron Day has also been steady, batting .311, also with 24 runs scored, in addition to 51 hits and 28 RBI.Notes About the Savannah State Tigers (29-21) - Hashtag #BeatSSU
A top-tier No. 1 pitcher and aggressive offensive play, including a conference-leading 119 stolen bases, aided the Tigers to the No. 1 Southern seed using a rising second half to the season. Solid hitters across the lineup, Joseph McCrary provides the top impact, batting .317 with team-highs of 30 RBI, 33 runs scored and 12 doubles, stealing 13-of-14 bases. Todd Hagen bats .302 while also scoring 33 runs and batting in 19 more, while stealing 16-of-18 bases.
Their biggest weapon in the crunch is the defense of having Kyle McGowin on the mound. Statistically among the best pitchers in the nation, McGowin’s 111 K’s have aided him to a 10-win season, with the Wildcats handing him a lone loss.
Live Stats will be provided by the MEAC Media Relations Office at this link.
Game Day Hashtags
For our followers on twitter, the official hashtags throughout the tournament will be...