Courtesy of Coppin State Athletic Communications
COLUMBIA, Md. – Coppin State’s baseball team put everything together in a 21-2 rout of Cornell on Sunday afternoon at Blandair Park to improve to 3-8 on the young season. The Eagles’ 21 runs were its most since April 13, 2016, when they scored 24 runs against Fairleigh Dickinson.
Marcos Castillo went a perfect 4-for-4 with three runs scored, a pair of triples, four RBI and two walks. He was also hit by a pitch and stole base. Josh Hankins also had four hits in five at bats, scoring four times.
Brian Nicolas drove in a career-high six runs with his two hits which included a triple while Wellington Balsley had four RBI while going 2-for-4 with a walk. Mike Dorcean also had a two-hit performance while Eimir Perez and Grant Williams scored three runs each.
The Eagles pitching staff was just as dominant with Jordan Hamberg striking out a career-high ten batters in 5.2 innings of work to get the win. Hamberg allowed just two runs on three hits with both runs coming via solo home runs in the sixth. Tim Ruffino allowed just two hits while striking out four in 2.1 relief innings before Rashad Ruff struck out two more to close out the game.
Hamberg struck out the first two batters of the game and got through the first inning rather easily and Coppin gave him immediate run support as Castillo smashed a triple down the right field line before scoring on Nicolas’ sacrifice bunt.
Cornell went down 1-2-3 in the second and Coppin added to its lead with four runs, coming on a pair of hits, two walks and a trio of hit batsman. A balk allowed Perez to score the first run followed by a sac bunt from Balsley to make it 3-0. After Castillo was plunked and stole second, Nicolas lined a single up the middle to score Mario Cuevas and Castillo to make it a five-run advantage.
Hamberg faced the minimum once again in the third and Nicolas continued his impressive day with a three-run, bases clearing triple to extend the lead to 8-0. Nicolas later scored as he and Dorcean combined on a double steal.
The Big Red recorded its first base hit of the game with one out in the fourth before Hamberg settled down and fanned the final two batters of the inning. Balsley then got CSU into double digits on the scoreboard with an RBI single in the bottom half of the frame, scoring Hankins from second after he led off with a single.
Both teams went scoreless in the fifth with Hamberg striking out a pair before issuing a walk. The base runner did not pay off as he was promptly caught stealing second by Dorcean.
Cornell hit a pair of solo home runs in the sixth and Hamberg was then relieved by Ruffino who fanned the final batter of the inning. The Eagles got one of those runs back in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Castillo.
Coppin then continued the offensive onslaught with five runs in each of the next two innings as the visitors used five pitchers in the final three innings. Perez, Corey Miley and Balsley all had RBIs in the seventh before Castillo triples home two more that same inning. In the eighth, Hankins, Williams, Balsley and Castillo were all credited with runs batted in.
Prior to the start of Sunday’s game, the nightcap from Saturday was concluded with the Big Red victorious, 14-5. Smith led the Eagles by going 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI which included a two-run home run in the first inning to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead.
The Big Red scored seven unanswered runs with five in the fifth and two in the sixth off Giovanni Canales who took the loss. Canales went 5.0 innings and gave up five earned runs while striking out five.
Coppin was able to cut into the deficit with to runs in the eighth on RBIs by Hankins and Perez but the Big Red scored six more runs down the stretch to seal the win.