Courtesy of Brian Howard
W: KAFKA, Alex (1-0) L: Stanley, Matt(0-1)
NORFOLK, Va. | The Norfolk State University baseball team dropped a doubleheader to complete the weekend series with Morehead State, falling 18-6 in the opener before falling, 3-0, in the nightcap on Sunday at Marty L. Miller Field.
In the opener, Morehead State (4-0) scored seven runs on four hits to jump out on top 7-0 midway through the opening frame.
The Spartans (0-4) got a run back in the bottom half of the inning.
With one down, Ralphael Rodriguez fouled the first pitch he saw from Eagles starter Matt Bettio just inches shy of a homer down the right field line. However, He didn’t miss on his second opportunity as he crushed the pitch deep over the right field fence for the solo homer, cutting the margin to 7-1.
The Eagles scored one run in the second, third and fourth innings before exploding for four more runs in the fifth to take a 14-1 lead.
NSU trimmed the deficit with three runs on a pair of hits in the bottom of the fifth.
With two down in the frame, Steven Shaffer walked and moved to second when Jacob Council was hit by a pitch. Justin Journette singled to right as Shaffer scored. Manny Jackson reached on an error as Council and Journette scored.
Back came Morehead State in the top half of the sixth with two more runs, extending the advantage to 16-4.
Norfolk State picked up one run in the bottom of the sixth and one more in the seventh as Morehead State took the first game, 18-6.
The Spartans collected nine hits, led by Dionte Brown and Journette with two each.
The Eagles plated 18 runs on 14 hits and had three errors.
Ryan Grabosch paced the offense by going 3-for-5, with three runs scored and one RBI.
Matt Stanley (0-1) took the loss and he gave up six runs (five earned) on three hits, walked three and struck out one in 0.2 innings of work. Joe Lafave, Kevin Chinnia, Ian Salters, Liam Royster and Noah Wiggins worked in relief.
Bettio started for the Eagles, going two innings. Alex Kafka (1-0) picked up the win in 3.1 innings pitched in relief.
In the second game, the Eagles got on the board in the top of the first on a three-run homer by Chase Vinson as Morehead State grabbed the 3-0 lead.
Norfolk State’s best chance came in the third inning as Cam Mazell singled to right to begin the frame and moved to second with a one-out base hit to right center by Dionte Brown. However, the Eagles got out of the inning with a ground out and a strikeout to end the threat.
Both teams collected five hits during the second game.
Donovan Whitfield (0-1) took the loss in three innings of work. He gave up three runs on two hits, struck out two and walked two. Mac Yarbrough and Max McCrary pitched in relief.
Joe Rotkis (1-0) earned the win, fanning five and scattering four hits in 4.0 innings. Luke Lyman worked two innings and Jarrett Miller picked up the save.
Norfolk State continues its homestand next weekend as the Spartans open up a three-game series with Niagara starting on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. from Marty L. Miller Field.
Next Game: Niagara 2/24/2023 | 3 p.m.