NORFOLK, Va.– Peter Poole’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th inning that allowed Darien Campbell to score would be all that Savannah State would need as the Tigers defeated Bethune-Cookman 1-0 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference baseball championship game.
“It was a well-played game against the defending champions,” said SSU head coach Carlton Hardy. “We knew coming into the tournament that in order for us to win this championship, we would have to play Cookman. Our kids played hard. Pitch to pitch and inning by inning. It took a total team effort for us to win this game.”
It is SSU’s first MEAC baseball championship. Kyle McGowin was named the 2013 Outstanding Performer and SSU’s Hardy was named the Outstanding Coach.
The Tigers moved through the winner’s bracket as the number one seed in the southern division and clinched the title in the institution’s second full year of conference competition.
McGowin picked up the win for the day. McGowin went all 10 innings and struck out 11 batters to improve his record to 12-1.
“Kyle took the ball on three day’s rest and showed what a champion is all about,” said Hardy. “In 10 innings of work, he showed big time production from a big time player.”
Chris Arnold struck out to lead off the bottom of the 10th but Campbell hit a double which was followed by a single by Todd Hagen to put runners at the corners. Poole sent a shot deep enough to right field that allowed Campbell to score the game-winning run.
Hagen, Poole and David Richards all had two hits each for Savannah State.
For the game, Bethune had seven hits but left nine runners on base and made two errors. SSU managed eight hits, left seven runners on base and made one error.
The Wildcats, who had won eight consecutive MEAC baseball titles, stranded at least two runners on base in the fourth, fifth and ninth innings.
Montana Durapau pitched eight innings for B-CU but it was Jordan Dailey who was tagged with the loss. Durapau struck out four batters while Dailey pitched 1.2 innings and gave up three hits, one run while striking out three.
Josh Johnson and Eric Sams each had two hits for Cookman.
Savannah State made their way to the MEAC championship game with tournament wins over Maryland-Eastern Shore, Norfolk State and Coppin State. The Tigers earns the conference berth to the NCAA Regionals.
The 2013 All-Tournament Team: David Hamlet, Coppin State Eric Kimber, North Carolina Central Luis Diaz, North Carolina Central Kelvin Freeman, North Carolina A&T Troy Marrow, North Carolina Central Tre-Von Johnson, Maryland Eastern Shore Todd Hagen, Savannah State Brandon Turner, Bethune-Cookman Eric Sams, Bethune-Cookmann David Richards, Savannah State Kyle McGowin, Savannah State