Wildcats Deliver Late-Game Knockout in 4-1 Win Over Stetson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Bethune-Cookman starter Montana Durapau threw a complete game two-hitter, in tandem with crucial late-inning run support, to lead the Wildcats (3-4) past the Stetson Hatters (2-6), Tuesday (Feb. 25) night at Jackie Robinson. The Wildcats went out front early and added late runs to top the Hatters 4-1.
“From a preparation standpoint, we were a lot more focused than we have been the last couple of games,” Head Coach Jason Beverlin said. “It definitely showed.”
The Wildcats went to work early, as right fielder Josh Johnson registered a leadoff shot up the middle, later reaching third on a wild pitch. Johnson crossed the plate on an RBI grounder from first baseman Eric Sams to put the Wildcats up 1-0 in the bottom of the first.
Stetson second baseman Kevin Fagan broke up Durapau’s no-hitter in the top of the fourth, taking an 0-1 pitch beyond the left field wall, just barely in fair territory, knotting the score at 1-1. Fagan’s home run was the first long ball recorded against the Wildcats this season.
The Wildcats countered in the bottom half of the frame, as Sams reached on a single deep into the six-hole, advancing to third after a passed ball and a sacrifice bunt. Sams came home on second baseman Matt Noble’s fielder’s choice contact, logging the score on an error by Stetson third baseman Jordan Schulz.
Maintaining a slim advantage into the eighth inning, the Wildcats responded in the bottom half of the inning to create some separation. Sams gave the Wildcats an opening, earning a four-ball walk to reach base with one out away. After subbing in as the designated hitter in the sixth, Eros Modena capitalized on Sams’ position, firing a 1-1 count triple to right center. Noble followed with a hard-hit single through the middle infield to bring Modena home and grant the Wildcats a 4-1 advantage heading into the final frame.
“Late in the game those two runs were huge,” Beverlin said. “It gaves Montana [Durapau] the breathing room and the confidence he needed to finish.”
After the fourth, Durapau (1-0) only allowed a single hit, capping off the complete game with a pop-up to center field to earn the win. Making his fifth career appearance against the Hatters, and third start, Durapau now holds a 3-0 record against Stetson, with one save and just one no decision. The Deltona, Fla. senior recorded no walks and struck out six batters in the victory.
“I felt pretty in-control the entire game,” Durapau said. “I don’t think I missed that many spots tonight. The times I did miss my spots, it wasn’t a problem because I was throwing all my pitches for strikes.”
Durapau also notched his fifth career complete game performance.
“That shows his competitiveness,” Beverlin said. “He doesn’t want to come out of games like this, he wants to finish those games when he’s rolling like that.”
At the plate, Sams topped the Wildcat, batting 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
The Wildcats open Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) on Saturday (March 1) with a three-game series against Florida A&M, making their first road trip of the 2014 campaign. The Rattlers (3-5) dropped a 7-6 non-conference tilt to Troy on Tuesday afternoon.