NORFOLK, Va. (NSUSpartans.com) – Marist scored three runs apiece in the sixth and seventh innings to pull away from Norfolk State for a 12-3 win in the season opener for both teams on Friday at Marty L. Miller Field.
Dionte Brown and Jacob Council each went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Brandon Cleveland hit a solo homer in a losing effort for the Spartans.
Robbie Armitage hit a two-out RBI double in the first and walked with the bases loaded in the third for the game’s first two runs. But the Spartans rallied in the bottom of the third. Raphy Rodriguez hit a two-out single and stole second base before Brown lashed a double into the left-field corner for the Spartans’ first run of the year. Council then followed with an RBI double of his own into left-center to tie the game.
Dylan Hoy’s two-out RBI single in the fifth gave the Red Foxes a 3-2 lead, but it was short-lived. Cleveland, a junior college transfer in his first game with the Spartans, led off the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer over the wall in left to tie the game.
But Marist would pull away thanks to a trio of three-run innings. In the sixth, Niko Amory lofted a bloop double behind third bases to score three runs, breaking the tie. Then in the seventh, Gavin Noriega hit a two-run double and scored on a wild pitch as the lead grew to 9-3.
Marist tacked on three more in the ninth to cap the scoring.
James Deloatch started for NSU and took a no-decision. He allowed three runs, just one of which was earned, with six strikeouts in five innings. Justin Walton was charged with the loss in relief.
NSU tallied three steals Friday, two coming from Brown.
Drake Quinn earned the win for Marist with 4.2 hitless innings of relief. He struck out six.
The teams play again Saturday at 1 p.m.