MEAC / Spartan Men / Sports

NSU moves into 1st place in MEAC North after doubleheader sweep of CSU

HANOVER, Md. – A strong relief outing from Chase Anderson carried the Spartans to a 5-3 win in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader at Coppin State, and the Spartan bats broke out in a big way to lift NSU to a 16-2 win in game two for a doubleheader sweep of the Eagles at Joe Cannon Stadium.

With the wins, the Spartans (11-13, 6-2 MEAC) move into sole possession of first place in the conference’s Northern Division. NSU, which has won five straight league games and six of its last seven overall, entered the day in a first-place tie with Coppin State (5-16, 4-4).

Junior outfielder Tony Leite had a pair of two-hit games and second baseman Brian Beard also had four on the day for the Spartans, who posted a season-high in scoring in the nightcap and pounded out their most hits since the opening weekend.

The Spartans earned a hard-fought win in game one thanks in part to a terrific relief outing from Anderson and some timely execution in the late innings. With the game tied at 3-all in the seventh, cleanup hitter Justin Burrell’s well-place squeeze bunt scored Leite with the go-ahead run. Beard added a two-out RBI single in the top of the ninth to put the Spartans ahead by two.

CSU threatened with runners on second and third in the bottom of the ninth after consecutive one-out hits by Corey Treyes and Allen Saar. But Anderson got Nazier McIlwain to fly out to shallow left and struck out Jamar Criss on three off-speed pitches to finish off the win.

Anderson struck out a career-high eight batters in 4.1 innings out of the bullpen to earn his third win of the season (3-2).

Andre’ Moore was the catalyst for the Spartans jumping out to a 3-0 lead after the visitor half of the fifth. He hit an RBI single in the third for the game’s first run. Then in the fifth, he knocked in another run with an infield single, then stole second. He advanced to third on a groundout and with two outs, scored on a straight steal of home.

CSU tied it in the fifth with three runs off Spartan starter Alex Mauricio, who took a no-decision.

Leite, Moore and Terrence Pinkston had two hits each for the Spartans in the opener. Leite scored twice and Moore had two of the Spartans’ five stolen bases.

The Spartans scored early and often in game two, recording their third-most hits on the year and most since posting 17 in back-to-back games against Villanova on Feb. 18-19. NSU struck quickly, plating three runs in the top of the first. Alex Mauricio hit a two-run double and scored on Burrell’s RBI groundout. NSU scored five more in the second thanks to a two-run single by Leite and a run-scoring single by Beard. Pinkston tacked on an RBI single in the third to stretch the lead to 9-0.

Mauricio tripled in a run in the fourth after Beard hit a one-out double. Beard doubled home another run to key a five-run sixth, which also included an RBI single by Chris Ford. Leite and Johnny Mayer also had RBI in the frame.

That was plenty of support for starting pitcher Jonathan Mauricio (1-2), who earned his first win of the season. He allowed just three hits and two runs, one earned, over a seven-inning complete game. He walked five and struck out three in his longest outing the season.

Beard was 3-for-4 with four runs scored, two doubles and two RBI in the nightcap and matched Leite (4-for-7) for the team lead in hits on the day. Alex Mauricio was 3-for-3 with three RBI and fell just a homer short of the cycle in game two. Pinkston was 3-for-5 over the course of the doubleheader, and Troy White added two hits in the nightcap.

The teams conclude their series with a single game at noon on Monday.

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